Transverse Abdominis Activation on Walking and Running Speeds

In the realm of fitness and athletic performance, optimizing movement efficiency is key to achieving peak results. Whether you're a seasoned runner or just starting out on your fitness journey, understanding how to engage your core effectively can make a significant difference in your performance.

The transverse abdominis (TvA) is a deep-lying muscle that wraps around the abdomen like a corset, providing stability and support to the spine and pelvis. Unlike other core muscles that primarily focus on movement, the TvA's main function is to provide stability and maintain intra-abdominal pressure. When activated properly, it acts as a natural girdle, helping to keep your torso stable and your movements efficient.

One simple yet effective way to activate your TvA is by pulling your belly button towards your spine before engaging in any exercise, especially walking or running. This action helps to recruit the deep core muscles, including the TvA, and gets them ready for activity. When your TvA is activated, it helps your body move efficiently.

In addition to activating the TvA, it's essential to integrate other stabilizing muscles, such as the shoulder blade stabilizers and hip stabilizers, into your movement patterns. These muscles work together with the TvA to maintain proper alignment and move you forward. When your core and hip stabilizers are functioning optimally, you'll notice a smoother and more fluid gait moving forward instead of wasting energy moving side to side.  

Improving your walking and running speed isn't just about increasing your cardio capacity or building leg strength. It's also about maximizing the efficiency of your movement patterns, starting from the core. By focusing on transverse abdominis activation and integrating other stabilizing muscles into your routine, you can unlock a whole new level of performance. Start incorporating these tips into your workouts today and experience the difference for yourself!


Hu H, Meijer OG, Hodges PW, et al. Control of the lateral abdominal muscles during walking. Hum Mov Sci. 2012;31(4):880-896. doi:10.1016/j.humov.2011.09.002

Noguchi S, Jiroumaru T, Michio W, et al. Relationship between gait speed and trunk muscles in frail elderly individuals. J Phys Ther Sci. 2021;33(5):384-387. doi:10.1589/jpts.33.384

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