Transverse abdominal muscles are the deepest muscles in the abdominal wall. This muscle helps stabilize the spine. The Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma reports that weak transverse abdominal muscles have been found in many patients with chronic back pain. These muscles are difficult to target directly, but several exercises work the transverse abdominal muscles along with other muscles in your body.
The cobra is a yoga position that targets your transverse abdominus and back muscles. Perform this movement by lying face down on an exercise mat or a large towel on a firm surface. Point your toes away from your body but do not lock your knees. Place your palms on the mat on either side of your chest with your fingers pointing forward. Gently push your upper body up while keeping your hips on the mat. Hold the upper position for 15 to 30 seconds and then slowly lower your body.
Front Plank Position
The front plank is another position that will strengthen your abdominal and back muscles. Lie face down on an exercise mat with your toes on the floor. Bend your arms so that your elbows are resting on the mat next to your chest and place your palms on the mat. Lift your body up while keeping your toes on the floor and your elbows and forearms on the mat. Keep your back straight and hold this position for a slow count of five before gently lowering yourself back onto the mat.
Stability Ball Tricep Extension
The tricep extension is an exercise used to target the back of the upper arm, known as the tricep. When you perform this exercise on a stability ball, your abdominal muscles are forced to work to stabilize your body and prevent you from falling off the ball. Perform this movement by sitting on a stability ball with your feet flat on the floor and a dumbbell in your hands. Tighten your abdominal muscles and raise the dumbbell over your head in both hands until your arms are straight. Slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head by bending your arms until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. Pause for a moment and then slowly straighten your arms to return the dumbbell to the position over your head.
Medicine Ball Push-ups
A medicine ball is a small weighted ball. This exercise is appropriate for those who can already perform standard push-ups. Using the medicine ball will increase the difficulty of the exercise. Start the exercise by placing a medicine ball on a flat surface. Kneel in front of the ball and grasp the sides of the ball firmly with both hands. Extend your legs until your toes are on the floor and lift your body off the floor. Your body weight will be supported only by your toes and your hands on the medicine ball directly below your chest. Straighten your arms to push your body away from the medicine ball while keeping your back straight. Lower yourself back down until your chest nearly touches the ball to complete one repetition.