Add-on Habit Transverse Abdominis while Flossing
Your abdominal muscles are composed of a few layers of sheets of muscles. The part people often focus on are their Rectus Abdominis muscles, also known as, "The Six Pack". While this muscle serves as a popular indicator of a person who is in shape, the other muscles in your abdominal region are arguably more important to overall core strength, spinal protection, and postural position.
I would like to focus on the Transverse Abdominis. The Transverse Abdominis are the most internal or deep abdominal muscle. They wrap around your whole front and stabilize the trunk when it contracts. They are also used during breathing where they help change the shape of the cavity your lungs are in.
An easy way to activate the Transverse Abdominis is to "suck in" your gut. This is also sometimes called "stomach vacuuming". Well developed, and strong Transverse Abdominis muscles will allow you to move your gut in so that it is more internal that your rib cage, and you will see the outline of your rib cage if you look at yourself in a mirror while doing the exercise. By holding your stomach inward, you are contracting and working the Transverse Abdominis. You can also work it by slowly and purposefully moving from all the way sucked in to all the way bulged out. When you bulge out your abdominal region, you are working other muscles more, but your Transverse Abdominis moves along with and will be stretched through its range of motion.
I add this stomach vacuuming exercise onto my habit of flossing my teeth twice a day. While I am flossing, I either keep my Transverse Abdominis contracted, or I move it in and out. You can add this on to any time where you are standing up. For example, you might do it in the checkout line at the store, or while you are washing your hair in the shower. There are really a lot of places you can add a few Transverse Abdominis workouts.
The benefits of working this muscle group is that, as it tones, your stomach will be much more flat because it will pull your stomach inward. It will also help you breathe more effectively and help you protect your spine from injury. When you make this muscle stronger, the harder-to-exercise complimentary muscles in your back will also get stronger because they will need to keep up with your stronger Transverse Abdominis.
I strongly recommend giving this a try, because when I started doing it, I noticed immediately that my stomach looked better and healthier. You do not need to be all the way to having a six-pack to be producing a much stronger and nicer looking group of core muscles.