Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip
The Transver Abdominis and What it Does for You (March 20, 2007)

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In my gym classes I always hear the instructor mentioning the transverse abdominis. Exactly what part of the abdominals is it? Iím ashamed to ask. (Aimee, Westbury)

The TVE has become a minor celebrity in the gym and itís rise to fame is associated with the CORE training programs used in all gyms today.

This muscle is the deepest abdominal muscle. It runs horizontally across your midsection. It wraps around your waist like a corset or girdle and pulls your abdominal wall in while stabilizing your spine. When your abdomen bulges out, you have lost the support of your transverse abdominis. You activate this muscle by drawing your belly button toward your spine. Think of a spot an inch or two below your belly button. To image this muscle envision yourself tightening a belt around your lower abdominal area, or hollow and scoop out your lower belly.

I hope you now understand what the TVA muscle is and how important it is to activate and stabilize your core muscles to support your spine and trunk. This is the center of your power.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on