STUDIO NEWS - TA Explained

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What is the TA?
TA refers to the Transversus Abdominus. If you have any knowledge of Latin, you understand that it means to transverse or go across the abdomen. It is the deepest of abdominal muscles & runs throughout the abdomen. I’ve included 2 photos since each source portrays it a little differently to give you an idea of how large this muscle is. It is considered a stabilizer for the lumbopelvic (lower back/pelvis) region of the body, as well as the abdominal contents (organs). If you’ve practiced Pilates with me, you will remember that this muscle should be working all your waking hours to allow you to move in balance, whether walking, running, biking, whatever activity causes movement in your body. It is also extremely important as you sit, stand still or lie down in exercise. Without lightly engaging it, you will rely on other muscles to do its work, & they then become over-fired, over-worked. A good case in point is hip flexors. Hip flexors also stabilize and will easily take over the work of the TA if it doesn’t fire properly. The end result is tight hip flexors, a tightness that you never seem to be rid of.
I first heard about the Transversus Abdominus several years during a workshop at a fitness conference. The presenter did not refer to it as the TA or Transversus Abdominus, but I later understood that’s what he was talking about. I didn’t really learn about the TA until I began my Pilates training. Core muscles are essential to everyday life and Pilates. I guess that’s why we consider it functional exercise.
A good way to know how it feels to use the TA is to pull your navel lightly toward your spine. The optimum word here is lightly – on a scale of 1 – 10, about 2 or 3. Anything stronger that that will interfere with the firing of the other abdominal muscles.
I cannot stress the importance of this muscle enough. It is often the “core” when core abdominals are referred to. And as we age, strength in this muscle becomes more & more important because of the stabilization & balance that it provides us.


Why the TA is Important to a Bicyclist
This article explains why a strong TA is important to a bicyclist, or any other athletic, active person.

Newsletter Archive
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Video Highlight - Back Rowing Preps on the Tower
The first few exercises in this series, while they work the lats & backs of the shoulders, rely on the TA to allow you to sit in an upright position with your spine stacked. Once again, another example of using your abs rather than your hip flexors to stabilize your body.
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Back Rowing Preps on the Tower
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