Sucking It In

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frogbyte
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Post by frogbyte » Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:33 pm

I never implied that TA and core were interchangeable, but TA is certainly a subset of core. The average slouching office worker I see has little activation in any of their core, and that includes the TA.

As I tried to make it clear in the wording of my TA/core comments, they were a reflection of my experience and observations. If there's something wrong regarding the original advice about planks or anything else here, I would appreciate KPj correcting the record, since he's clearly further along in the fitness world.

(Ironman, please leave the pointless personal attacks out of this conversation so we can stick to getting at the best possible information.)

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Post by Ironman » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:19 pm

frogbyte wrote:I never implied that TA and core were interchangeable, but TA is certainly a subset of core. The average slouching office worker I see has little activation in any of their core, and that includes the TA.

As I tried to make it clear in the wording of my TA/core comments, they were a reflection of my experience and observations. If there's something wrong regarding the original advice about planks or anything else here, I would appreciate KPj correcting the record, since he's clearly further along in the fitness world.

(Ironman, please leave the pointless personal attacks out of this conversation so we can stick to getting at the best possible information.)

That's very ironic considering you are frequently the source of the worst possible information.

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Post by frogbyte » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:46 pm

Lovely, continue to attack me rather than add anything useful to the topic.

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Post by KPj » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:45 am

frogbyte wrote:Now I'm confused as to what you're getting at. I'm assuming that if the OP's or anyone's belly is sticking out, his TA is not contracted. Are you saying it's possible to stick your belly out with your TA being contracted?
The TVA 'activates' slightly in advance of any limb movement. Also, Dr Stuart McGill has shown that you get a lot of TVA activation via 'bracing' which is almost the opposite of 'drawing in'.
frogbyte wrote: I never implied that TA and core were interchangeable
It was your wording. You start off talking about the TA being relaxed and finish off talking about the core with no clear distinction between the two. It's like when people talk about working their 'core' but what they really mean is, they're doing sit ups.
frogbyte wrote: The average slouching office worker I see has little activation in any of their core, and that includes the TA.
I'm having these thoughts of you scanning office workers with 'Terminator' like vision, analysing the activation of peoples Transverse Abdominis. How you can tell the amount of activation of peoples TVA/Core just by looking at them is beyond me. EMG-Vision :smile:

My points are really the following:

The 'core' muscles should work together, in co-contraction and, most of the time, attempting to isolate any specific part of it is not going to do much of anything and in some cases will add to the problem. There 'might' be times when specific isolation style exercises would be a good call but most of the time half the problem is people can't use their' "core" as one unit.

The TVA is very misunderstood. Infact I believe muscles in general are. A muscles function in 'isolation' can be very different from it's function in 'integration'. A good example - getting away from TVA for a second - is the Serratus Anterior. A common way to isolate it is to abduct the scapula (scap push ups) but in integration, it holds to the scap tight against the rib cage. Now, we know that SA function is crucial for shoulder health. Therefore, to me, when people recommend drawing in to focus on activating the TVA, it's exactly the same as someone telling you to fully abduct the scapula to get optimal stability in the shoulder joint which, if you imagine that, is just ridiculous.

The TVA is pretty much always activated. What you need to watch for here is the discussion can lead to a debate about the optimal way to activate the TVA when really the point is about the core in general, activating all of it, together, and drawing in is not an optimal way of doing that.

Then you have the difficulty of discussing the 'core' because everyone has a different definition of it. Things can end up all over the place quite easily.

KPj

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Post by frogbyte » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:33 am

Well when I'm referring to "core" activation, it would be all of the abdominal and lower/middle back erector spinae.

Right, bracing is the type of activation that you get in deadlifts, and why (as I've mentioned before) they make up the bulk of my core work. But when I do planks (and as I've witnessed other people doing them) it certainly seems possible to do them without much TA involvement. This is maybe less the case if the elbows and feet are closer to the body mid-line.

If you're slumped back in a chair with your rib cage hunched down, you're essentially resting the chest on the compression of your internal organs via the ribs. I believe that it's possible to sit in this with way with almost no TA activation. Further, I find it's really difficult/awkward to sit in such a manner with the TA active - my spine just does not want to stay in that position.

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Post by Ironman » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:44 am

The transverse abdominus has more to do with holding your guts in place than anything else. Stomach vacuums are the only way to really work them. That can actually flatten your stomach a little if it bulges out a little due to muscle weakness there. The rectus abdominus is actually over the transverse. That and the obliques are much more active in core stability unless you are pulling your stomach in at all (and there's no reason to do so), which is what the transverse abdominus does of course.

Childbirth is a great exercise for the TA, you should try that. Or if you eat raw chicken, you may get an involuntary TA workout in.

