The importance of the TVA muscle in core training is often overstated, but most athletes’ we have worked with do not know how two activate it or dis-connect it from the internal obliques. While this type of activation pattern is not the game changer in explosive muscular actions. knowing how to turn the TVA on can provide added stability for an otherwise functional core.
A study by Marshall et al. (2010) demonstrated the relationship between slow TVA activation time following shoulder flexion/abduction/extension and self-reported measures of pain in 80 patients with chronic low back pain. The study showed that 75% of patients were lacking feed-forward ability to their TVA following shoulder movements. This coincided with significant levels of pain as rated by the patients themselves. Similarly, a study by Sallba et al. (2010) demonstrated that traditional bridging exercises do not activate the TVA as required, lending further support to the idea that specific TVA training may be required. Give it a try and see if it works for you!