The Most Powerful Transverse Abdominis Exercises

If you’re trying to get strong abs, it is essential to work out every muscle in your core.

Many people know their rectus abdominis, sometimes referred to as six pack. Still, many do not know about a larger abdominal muscle, the transverse abdominis.

The strength of this muscle is essential for anyone who wants to build an energized core, lessen back pain and make day-to-day tasks easier.

Despite its importance, most ab exercises concentrate on other abdominal muscles and do not effectively activate your transverse abdominis muscle. Therefore, focusing on exercises that focus on the muscle and build it up could assist in building a strong core.

This article delves into the structure and purpose of the transverse abdominis. It provides its advantages and offers 9 powerful exercises that target the area.

What Is The Transverse Abdominis?

When we think of exercising the “abs,” we usually concentrate on strengthening the muscles in the abdominal rectus muscles. This muscle is the typical “six-pack abdominals” that focus on the fitness industry.

Since the rectus abdominals are the most well-known abdominal muscle, it is often overlooked by other abdominal muscles like those with transverse abdominis.

The transverse abdominis can be found on the lateral side of the abdominal wall. It is believed to be the deepest muscle in the “core.”

The transverse abdominis serves many functions, including flattening stomachs and supporting our internal system’s organs. Its primary function is to stabilize the spine and pelvis.

This is why it’s been described as the body’s own natural belt for lifting.

Transverse Abdominis Function

The transverse abdominal muscle is an important muscle of the core. It provides stability to the pelvis and spine to ensure that the legs’ movement is made possible by stabilizing the torso and ensuring an abdominal muscle’s tension. The muscle also protects internal organs and keeps them in their place. It is sometimes referred to in the “corset muscles” context. It is the transverse abdominis muscle that supports the core of our body by wrapping itself around our sides. Transverse rotation is a regular part of our daily lives as we constantly twist and turn A healthy and strong transverse abdominis is essential.

Transverse Abdominis Exercises Benefits

Transverse Abdominis Exercises For Stronger Core

The transverse abdominis performs an essential role in all movements in sports. We must work on this neglected muscle due to a variety of reasons.

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#1 Prevention Of Injuries

Very prevalent signs of a weak transverse abdominis muscle are lower back pain. A slouching spine can cause various issues, including poor posture and even lower back injuries.

In the end, it’s vital to maintain stability and support for our spine. When performing weight-bearing exercises, such as deadlifts with barbells, a strong transverse abdominis muscle can support our lower back and help avoid injury and decrease back pain overall.

#2 Better Athletic Performance

The performance of athletes in all sports is dependent on mobility and coordination. Before moving into any sport, we should strengthen our core muscles to ensure stability. We all know that the transverse abdominis muscles play an important role in stabilizing the abdomen area.

Thus, strengthening the transverse abdominis can aid in becoming stronger and stronger, which will give us the edge we need over our competitors.

#3 Improved Aesthetics

In reality, many people do use the concept of the appearance of our bodies as an incentive for exercising. While strengthening the transverse abdominis muscles isn’t going to help build that “six six-pack abs” you’ve always wanted, it will increase our overall body.

A more robust transverse abdominis muscle can aid us in lifting heavier weights, performing more planks for longer durations, and walking with more posture. These small changes can lead to huge achievements in our goals for aesthetics.

The Most Powerful Transverse Abdominis Exercises

#1 Alternating Knee Raise

The alternating knee is an excellent exercise that will allow you to feel your transverse abdominis muscles working.


  • Relax on your back and extend your legs straight in front of you.
  • Insert your belly button, then raise your legs and head from the floor.


  1. Keep your core engaged by bringing one knee to your chest while extending your other leg.
  2. Then, slowly straighten the bent knee and place the other leg into your chest.
  3. Continue to alternate legs, and then repeat!

#2 Russian Twists

Russian twists can activate your transverse abdominis and obliques too.


  • When you are standing upright, Cross your legs and ensure that your feet are off the ground.


  1. Bring your navel in, Then twist your navel to the opposite side and reach the ground using both hands.
  2. Turn quickly towards the opposite side and repeat the motion.

#3 Dead Bug

Dead bug refers to a minor variation of the knee that is alternating in.


  • Relax on your back and rest your head on the floor.
  • Bring your knees to 90 degrees bent and point your hands straight towards the sky.


  1. Keep your core engaged and your backbone flat to the earth; gently stretch one leg straight out.
  2. Stop for a few seconds and then return to your starting point.
  3. Continue to alternate legs, and then repeat!

#4 Donkey Kick

Donkey kicks work both your transverse abdominis as well as your glutes.


  • Take a position on your feet with your hands placed directly beneath your shoulders.


  1. Hold your abs straight and then extend your leg back to the maximum extent possible.
  2. squeeze your glutes, then slowly return to your beginning position.
  3. Change legs and repeat!
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#5 Heel Taps

A heel tap can be an easy exercise that targets the transverse abdominis.


