Strong abdominal muscles can reduce your waistline and contribute to a more slender physique. According to ShapeFit, the transverse abdominal muscles act as a natural girdle for your midsection. Building muscular strength in your core also benefits your fitness performance, supports back health and will make it easier to combat lower belly fat that many women suffer from.
The transverse abdominal muscles, or trans abs, run horizontally from your lower ribs down to your pelvis. They sit beneath the larger muscle group, the rectus abdominals, which you can see on someone with toned six-pack abs. These muscles work with your other core muscles to stabilize you during exercise, protect your back while lifting and help your to maintain good posture. The trans abs also have the important job of containing and supporting your internal organs.
Focus on a variety of exercises that target the upper and lower portions of your stomach to strengthen this entire muscle group. At first a few repetitions might be all it takes to feel sore and tired, but over time you will gain strength and need to work harder for results. Aim for one set of 12 to 15 repetitions or until you reach muscle failure for each exercise. Focus on trans abs exercises every other day to results and to allow a day of rest for your muscles.
Bent Knee Hips Raises
This exercise targets the lower and middle area of your trans abs. Lie flat on your back, place your hands at your side and bend your knees. Raise your feet a couple inches off the floor and do not allow them to touch the floor again until you are done with the exercise. Tighten your stomach muscles to lift your pelvis and pull your knees in toward your chest. Slowly lower down and repeat.
Ab Butt Raises
Abdominal butt raises isolate and strengthen the upper portion of your trans abs. Start on your forearms and feet in a pushup position. Your back should be completely flat so your spine is in a straight line. Keep your abs tightened, lift your butt upward and lower back down.
Ashley Farley has been a certified personal trainer since 2008. She is also a writer specializing in healthy living, fitness and nutrition topics. Farley has an Associate of Science in mental health services from the Community College of the Air Force and is pursuing her B.A. in English at Wright State University.