Welcome to Week 1 of the Get Down to the Core Challenge! This week’s exercises focus on strengthening the TrA—the transverse abdominis—which is the deepest muscle in your stomach. While crunches engage your outer core muscles, having a strong TrA muscle will support the body in motion and is critical for living a pain-free life.
The TrA muscle runs horizontally from hip bone to hip bone. Activate it by inhaling through the nose and on the exhale, think of bringing the hip bones closer to meet in the middle of your body.
Lie flat on your back, with knees bent, hip distance apart and feet flat on the floor. Place your fingers on the inside of your pelvic bones and find your core muscles. On your next exhale, lift one knee up to 90 degrees, foot flexed. Lift the other knee to match. Lower one knee, then the other knee. Repeat on each side.
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and palms facing the ceiling. Chin should be in a neutral position. Engage your core and start to press your pelvis toward you pressing your low back into the mat. Hold for a second then start to relax and tilt your pelvis away from you. Hold for a second and repeat.
To view videos for each of these exercises or to sign up for the Get Down to the Core Challenge, please visit getdowntothecore.com.