Isolating Abdominal Muscles


The isolation of the internal oblique and transverse abdominals was a big topic of discussion at the seminar I was teaching yesterday. This now has become part part the folklore of training and rehab. I am amazed that people can’t take a step back and think through this whole process. Those muscles are deep abdominal muscles that are very hard, maybe impossible, to voultarly recruit. Yet people still insist on teaching their patients and and athletes to do that using the drawing in maneuver or abdominal hollowing. Stuart McGill in his research has debunked this. The hollowing in actually destabilizes the spine. One again remember that the body does not recognize individual muscles, it recognizes patterns of movements. Use movement that require those deep abdominal muscles to work as part of the bigger picture.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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