How to Exercise the Transverse Abdominal Muscle

Updated on March 22, 2018
Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell is a Holistic Health Practitioner and President of 911 Body ResQ, an online store providing organic and non-GMO, supplements.

Do you find yourself constantly looking for a magical way to lose abdominal fat? Maybe you're sick of your friends teasing you about the "beer" gut, or you just gave birth and find yourself left with some extra "baby" weight around the waist. Suddenly finding yourself without the trim fit body that you once had can really bring on the blues. Before you know it, you are on your laptop searching for "how to lose abdominal fat" or "best stomach exercises." After all, you want a flat stomach fast so that you can be confident again!

There is much information to be found on how to lose abdominal fat, flatten your stomach, or get six pack abs. Obtaining the stomach or abs of your dreams is not far out of reach. With the right program, it can be done no matter how much abdominal fat you may need to shed. There are all kinds of abdominal exercises to choose from. Certain ones will target particular or a combination of abdominal or core muscles:

  1. Rectus abdominis. This muscle is the most popular. Running along the front wall of your abdomen, it is known as your "six-pack abs." They are used primarily for flexion, bending, and stability.
  2. External obliques. This muscle is located along the sides and front of your abdomen. They are used mostly for flexion and rotation.
  3. Internal obliques. On both sides, this muscle is located underneath the external obliques and running in the opposite direction. They are also used for flexion and rotation.
  4. Transverse abdominis. Providing you with protection and stability, this muscle is located underneath both the external and internal obliques, along the front and sides of the abdominal wall. It also wraps around your spine and is the deepest of the abdominal muscle group.

Target the Transverse Abdominis

We are going to concentrate on the transverse abdominis, or TVA, as it is your secret ingredient. This muscle is your body's natural corset. Though you can't see it the same way you can see the rectus abdominis and obliques, the transverse abdominis holds everything in.

Imagine an old rubber band that's been used and re-used. It eventually gets weak and is no longer useful for holding things. That old rubberband is like your TVA, especially as you age or experience pregnancy. If this layer of muscle is weak, your belly will literally "hang out." Failure to achieve your dream mid-section is usually due to improper training of this deep muscle. A weak TVA may also lead to lower back pain. The transversus abdominis works with the pelvic floor muscles to stabilize the lower (lumbar) back and pelvis.

These exercises will strengthen and pull your transverse abdominis inward, to create a slimmer midsection and build your core strength for smoother, injury-free movement.

The Best Exercise to Strengthen the TVA

The vacuum. All you have to do is exhale as much as you can, suck your belly in as far as it will go, and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Make sure you are pulling your abs in as if they were meeting your back.

Transverse Abdominal Exercises for Beginners

How to Do Flutter Kicks

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor or a mat. Your legs should be fully extended with a slight bend in the knees. With your hands behind your head, lift your shoulders off the floor. Keep your neck in alignment with your spine (don't pull your neck forward).
  2. To begin the flutter kick exercise, quickly move your legs up and down alternating left and right with small scissor-like kicks. Keep your abdominal muscles tight or contracted, pulling them in towards the ground, as they should be doing the majority of the work.
  3. Once you've reached exhaustion, lower your legs to the floor. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat for 1 to 3 more rounds.

To do flutter kicks, lie flat on the floor with legs fully extended. Then move legs quickly up and down, alternating sides.
To do flutter kicks, lie flat on the floor with legs fully extended. Then move legs quickly up and down, alternating sides.
Keep your abdominal muscles tight, pulling them down toward the floor.
Keep your abdominal muscles tight, pulling them down toward the floor.

How to Do Superman

  1. Lie flat on your stomach on the floor or a mat. Your legs should be fully extended behind you, and your arms should be fully extended in front of you. Both legs and arms should be shoulder width apart.
  2. Raise legs and arms approximately 6 to 15 inches off the ground (however much you feel comfortable with and without straining). Repeat slowly for approximately 10 to 15 repetitions.
  3. Once you've reached exhaustion, lower your legs and arms to the floor. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat for 1 to 3 more rounds.
  4. An alternative way to do this exercise is to raise the left arm and right leg, hold, and then switch sides.

To do the superman exercise, simultaneously raise your arms and legs about 6-15 inches off the floor.
To do the superman exercise, simultaneously raise your arms and legs about 6-15 inches off the floor.
Hold and repeat 10-15 times until exhausted.
Hold and repeat 10-15 times until exhausted.

