If you possess Sway Back Posture (rounding in the front shoulders and a posterior tilt in your pelvis) then your TVA, (transverse abdominis) the deepest layer of your core is underactive. To strengthen this area of your abdomen you must first understand what to avoid.
No crunches or sit-ups
While crunches and sit-ups are excellent exercises for people with Lordosis they are not good for those with Sway Back Posture. The reason they should be avoided if you possess this posture is that they recruit the rectus abdominis (outer layer of the abdomen). The rectus abdominis is overactive in Sway Back Posture.
What to do instead?
Exercises to explore with Sway Back Posture to target the TVA will always include stability devices. I’d suggest purchasing a small Pilates antiburst ball and a long foam roller. You will have endless options for the TVA with these two pieces of equipment. Since the goal is to gain strength and balance your body, commit to a series of exercises on these stability devices. Lift your dominant leg only for the first set (1 minute) and this will work the non-dominant side of the abdomen. Then, for the following sets use both legs. A set is 8-12 slow reps or 1 minute.
- As you work on strengthening your TVA, work with your pelvis in either an anterior tilt (arched) or neutral (not arched or tucked).
- Secondly, plug your shoulders down your back, so that the lats are accessible. This will allow you to simultaneously build your shoulder and spine stability.
- Lastly, breathe. Inhale to prepare and exhale on the effort pulling your belly button in towards your spine and lifting in and up on your pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that stop your stream of pee) to contract your transverse abdominis (the deepest layer of your core) which protects your lower back.