The next spinal stability muscle is the transverse abdominis. It hides beneath three other abdominal muscles: rectus abdominis, internal oblique, and external oblique. It spans horizontally from the midline of your abdomen around to the thoracolumbar fascia (connective tissue in your lower back). This muscle helps to support the abdominal contents, control the pressure of your abdomen, and stabilize your spine. To palpate this muscle, lay on your back with your knees bent. Put both of your hands on your hips and feel the front of your pelvis. You will feel two bony prominences. These are called your anterior superior iliac crests. Once you have found them, slide your finger one inch IN, and one inch DOWN. This is the only place you will be able to find the transverse abdominis. Now, to contract. The easiest thing I tell my clients is to slightly draw in your belly button. This will be the ever so slightest movement, and is easier to contract if you coincide with an exhale.
And finally, the most interesting of them all, the pelvic floor muscle. This muscle lines the bottom of your pelvis from front to back. It acts as a bottom to the cylinder of spinal stability muscles. This muscle contraction is done without palpating but rather talking through how it should feel. For ladies, it will be through a kegel exercise. It feels as if you were to sit on a marble and you were trying to lift it up. For men, this contraction would feel it would if you were to jump into the freezing cold ocean. This will also be a sensation of drawing upwards. The most important part that I always focus on is the relaxation of this muscle. Yes, the contraction is important, but you should be able to fully relax too. Often incorporating relaxing with an inhalation, and contraction with exhalation.