Intermediate Transverse Abdominal Exercises

How to Do Bicycles for Flat Abs

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor or a mat. Your legs should be fully extended with one leg at a 90-degree angle and the other at a 45-degree angle. With your hands behind your head, lift your shoulders off the floor. Keep your neck in alignment with your spine (don't pull your neck forward).
  2. To begin the bicycle exercise, quickly move your legs as if you are pedaling. Alternate left and right, continually moving the 90-degree leg to a 45-degree and vice versa.
  3. Once you've reached exhaustion, lower your legs to the floor. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds and repeat for 1 to 3 more rounds.

To the the bicycle, clasp your hands behind your head and lift shoulders off the floor.
To the the bicycle, clasp your hands behind your head and lift shoulders off the floor.
Quickly more your legs as if you were pedaling. Alternate left and right until you are exhausted.
Quickly more your legs as if you were pedaling. Alternate left and right until you are exhausted.

How to Do Full Extensions with a Medicine Ball

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor or a mat. Your legs should be fully extended. Extend your arms behind your head while holding a medicine ball. Lift both your legs and your hands (with your medicine ball) off the ground approximately 6 inches. Make sure to keep your neck in alignment with your spine (don't pull your neck forward).
  2. To begin the full extension with medicine ball exercise, slowly bring your knees up to your chest in a crunch position. At the same, bring the medicine ball forward towards your knees while lifting your shoulders off the floor. Once your knees have met the ball, extend back to starting position while still keeping your feet and hands off the floor approximately 6 inches. Also, make sure you keep your abs tight or contracted throughout the exercise. This completes one repetition. Repeat until exhaustion.
  3. Once you've reached exhaustion, lower your legs to the floor. Release the ball and sit up. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds and repeat for 1 to 3 more rounds.

To do a full extension with a medicine ball, bring your knees up to your chest and the medicine ball up to your knees
To do a full extension with a medicine ball, bring your knees up to your chest and the medicine ball up to your knees
Once your knees have touched the ball, extend back to starting position and repeat, keeping your feet and hands about 6 inches off the floor.
Once your knees have touched the ball, extend back to starting position and repeat, keeping your feet and hands about 6 inches off the floor.

How to Do a Pushup to Plank Row

  1. Place a pair of dumbbells on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Make sure the dumbbells are light enough for you to pull (row) for approximately 10 to 15 repetitions. Going lighter to begin is always better as it is easier to adjust by increasing the weight.
  2. After the dumbbells are in place, assume a pushup position while placing your hands on the dumbbells, arms extended, and chest aligned with the dumbbells. Your feet should be extended behind you and approximately shoulder width apart (or slightly wider). Make sure your spine should be straight with no humps or dips.
  3. To begin the pushup to plank row exercise, stabilize your body by shifting your weight to the left side. Once you are stabilized, pull the right dumbbell with your right arm up and elbow towards the ceiling in a controlled manner. Also, keep your hips locked in place, pulling abs tight or contracted to stabilize your core. Slowly lower the dumbbell to the floor and stabilize your body. Repeat on the other side. With both arms extended and hands on dumbbells, do a normal pushup while still holding the dumbbells. This concludes one repetition. Continue until you have completed 10 to 15 repetitions.
  4. Once you've reached exhaustion, lower your knees to the floor and sit up. Rest for 1 to 2 minutes and repeat for 1 to 2 more rounds.

To do a pushup to plank row, assume a pushup position while placing your hands on the dumbbells, arms extended, and chest aligned with the dumbbells.
To do a pushup to plank row, assume a pushup position while placing your hands on the dumbbells, arms extended, and chest aligned with the dumbbells.
Shift your weight to the left side and pull the dumbbell in your hand up towards the ceiling in a controlled manner. Keep your hips locked in place, pulling abs tight.
Shift your weight to the left side and pull the dumbbell in your hand up towards the ceiling in a controlled manner. Keep your hips locked in place, pulling abs tight.
Repeat on the other side.
Repeat on the other side.

How to Do a Plank with Medicine Ball Knee-Tuck

  1. Place a medicine ball on the floor. Get into a plank or pushup position with feet near the medicine ball and arms extended.
  2. To begin the plank with medicine ball knee tuck exercise, put left foot on medicine ball while stabilizing your core by tightening or contracting your abs. Once you are stabilized, pull the right knee into your chest quickly and then extend the same leg back out towards the medicine ball. Repeat 10 to 15 times with the same leg. Then repeat this cycle with the left knee towards your chest and the right foot on the medicine ball.
  3. Once you've reached exhaustion, take your foot off the medicine ball and lower your knees to the floor and sit up. Rest for 1 to 2 minutes and repeat for 1 to 2 more rounds.

