The affects of the transverse abdominis : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)
There is a new theory developing into the strength and conditioning world that the transverse abdominis (TA) may have much more importance than what was once thought. This small, stabilizing muscle that helps in compressing the abdomen may also help in injury prevention, posture, and sport performance. Over a few studies, the TA was shown to improve posture to a more upright position when strengthened. Also, the TA is used in many rehabilitation programs in the efforts of relieving low back pain. Studies, progressing from this thought are suggesting that if the TA is stronger as opposed to weaker in individuals, it could also help reduce injuries in the hip, or knee, or even shoulder, since everything within our skeleton is connected, and if one part if weak, then the whole body can suffer for this weakness.As far as performance enhancement studies done so far have not found any significant changes or improvements in performance. Although studies haven't found significant changes, questions still remain: If an athlete is thoroughly weak in their TA, wouldn't strengthening the TA help in the aspect of improved stability and ability to resist the abdomen? Wouldn't this improved stability and ability to resist abdominal forces be beneficial, especially in sports, which require a strong core? With questions similar to these mentioned previously, there are more studies still being conducted, looking at the TA, and the benefit of sport enhancement. However, even with the TA studies being conducted, if an athlete is thoroughly weak in their TA, strengthening that muscle will help them in the aspect of improved stability and ability to resist forces against the abdomen. For certain sports this can be very beneficial.As more studies are published, and strength coaches continually research ways to prevent injuries and improve performance, we may see strength coaches incorporating TA exercises in strength programs around the country.