Belly Breaths with Transverse Holds

    By Kelly Dean

    Keep in mind that we use the belly breath as a way to connect to the deep core muscle, your transverse abdominis. On the slow intentional exhale, focus on zipping up your tummy (your transverse) and then hold it there for 5-10 seconds. Doing some transverse holds will slowly build up the connection to this muscle and build the initial postural strength you will need for everything you do. There are some key components to making the belly breath and TA hold effective. You want to be sure you are not holding your breath, tensing up or sucking in your tummy. You want to be sure you are elongating and feeling lighter more than tighter when you do your holds. And you want to take small chest breaths as you hold so that your core can build strength without breath holding, bracing or bulging the tummy. Don't get discouraged if this takes a bit of time to master. Take your time, watch these resources and practice. Start with 5-10 second holds and as you feel more connected you can build up to 15, 20 then 30 second holds. Quality if much more important than intensity here. Our goal is to do 3-4 sets of 3-4 holds a day to allow the breath to help you build functional core strength and postural endurance.