Considered by many athletes a significant core component, the Transverse Abdominis is the innermost flat muscle, a layer of both the side and front abdominal walls. Situated directly below the internal oblique muscle, the ‘TVA’ as it is often called, is built of fleshy fibres. It starts from the inner edge of the iliac crest, the inner flats of each of the lower six ribs, and also from the thoracolumbar fascia, where it runs across to insertions at the crest point of the pubis and pectineal lines, forming the aponeurotic falx tendon.
The TVA is well known as the ‘corset muscle’ for its ability to pull in protruding abdomen. While there are some who believe working out the Rectus Abdominis alone will result in a flat belly, that isn’t altogether true. The TVA, through tangential training, is directly involved. Otherwise, the Transverse Abdominis is crucial to back and torso health. A necessity for childbirth, this muscle provides pelvic and thoracic stability by compressing the ribs and viscera. The TVA is controlled by the lower intercostal nerves.