Start in plank position with the medicine ball under your shins.
Start in plank position with the medicine ball under your shins.
Put your right foot on the ball and stabilize yourself by tightening your abs.
Put your right foot on the ball and stabilize yourself by tightening your abs.
Pull your right knee into your chest quickly and then extend back, rolling on the ball.
Pull your right knee into your chest quickly and then extend back, rolling on the ball.

POLL: Abdominal Training

How often do you specifically train your abdominal muscles?

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Transverse Abdominal Exercises for All Levels

The Vacuum

The best ab exercise for transverse abdominal is the vacuum. It can be done by all levels and literally anywhere at anytime. You can do it while sitting up or lying down. It can be done in bed, at the office, or while driving your car. All you have to do is exhale as much as you can, suck your belly in as far as it will go, and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Make sure you are pulling your abs in as if they were meeting your back.

You may also kill two birds with one stone in this workout by exercising your pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that stop the urine flow) at the same time. Pull your pelvic floor muscles upward at the same time you are pulling your abdominal muscles inward.

This is one of the best ab exercises of all time. At first, you may only be able to do three repetitions. Build on that by doing them two to three times per day. Increase the repetitions weekly as well as the time for each repetition. Before you know it, you will have tight abs and a smaller waist.

To do a vacuum, pull your stomach muscles in toward your back. Hold for 15 seconds.
To do a vacuum, pull your stomach muscles in toward your back. Hold for 15 seconds.
Release and repeat.
Release and repeat.

Additional Notes

These exercises will strengthen your transverse abdominal muscle and should help slim your waistline. However, there are still two other factors that will help you melt body fat off your six-pack abs. Without them, you may have strong abs but you may not be able to see your full potential.

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Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Hitt 3 months ago

        "Holistic"; "organic"; "non-GMO"; well that's an instant loss of credibility.

      • profile image

        Dis-Allusions in the Carolinas 6 months ago

        Seriously? I just paid how much for a physical therapist to tell me this?? Then ask me the entire visit if it made sense to me, which further infuriated me. Never going back again, they lured me in with the cupping then the actual visit was this information you gave me for $0.00!!

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 8 months ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        You can do it if you put your mind to it, Matty! By the way, I love your name... it's my baby girl's name but spelled with an "ie" on the end. Have a blessed day! :)

      • profile image

        SueJ 9 months ago

        I love this information!! I discovered my poor t-abs after having so many pelvic floor issues. I went to the doctor and I was ignored multiple times! My libido left and I was constantly constipated. I was just miserable. My personality didn't allow me to lay down without a fight and information. I went to google and discovered sites like this one and other physical training websites. EVERYONE was talking about the T-abs and the function of stabilization. I'm on my way to recovery and am so happy to have found some more exercises I can do to strengthen them once I stretch them. Thanks so much!

      • profile image

        Victor 9 months ago

        Thank you Abby! Been wondering what the problem was. I've been doing crunches, crunches, and more crunches yet keeping that "spare tire" as people like to refer to it. I haven't done a superman or bicycles since my days in the Army but I'm about to start up again. Thank you again!

      • Matty Fernandez profile image

        Matty Fernandez 11 months ago from Passaic, NJ

        I am so lazy with my abs and it is where I need more. Hoping to get to it soon.

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 16 months ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thanks for inquiring, Georgina. The vacuums can be done with kegels at the same time and are great for prolapsed bladder. But, always check with your healthcare practitioner first as you don't want to make things worse.

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 16 months ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Hi Susan. Thanks for inquiring. I apologize for not responding sooner. I did not receive a notification with your question until now. I guess there was a quirk in the system. Some experts say that your abdominal muscles should only be worked every other day and to give them a rest like other muscles of the body. However, other experts say that it's perfectly fine to work your abs every day - especially since abs are part of the core and get used much more than other muscles. If you want to do abdominal exercises everyday, play it by ear. If you get too sore, then back off and give your abs some time to heal. ;)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 16 months ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Your welcome, Ajay! Thanks for reading. :)

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        Georgina 16 months ago

        Sounds good, but what if you have a prolapsed bladder. I think you cannot do some of these exercises in the beginning as it would make things worse!

