Horse Stance Decompression

This exercise follows on from the 4 point TVA activation and increases the activity of the stabilizer muscles - Transversus abdominis, diaphragm, pelvic floor and very importantly, the multifidus. This exercise will also strengthen the shoulder girdle, arms, neck and back if performed correctly and is an essential stepping stone to all other 4 point exercises.

4 Point Posture - hands should be placed directly under shoulders, knees under hips. The natural curves of the spine should be maintained at all times.

TVA Activation

Correct set up

  • Each hand and knee should share your bodyweight equally.
  • Relax the abdominal muscles. The belly should drop towards the floor and the feeling of the belly hanging down should be felt.
  • Once this has been achieved, take a good, deep breath in and out - finish breathing out all the way before slowly and gently drawing in the lower belly, then start breathing again.
  • Hold the lower belly in and continue to breathe for the duration of the exercise - your breathing may be a bit shallower than usual when you first start performing this exercise.

Performing the Exercise

  • Remove as much pressure from the right hand and the left knee slowly without taking them off the floor and without moving any part of your body. Hold for about 3 seconds and build up gradually over time to 10 seconds on each repetition.
  • Bring your weight evenly back onto all hands and knees then repeat on the other diagonal - keep alternating and maintain awareness of your body remaining still.

If you are struggling to perform the exercise in perfect form then stop and rest until you can resume. I suggest performing from 6 to 20 reps - build up gradually over time.