Exercises for the transverse abdominal muscle

The transverse abdominal muscle or also known as transverse abdominals is usually one of the most forgotten muscles in the middle zone.

It is the transverse abdominal muscle that surrounds the waist. The work of the transverse abdominal muscle is closely related to achieving a correct and upright posture.

Unlike the rectus abdominis muscle, the transverse abdominal muscle is located in the anterior and lateral part of the abdomen.

Below you will find an exercise routine to strengthen and activate the transverse abdominis muscle.

What is the transverse abdominal muscle?

The transversus abdominis is a muscle that is part of the abdominal cavity. Together with the oblique abdominal muscles, they form a ring around the waist.

From an anatomical point of view, the transverse abdominal muscles form the deepest layer of the abdomen. The transverse abdominal muscle squeezes the ribs and creates support for the internal organs.

This muscle group assumes up to 40% of the vertical load of the spine, and therefore one of its primary functions is to improve posture.

Most posture improvement exercises strengthen the transverse abdominal and internal abdominal muscles. In addition, the transverse abdominal muscle can be worked with swimming, aerobics, and the abdominal vacuum.

// The transverse abdominal muscles are:

  • A muscle group that is part of the deep layer of the abdomen
  • The fibers are arranged horizontally.
  • Its function is to support the organs and posture.

Exercises for the transverse abdominal muscle

A weak transverse abdominal muscle is a typical problem for people who spend most of the day sitting. The presence of fat in the abdominal region also worsens the tone of the internal muscles as it stretches them.

To strengthen the transverse abdominal muscles, you need to regularly work the middle zone and perform various dynamic and static exercises. The activities do not need special equipment so you can do them at home.

Below is a set of exercises to work the transverse abdominal muscle.

  1. Abdominal planks

The abdominal planks are a classic exercise to work the entire middle zone; include it at the beginning of the routine to perform the transverse abs as a warm-up.

  1. Bicycle abs

Doing bicycle crunches allows you to work the obliques and transverses simultaneously. Also, this is one of the valuable exercises to improve coordination.

  1. Leg raises

Leg raises are one of the few exercises that allow you to target your transverse abs precisely. When climbing, make sure you don’t drift to the sides.

  1. Side crunches with fitball

The fitness ball or football can also work the transverse abs. In addition, secondarily, it allows the working of the muscles and the back area of ​​the legs.

  1. Dynamic plates with fitball

The dynamic plates are an advanced-level transverse abdominal exercise. If you don’t have a football at home, you can use a table and perform this exercise in static mode.

  1. Crunches with raised legs

Crunches are a classic abdominal exercise. Raising the legs 90 degrees allows the transverse abdominal muscles to work secondarily.

  1. Stretches

At the end of the transverse abs routine, always stretch. The easiest way is the cobra pose.

How to work the transverse abs?

Since the transverse muscles are located in the anterior abdomen, their participation during exercises is significantly lower than that of the rectus and oblique abdominal muscles.

To fully engage the transverse abdominal muscles, it is necessary to develop the neuromuscular connection. This will allow improving the results of the exercises.

In addition, to strengthen the transverse abdominal muscle, it is essential to rest well and complement the routines with adequate nutrition.

To strengthen weak abdominal muscles, start with 2-3 dynamic and 2-3 static exercises per week. The main emphasis of the training should not be counting the repetitions but on the ability to consciously tighten the transverse muscle of the abdomen.

Benefits of transverse abdominal exercises

A weak and stretched transverse muscle causes several postural disorders. The abdomen becomes flaccid, and the angle of inclination of the pelvis changes; all this causes the development of pain in the lower back.

If you already experience back pain, exercises for the transverse abdominal muscles may be contraindicated.

The benefits of transverse abdominal exercises are:

  • Improve posture
  • Greater strength in the abdomen
  • Integral and proportional work of the middle zone
  • Prevent injuries and lower back pain


  • The transverse abdominal muscle is one of the largest in the abdomen. Its function is to surround the waist and create support for the internal organs.
  • This muscle participates little in most of the classic exercises for abdominals; therefore, it is necessary to learn to feel it for its training.
  • Both static exercises (abdominal planks and abdominal vacuum) and exercises with fit balls and leg lift effectively work for this muscle group.


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