      • profile image

        Susan 21 months ago

        Hi Abby,

        You said the Vacuums exercise should be done everyday, how about the other exercises, is it okay to do all of them everyday ( once or twice a day) of course other than the Vacuums.

        Thank you for your time.

      • profile image

        Ajay 23 months ago

        Thanx for sharing! Much appreciated. Regards

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 2 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Hi Hezekiah. Yes, there are many different exercises that will help a person lose body fat. However, showing "6-pack" abs is very difficult for most people. There is a misconception that certain exercises will do the trick. Eating a wholesome diet also contributes to being more fit. However, most women will rarely show 6 packs even at 15% body fat, and even more men won't show at that percentage. Most people on magazine covers that display 6 pack abs have gone through a process of dehydration so their abdominal muscles will show through. There are all kinds of methods for showing 6 packs, but most of them are impractical for everyday living such as dehydration to using Preparation H (yes, that's the hemorroid cream). Thank you for commenting.

      • Hezekiah profile image

        Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan

        There afe many different ways, however if you don't get your fat percentage down to at least 15% the abs simply won't show.

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you very much for your comment, thegiftsguy. :-)

      • thegiftsguy profile image

        thegiftsguy 3 years ago from Texas

        I really enjoyed this page and all it's helpful workout tips. Thanks

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you, hazeyhunter. Have a great day! :-)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Great! Let me know how you are doing. :-)

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        lyron Robinson 3 years ago from trenton new jersey

        Iam with you web health mart nice though Abby

      • Web Health Mart4U profile image

        Martha 3 years ago from South Carolina

        This makes me want to exercise now... thank you for the motivation:-)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Your very welcome, jagukaliketi. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Have a wonderful day! :-)

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        jagukaliketi 3 years ago

        thank you very much for sharing great article

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you, misterhollywood. I appreciate your comment. :-)

      • misterhollywood profile image

        John Hollywood 3 years ago from Hollywood, CA

        Excellent hub with lots practical information. Voted up!

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you for vote of confidence, snerfu. :-)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you for your comment, Be Like Water. This exercise is most definitely an advanced exercise for the advanced trainee, sometimes taking 4-6 months to get to the L-sit position properly. It is most definitely not an exercise for the beginner or intermediate trainee to follow, unless the exercise is improvised. :-)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Hi erorantes. Thank you for commenting. Your question on wrinkles is a new for me. Hmmm. I would personally start by checking my water intake and possibly applying a daily moisturizer... perhaps an oil such as almond or olive. Have a wonderful day! :-)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        I agree, Joe, that tanning does play a role in showing definition. :-)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you for your comment, Hezekiah. True to an extent! :-)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you, Joe! I appreciate your comment very much! :-)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you, lilmissmontana! :-)

      • snerfu profile image

        Vivian Sudhir 3 years ago from Madurai, India

        Hello Ms Campbell, here we have some top of the rack exercises that anyone who is serious about maintaining his or her health would find very useful. Wish you well with your subsequent articles.

      • Be Like Water profile image

        Dattaraj 3 years ago

        Great hub! Abby campbell, you have provided some very useful tips on working out the transverse abdominal muscles, although I think the L-sit works out these muscles much harder than any of the exercises mentioned above. Having said that, I would also like to add that not everyone, at first, have the strength to do a L-sit hold, so it's not a beginner exercise. I think one should attempt an easier variation first.

      • erorantes profile image

        Ana Maria Orantes 3 years ago from Miami Florida

        Dear miss abbycampbell, I like your hub on how to work out your abdominal muscles. It is a great article. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on what exercises are good to flat your stomach. I have a special request. Do you know how to banish. Wrinkles from the lower back muscles. I have wrinkles from working out? Thank you.

      • joedolphin88 profile image

        Joe 3 years ago from north miami FL

        I wrote a hub about tanning for definition, do you believe that plays a large role in the looking cut especially in the abdominal section. Or do you feel like it give you that extra boost?

      • joedolphin88 profile image

        Joe 3 years ago from north miami FL

        very true

      • Hezekiah profile image

        Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan

        Some nice new tips there, thanks. But the main thing people need to remember is the low body fat requirement. It doesn't many how strong your abs are, unless you get the ration down to at least 15%, nothing will show.

      • joedolphin88 profile image

        Joe 3 years ago from north miami FL

        powerful ab article, I've written a few but never quite this intricate. Great videos too

      • lilmissmontana profile image

        Erin Nichols 4 years ago from Montana

        Push up to plank row is one my favorites. I loved this hub. I think there are a lot of people (myself included in the past) that thought the only way to abs was through endless crunches. Ahhh the pain and disappointment when I learned otherwise. Abs are made in the kitchen =] Awesome hub! Voted up!