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Post by Jungledoc » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:56 am

Ironman wrote:Childbirth is a great exercise for the TA, you should try that. Or if you eat raw chicken, you may get an involuntary TA workout in.
These should really be added to the muscle and exercise directory.

The problem I see with the first suggestion is consistency of training. Most workouts last 8 to 12 hours, and then the trainee drops out for months or even years at a time. I know people who did it once and never did it again! You've just got to be more consistent than that if you want to make progress.

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Post by Nevage » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:51 am

Jungledoc wrote:
Ironman wrote:Childbirth is a great exercise for the TA, you should try that. Or if you eat raw chicken, you may get an involuntary TA workout in.
These should really be added to the muscle and exercise directory.

The problem I see with the first suggestion is consistency of training. Most workouts last 8 to 12 hours, and then the trainee drops out for months or even years at a time. I know people who did it once and never did it again! You've just got to be more consistent than that if you want to make progress.
:lol:

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Post by robertscott » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:52 pm

Ironman wrote:The transverse abdominus has more to do with holding your guts in place than anything else. Stomach vacuums are the only way to really work them. That can actually flatten your stomach a little if it bulges out a little due to muscle weakness there. The rectus abdominus is actually over the transverse. That and the obliques are much more active in core stability unless you are pulling your stomach in at all (and there's no reason to do so), which is what the transverse abdominus does of course.

Childbirth is a great exercise for the TA, you should try that. Or if you eat raw chicken, you may get an involuntary TA workout in.
does this mean the abdominal vacuum actually has merit as an exercise? My stomach bulges a bit despite being lean, maybe i should try it

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Post by frogbyte » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:24 pm

There seems to be more value in keeping your TA active throughout the day. Not sure if vacuums really help with that part.

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Post by Ironman » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:12 am

robertscott wrote:
Ironman wrote:The transverse abdominus has more to do with holding your guts in place than anything else. Stomach vacuums are the only way to really work them. That can actually flatten your stomach a little if it bulges out a little due to muscle weakness there. The rectus abdominus is actually over the transverse. That and the obliques are much more active in core stability unless you are pulling your stomach in at all (and there's no reason to do so), which is what the transverse abdominus does of course.

Childbirth is a great exercise for the TA, you should try that. Or if you eat raw chicken, you may get an involuntary TA workout in.
does this mean the abdominal vacuum actually has merit as an exercise? My stomach bulges a bit despite being lean, maybe i should try it
Yea, but you don't do them at the gym. You just do them occasionally throughout the day. If you happen to be weak there, this can flatten it out a bit.

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Post by Ironman » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:19 am

frogbyte wrote:There seems to be more value in keeping your TA active throughout the day. Not sure if vacuums really help with that part.
I don't think you can say more value. It's apples and oranges really.

Vacuums strengthen them. However you do use them or "keep them active" as part of maintaining good posture.

Poor posture is definitely part of people's problems with those aches and pains. That combined with lack of exercise and being overweight.

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Post by Ironman » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:11 am

Jungledoc wrote:
Ironman wrote:Childbirth is a great exercise for the TA, you should try that. Or if you eat raw chicken, you may get an involuntary TA workout in.
These should really be added to the muscle and exercise directory.

The problem I see with the first suggestion is consistency of training. Most workouts last 8 to 12 hours, and then the trainee drops out for months or even years at a time. I know people who did it once and never did it again! You've just got to be more consistent than that if you want to make progress.
:lol: :laughing3: :laughing1: :laughing2: :laughing3:

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Post by robertscott » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:02 am

Ironman wrote:
robertscott wrote:
Ironman wrote:The transverse abdominus has more to do with holding your guts in place than anything else. Stomach vacuums are the only way to really work them. That can actually flatten your stomach a little if it bulges out a little due to muscle weakness there. The rectus abdominus is actually over the transverse. That and the obliques are much more active in core stability unless you are pulling your stomach in at all (and there's no reason to do so), which is what the transverse abdominus does of course.

Childbirth is a great exercise for the TA, you should try that. Or if you eat raw chicken, you may get an involuntary TA workout in.
does this mean the abdominal vacuum actually has merit as an exercise? My stomach bulges a bit despite being lean, maybe i should try it
Yea, but you don't do them at the gym. You just do them occasionally throughout the day. If you happen to be weak there, this can flatten it out a bit.
couldn't hurt to try it I guess, just another tool in my arsenal for trying to correct my damn posture

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Post by KPj » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:38 am

Yeah, i just really struggle to understand how you can...

-Actually 'feel' your TVA

-NOT activate it

But, each to their own.... :wink:

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