Transverse Abdominis Muscle

Transverse Abdominis Muscle

Christine Anatomy, Torso 1 Comment

What does the name transverse abdominis muscle mean?

Transverse means across.
Abdominis comes from the Latin word abdere which means to stow away.
From this then you get an idea that the abdominals, in general, function to “stow away” contents (the digestive organs).
Transverse Abdominal Muscle Attachments

Where does the transverse abdominis muscle attach?

The transverse abdominis is not really considered to have a typical origin or insertion because the muscle fibers run horizontally.

Origin

It attaches at one end (considered the “origin” by some) at the inguinal ligament, the iliac crest, the thoracolumbar aponeurosis and the internal surface of the costal cartilages 7-12.

Insertion

It attaches at the other end (considered the “insertion” by some) on the abdominal aponeurosis and the linea alba.

What actions does the transverse abdominis muscle do?

The function of the transverse abdominis is to compress the abdominal contents. It’s the natural girdle we all wear. As is the case with all of the abdominal muscles, stabilization is a key function.

Poses where the transverse abdominis muscle contracts:

The Transverse Abdominis Muscle in Navasana

If we look at a posture such as navasana we see that all of the abdominals will be doing an isometric contraction in order to help stabilize the trunk.

The Transverse Abdominis Muscle in Parighasana

A posture such as parighasana requires lateral flexion of the spine. So as we lean over our left leg, the left side is contracting.

Poses where the transverse abdominis muscle is lengthened:

The Transverse Abdominis Muscle in Urdhva Dhanurasana

In a posture such as urdhva dhanurasana we can see lengthening of all of the abdominal muscles as the rib cage and the pelvis move further apart.

The Transverse Abdominis Muscle in Parighasana

In a posture such as parighasana, as we lean over our left leg, the right side of the body is lengthening.

yoga anatomy book cover

Many of the concepts in this article are discussed in:
Functional Anatomy of Yoga

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david keil yoga anatomyThis website is simply about delivering yoga anatomy to the yoga community in a simple and understandable way. It has always been about you, the reader, understanding the complexity and diversity of our own humanness as well as our anatomy.

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