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you, krazzyK. I appreciate your comment. :-)

      • krazzyK profile image

        krazzyK 4 years ago from silicon city

        nice and interesting hub.. keep up the work

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        That's great, lilcupcake! I appreciate your comment and hope you continue to see results!

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Your welcome, Mike! Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you stopping by. I believe your focus is on the right track!

      • lilcupcake profile image

        lilcupcake 4 years ago

        I've been doing the extensions for a little bit now, and i must say they are awesome.

      • profile image

        Mike Cosme 4 years ago

        I've been trying to work out my core and abs from all directions. I wanted to focus specifically on my Transverse Abdominals. Since it is basically the fortress of your abdominals, I can not wait until this helps me bring my fitness to another level thank you!

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        That's awesome, CyclingFitness. TRX is a wonderful way to train, and I'm glad you're seeing great results. :-)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Absolutely, Hezekiah! Nutrition is very important. Most people, especially women, will have to actually get their body fat percentage below 12-14 percent to see "6-pack abs." However, most women just want to have a nice toned tummy and aren't crazy about the 6-pack. Men will most likely have to get their body fat percentage down even more so than women to see their 6-packs. No matter what the goal is in strengthening and flattening the abdominal regions, both exercise and nutrition are vital. :-)

      • CyclingFitness profile image

        Liam Hallam 4 years ago from Nottingham UK

        One of my favourite pieces of kit to hit the transverse abdominals is the TRX trainer at the moment. Super slow motion mountain climbers seem to really target the transverse abdominals and TRX Planks add a fantastic level of challenge when compared to a plank on the mats.

        I've swapped to a lot of functional specific work recently for both cycling and obstacle course racing and feel it's really making a difference to my core stability for competition.

      • Hezekiah profile image

        Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

        Very good range of abdominal exercises there. However what most people fail to understand is that, no matter how many sit ups or crunches you do, the abs will not show unless you get the body fat ration down to say around 15-18%. Therefor diet is an essential part of the training. Maybe 70%.

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        All mothers go through this, and it does take time for the separation to close. Targeting your transverse abdominal muscles will surely help whether you use the articles given in my hub here, or other targeting exercises.

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you, Avinesh. I appreciate you commenting. You'll have to stop by and let me know how you're doing. :-)

      • AvineshP profile image

        Avinesh Prahladi 4 years ago from Chandigarh

        This hub will surely help me in developing my abdominal muscles. Keep posting such informative hubs.

      • profile image

        Momoftwins 4 years ago

        I had twins 2 and 1/2 years ago and have a separation of my abdominus recti. What exercises are the best to begin closing that gap?

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Hi thelyricwriter. I bet that you do have strong abdominals. It's just sometimes difficult to see because the tummy area is where most of us carry the most body fat. With a good diet, your abdominals will show through. ;)

      • thelyricwriter profile image

        Richard Ricky Hale 4 years ago from West Virginia

        Nice article:) My abs have always been a problem area. I develop so quickly every where else, but not my abs. I will certainly bookmark this for later reference as it has several great workouts. Well done Abby, voted up, awesome, useful, interesting, and shared on FB.

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Good morning, Gypsy48. Thank you for commenting. I think the stomach is the main trouble area for most people, but it can definitely be worked on and be your greatest asset. Please do give some of these exercises a try. :-) Have a wonderful day!

      • Gypsy48 profile image

        Gypsy48 4 years ago

        Thanks for sharing these abdominal exercise tips. My stomach is my main trouble area. I will have to give these exercises a try. Voted up.

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Stan. I appreciate you! :-)

      • stanmurphy profile image

        Stan Murphy 4 years ago from Kansas

        Very nice and useful information. Getting our abs to conform to our desires can be very taxing. What you have outlined here will help many people.

