Meet Your T.A. & Other Handy OIP tips
Hi TTapp Mommies! Here is a post from the general forums that I thought I would include here for you all--parts of it were in response to an email regarding diastasis rectis. Remember, don't do OIP if you are currently pregnant, you will have plenty of time to do it when you aren't!!! Give it a read through though because it has some info that will make the rest of your T-Tapp practice a little more effective.
Smooches to all of you!!!
I feel like I need to give a little anatomy lesson on what is going on inside. We all have three sets of abdominal muscles--the rectus abdominus, the obliques, and the transverse. The rectus abdominus is the outer most muscle and it runs up and down from the sternum to the pubic bones. It has two halves, known as recti, that are normally about a quarter of an inch apart and are joined together by a fibrous piece of tissue called the linegra alba. The linegra alba, or white line, is stretchy, kind of like a rubber band. The hormone that prepares a woman for labor by relaxing the joints and muscles also affects the linea alba and makes it stretch more easily. As the muscles separate, the linegra alba stretches sideways and becomes thinner, like a piece of plastic wrap covering your organs. This separation is called diastasis.
The other sets muscles, the internal and external obliques, are the middle layer of the abs. The obliques are the muscles that enable you to flex your trunk and turn from side to side. Since the obliques are attached to the recti, doing forward crossover oblique exercises will make the diastasis bigger so avoid cross-over situps while rehabbing your tummy!
Finally, the transverse muscle, (the innermost abdominal muscle) goes straight around the abdomen and back like a corset. It attaches to the bottom six ribs and the top of the muscle goes behind the recti and the bottom of the muscle goes in front of the recti. You will want to get to know your transverse muscle well--it will be come your best friend in the process of rehabbing your mummy tummy! More on that later though.
The transverse abdominus is the muscle that we use to push babies out, to get up, to lie down, and to support our backs. It is also the secret to developing a strong core and to rehabbing the tummy. The best part about working your transverse is that you are actually working at least four muscle groups at the same time!!! Talk about working smarter, not harder! Besides the transverse, you also work the recti in front, the lumbar multifidius (the deepest muscles in the back which cover the spinal column in your lower back), and the pelvic floor muscles such as the pubococcygeus.
Okay, so now we have a basic understanding of the transverse abdominus and why it is so important. Here is the really great news: every single TTapp move, whether standing or on the floor can work your transverse abs if you do it correctly!!! But first, you have to get in touch with it so you can learn how to contract it properly. Organs in Place/Half Frogs are the best exercise to help rehab the trans. abs., but before you learn that, here is something you can use effectively NOW, to help you get accustomed to recruiting it. This will help you fire it up for the entire TTapp workout, even when standing!
Meet your Transverse Abdominus:
1. Lie down on your back on a firm surface, knees bent, feet flat on floor, hips width apart.
2. Place a small folded towel under the small of your back, so that the natural curve through the lumbar region feels supported; it should feel comfortable.
3. Take in a deep breath, relaxing the belly open as you do so. Don't be shy, just let it all hang out. After all, no one is there to see you, and we are all friends, anyway! Now place your fingers just below your bellybutton and push in. Cough hard--did you feel that contraction under your fingers? That was your transverse abdominus! Do it several times if you have to too really get a feeling for it. After you have found it, don't worry about the hands anymo
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