  • Lay on your back, your head down and your arms at your sides.
  • Bring your legs up in the air, then push your belly button toward your spine.


  1. Begin to slowly lower your leg until your heel is on the ground.
  2. Then, bring the leg to its starting position, and then repeat the same movement using the other leg.
  3. Keep switching legs, and then repeat!

#6 Leg Raises

Leg raises are a traditional yet effective lower abdominal workout.


  • Lay on your back and keep your arms close to your sides.
  • Invigorate your abs by pressing your lower back to the ground.


  1. Maintaining the legs in a straight line and joining and lifting your legs until your hips begin to lift from the floor.
  2. Return to the starting point in a controlled manner.
  3. Repeat!

#7 Plank Reach

The plank is intensive testing of your strength and your core’s stability and transverse abdominis.


  • Start with a forearm plank while keeping your back straight. Elbows under your shoulders and your core firmly engaged.


  1. Reach to the front by using just one hand.
  2. Take a break for a second before returning back to plank posture.
  3. Change arms and repeat!

#8 Scissor Kicks

Scissor kicks strengthen your transverse abdominis and the lower part of your abdominis rectus.


  • Lie on your back and keep your arms at your sides.
  • Pull your belly button towards your spine and keep your lower back straight against the ground.


  1. Lift your legs slightly off the ground, then move your right foot to the left.
  2. After that, you should separate the feet and cross one foot on the right.
  3. Continue to repeat the “scissor” move!

#9 Plank Pulses

Plank pulses effectively activate the transverse abdominis and the middle region that is your abdominis rectus.


  • Start with a forearm plank by keeping your spine straight. Place your elbows under your shoulders and your core engaged.


  1. Contract your abs, pressing your butt towards the sky, and then shift your weight slightly to the back.
  2. Then slowly return to the starting point.
  3. Repeat!

What Are The Best Ways To Activate The Transverse Abdominis?

The transverse abdominis muscles are activated in two primary techniques bracing the abdominals and pulling your belly button toward your spine.

For example, we must be sure to brace our abs before any major lifting. When you squat before squatting, you should contact your abs isometrically in preparation for the motion. This sensation of “bracing” triggers your transverse abdominis muscles.

Additionally, pulling the navel towards the spine is a well-known technique in pilates and other fundamental strengthening methods. To feel the transverse abdominis muscles contract lying on your back, slowly move your belly button toward your spine and make your abdomen appear smaller than it normally is.

This kind of exercise is extremely beneficial for a variety of ab exercises.

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What Activities Work The Transverse Abdominis?

The Best Transverse Abdominis Exercises For Stronger Core

The transverse abdominis muscles can be trained in various ways, including breathing exercises and transverse abdominis exercises. Core exercises, and even leg exercises that challenge the core. A strong core muscle can assist in preventing injuries and help your appearance better and help you perform better.

How Can You Tell Whether You Have An Weak Transverse Abdominis?

A strong core will allow you to do your everyday activities without the chance of injuries. To assess the strength of your core, it is possible to do a few self-tests that are easy to determine whether you transverse abdominis. Do certain exercises such as leg raises or glute bridges. Suppose you feel any pain or discomfort in the lower back region. In that case, you could be suffering from weak transverse abdominis muscles.

Here are four indications that your core could be weak

  • It is important to utilize your hands or arms to assist in getting up from a bed or chair
  • While walking, you will sway around
  • Keep your breath in a while doing the core exercises.
  • Your lower back is arched when you are standing or walking

Why You Should Have Strong Transverse Abdominis?

Powerful Transverse Abdominis Exercises For Stronger Core

The densest layer of abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis muscle, plays an important role in stopping the body from moving incorrectly. It is essential to have an transverse abdominis that is strong because when the muscle is weak, it cannot support the spine and pelvis and can result in lower back discomfort. Maintaining the pelvis level in its neutral place and your lumbar spine well-supported by a strong transverse abdominis muscle can stop back discomfort.

Last Words

Also known for its “corset” muscle, transverse abdominis is located around your abdomen. It is essential in stabilizing and protecting your spine.

A strong transverse abdominis could help relieve lower back pain and help prevent injuries. It can possibly make your waist appear smaller.

In exercises that target the transverse abdominis muscle, squeeze your lower abdomen, and be aware of your breathing. In the time, it will be much easier to engage this muscle.

The next time your workout calls you to work your core muscles, don’t forget your transverse abdominis.


  • Todd Miller

    Todd Miller is a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has been a CrossFit athlete and coach for over 8 years, and he is passionate about helping people achieve their fitness goals and improve their overall health and wellness. As an author at FitGAG, Todd shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics related to CrossFit, including functional fitness movements, Olympic weightlifting, and overall health and wellness. He believes that CrossFit is a fun and effective way to improve overall fitness and well-being, and he strives to inspire his readers to incorporate CrossFit into their fitness routines. Through his articles, Todd aims to provide his readers with practical tips and strategies for optimizing their performance and achieving their fitness goals.

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