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Hi James. Diet is very important in losing body fat. Unfortunately, your details given aren't enough information for me to determine why you're not losing belly fat (i.e., body stats, diet, exercise, medical history, etc.). You're more than welcome to consult with me via www.911BodyRescue.com. ;)

      • profile image

        James Blackburn 4 years ago

        Hey Abby, I'm 5'2 and i'm 130 lbs. I've been dieting for like 2 months eating a light breakfast and vegetables for lunch with a small portion of chicken. How do i lose the fat i have in my belly. I'm worried about that

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Hi Tanna. Thank you for following. Many mommies do get diastis recti from pregnancy as the left and right abdominal muscles pull apart with the stretching of the growing uterus (baby). Usually, this dissipates within the first year after childbirth. Rarely does it last longer than this. But, you can definitely do some of the abdominal exercises to correct this issue. The best exercise would be the "vacuums" that is here in the article. You can do them lying down or sitting... in the car when you're driving or just watching tv. Try to do several sets throughout the day. If your abdominal muscles are very weak, you may only be able to do two or three repetitions at a time. Try to do three to five sets, and do them three times per day. Each week, build by adding another rep until you reach 12 reps. Once you've reached 12 reps, add another set in. Good luck! :-)

        P.S. You may also see a Physiotherapist who can help you even more if your muscles are really weak and you don't see any change after adding in exercises.

      • profile image

        Tanna 4 years ago

        Abby,

        Do you have any advice for those of us mommies who have diastis recti? I stay away from ab-work because there are many exercises I simply cannot do. Two pregnancies (40 lbs gained each time- did get back to pre-preg weight between) and two c-sections have really wrecked my already week stomach. The "baby" is two now, so I'm not sure how effective splinting would be.

        I enjoy your articles. I'm ready to get to feeling stronger again!

        -Tanna

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you for stopping by, erorantes. I appreciate your comment. Let me know how you like the exercises. ;)

      • erorantes profile image

        Ana Maria Orantes 4 years ago from Miami Florida

        Thank you miss Abby for the article. I'm going to try some of your exercises.

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you for stopping by, Vivian. I appreciate you! :-)

      • Vivian-tmt-hnp profile image

        Vivian-tmt-hnp 4 years ago from USA.

        3:28pm Thursday 6 June 2013

        Wow! Your article is so useful. I'll do it. Thank you.

        Vivian

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you for your comment, Heather. We sometimes forget about the transverse abdominals because they are underneath everything else. The vacuums are the best exercise for pulling everything in and tight. Diet is also important. Make sure you're getting in plenty of veggies (green and colorful) with your protein. ;)

      • Abby Campbell profile image
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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Hi ladydeonne. Thanks for stopping by. I hope the transverse exercises help you. Just remember that there is a difference between body fat and loose skin. Sometimes women will have loose tummy skin and think it's body fat after having babies. Though this is the most difficult place to lose for most people, especially women. Just be consistent and you'll see results. :-)

      • HeatherH104 profile image

        HeatherH104 4 years ago from USA

        Thank you for sharing this info. I've not been able to lose the pouch that appeared after the birth of my last child 3 yrs ago. I've been able to lose weight everywhere else and feel self conscious in shirts that aren't a little baggy (not good). I'm going to give these exercises a try. I love the idea of sucking in the stomach exercise. It's something I can do periodically throughout the day when doing the other exercises aren't possible.

        Thanks again for the great info!

      • ladydeonne profile image

        Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

        Abby,

        I am thrilled to have found your hubs. I am going to start using your ab exercises on today. I am 4.5 feet and weigh 123. The problem is that I have a budge in my stomach area that I have not been able to get rid of via eating less or exercise. I'm hoping these exercises will do the trick. My healthy and desired weight is 115. Thanks!

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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Thank you so much, Lastheart. I really appreciate your comment. It's great to be a part of this body. ;)

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        Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        I didn't realize your work hours fluctuate so much, Kathryn. Well, at least you have more time now... no excuses now. ;) LOL. I like trying new exercise too as it keeps me challenged and breaks up the monotony. Take my book out again and start building on your habits. Before you know it, you'll have them downpat and even too many hours of work won't break your consistency. You'll lose 10 pounds in no time at all! :-) Thanks for commenting.

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        Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borik√©n the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

        Very useful and interesting hub. You have made a good contribution to our bodies.

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        Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

        I need to get back to exercising my abs. They still have definition, but I am always amazed at how great they look once I start working them out regularly.

        As far as weight loss, I only desire another 10 pounds or so, and if I step up my exercise just a bit, and focus on a healthy diet, I should be able to knock off the last few pounds. Right now my part time job is down to only 15-25 hours per week, so I have plenty of time (and no "good" excuses to keep me from getting it done). I think I am going to take your book out again, and resume the diet based on it. I was making progress before I started my job!

        Thanks for another fantastic and useful article. I will be referring back to this. I have exercises I usually do for my abs (including the Vacuum, although I didn't know it was called that), but I like trying out new exercises.

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