Horse Stance TVA Activation

For the purpose of training the abdominal muscles we need to separate them into two types:

  • Inner Unit Muscles - these stabilize the spine, but provide little or no movement to the body. The TVA is one of the Inner Unit Muscles.
  • Outer Unit Muscles - these move the body. Although they can provide some stabilization to the spine this is not what they are designed for.

The outer until muscles can become dominant, whilst the inner unit muscles become lazy and do very little. This results in movement without sufficient stability.

To train the Inner Unit Muscles using a 4 Point Posture

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

  • It is important to be able to 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, (and sometimes this needs practice!) take a good, deep breath in and out - finish breathing out all the way before activating the TVA.
  • Slowly and gently draw the belly button towards the spine, then start breathing again.
  • Hold the belly button in and continue to breathe for 10 seconds before releasing.

Repeat up to 6 times. Once you are able to hold your belly in for 10 seconds at a time, increase the time held gradually until you can hold for up to 3 minutes - in good posture! You will only need to do one repetition if you can hold for a full 3 minutes.