Apr 4

Discover Your Internal Back Brace

You may think that when it comes to your stomach, the most important muscles make that elusive six-pack. The fact is that everyone wants a six pack however, when it comes down to it, the transverse abdominus and multifidus muscles, your inner core, affect your life in a more profound way.

These muscles are located deep to the muscles that make the six-pack. The transverse abdominus muscle wraps around your abdomen, attaching to your spine forming your internal back brace. People ask me all the time, would a back brace help my back pain. My answer is why waste your money on a brace when you already have one. The problem is that you may not be using it as your body may be ignoring these muscles and not activating them. Scientific studies show that pain inhibits the firing of these muscle and as a result previously simple everyday activities are more dangerous and can lead to further injuries. It is a good idea to learn how to activate these muscles as this can help prevent injuries and can help one recover more quickly from an injury. Once you learn to activate these muscles, you can then add arm and leg movements to make the movements more functional and further strengthen the core.

To get you started training these muscles look at these few simple exercises:

1. Lie on your back with your legs bent. Pull belly-button toarticle.165110wards back, imagine pulling your stomach away from your belt. While placing fingertips on hips you should feel a muscle contract. Do not pelvic tilt. This is the contraction of the transverse abdominus. Hold for 20 seconds. Do this 10 times.

When you can easily perform this, yoarticle1.165139u are ready to add leg movements.

2. Now, while having contracted the transverse abdominus, bend one of your legs out to your side. Hold then bring back to middle. Repeat with the other side. Do each time 10 times.

3. While contracting your transverse aarticle2.165716bdominus, slide your foot away from your body while keeping the rest of your body still. Bring leg back to 90 degrees. Repeat with other leg. Do each leg 10 times.




This is an excellent start for your transverse abdomarticle3.165745inus training, however, there can be additional exercises that will help you. It is generally best to see a physiotherapist to have exercises presribed that are specific to you. Physiotherapists are experts in teaching you how to strengthen your core.

– Liz van Zutphen, PT



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