When connecting the transversus abdominus, should we tell clients to focus on the anterior portion to activate the pubococcygeus and to keep the posterior portion relaxed?
I do not believe that this is helpful for the average person, and this level of muscle contraction discussion will end up paralyzing clients with over-analysis. How would one know if the transverse abdominis (TvA) needs training? We have never measured a person who does not activate the TvA when the abdominal wall is contracted to levels higher than a few percent of maximum. Nor can the average person simply activate TvA during movement tasks other than coughing and other bodily functions. Activating the internal oblique, for example, will always cause contraction in TvA. Further, consciously attempting to contract the TvA in isolation is inhibiting to other synergists and compromises spine stability. A much wiser activation strategy is to perform the abdominal brace, which simply involves contraction of the entire abdominal wall. The level of contraction is based on the demand of the task and pain control if the individual has back pain. This will enhance stability and encourages the full muscular girdle to contract. Of course, other patterns are then superimposed to accomplish specific tasks. Prescribing exercise for the back is not a simple task. While I hate to have to state this, I have written a book on the topic of evidence-based exercise for the back (Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance). Many exercises, together with the justifying data, are shown together with progressions. Proper technique will ensure the full contraction of the abdominal wall, together with other important muscles such as latissimus dorsi, quadratus lumborum, longissimus and iliocostalis etc.