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Your Transversus Abdominus (TrA) During Pregnancy - Pulse Physiotherapy and Pilates

What is your TrA?

The TrA is the main abdominal muscle which supports both the weight of the baby and your spine. The TrA wraps around your stomach like a corset, inserting into a thick fascia at the back of your spine. The TrA is the main muscle you ‘push’ with during labour, so it is vital to improve and maintain it’s strength. It also assists in maintaining stability and closure of the pelvis both pre and post-natally. When activated, it gently increases the local stability of your lower back and provides support to your discs, joints ligaments and fascia. It should be active in nearly every movement you do! Correctly activating this muscle is an important component to your Pilates routine. Traditional forms of stomach exercises, which encourage abdominal bracing, do not effectively activate this muscle sling.

We highly recommend that each client receive physiotherapy guided instruction on how to activate this muscle sling to ensure correct and efficient activation patterns. It is easy to activate this muscle incorrectly. This information sheet does not replace physiotherapy instruction and is primarily a tool for improving client education and awareness.

Additional note: Abdominal Muscle Separation As your baby grows, and your stomach muscles stretch, the rectus abdominus muscle (your six pack muscle) separates. It is important whilst pregnant not to perform strong abdominal curl up type exercises and to have your abdominal separation thoroughly assessed post-natally before you begin exercising.

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