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Because your core consists of several different muscle groups, there is no single exercise – like crunches on a stability ball – that can possibly train all muscles in your core at once. In order to train your core muscles you need to follow a specific core training programme that strengthens and stretches right muscles to provide optimum balance in YOUR body.
Research has found that your TVA (Transversus Abdominis) activates fractionally before any other muscle when a movement of an extremity is made (e.g. you wave to your friend) – but if this doesn’t happen, your spine is exposed and your risk of injury is greatly increased.
A simple test to determine whether your TVA fires correctly or not is this… 1) Standing up straight, place your finger in your navel 2) Then bend over to pretend you are picking something up from floor – or actually pick something up from floor in front of you.
What happens to your finger, does it: - Stay where it is? - Move inwards closer to your spine? - Move out away from your spine?
Email me at email@example.com with your answer and I’ll let you know what should happen and what to do if it doesn’t!
Lea Woodward is a fully qualified personal trainer in the UK. She runs activOne, a health & fitness services provider of personal training, nutrition & diet advice and massage therapy in Nottingham, England.