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  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Week 2: Hook-Lying Transverse Abdominis March Holds

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Purpose: To maintain abdominal bracing throughout a successful march and hold via primarily deep core activation

What It Targets: Transverse Abdominis, Internal Obliques, External Obliques, Psoas Major/Minor, Iliacus, Latissimus Dorsi


  1. Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat (Hook-Lying), with heels pressed into the floor

  2. Place your fingertips at your ASIS (bony prominence in the front of your pelvis)

  3. Move your fingertips inward and sink them into your lower abdomen

  4. Perform a quick exhale or a fake laugh and feel the muscle tissue tighten and push into your fingers. Maintain that level of muscle contraction through the next moves

  5. With your toes lifted towards your nose, bend your hip and knee towards your belly with your shin parallel to the floor

  6. Press your opposite hand into the knee. Hold for 5 seconds while breathing

  7. Slowly lower the leg and return to the start position, re-engaging the heel press into the floor upon return

  8. Repeat on the other side and repeat as prescribed

Main Cues:

  • Maintain posterior pelvic tilt

  • Maintain deep core activation without holding your breath

  • Drive knee up as far as your can while keeping your butt on the floor

  • Keep shin parallel to the floor

  • Do not tense up your neck and shoulders when pressing into the knee

  • We’ll say it again, don’t hold your breath!!!

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects:

  • Holding your breath at any point of the exercise

Correction: Count the number of breaths rather than how many seconds you are holding - each repetition should take about 2-3 breaths (about 10 seconds)

  • Anterior pelvic tilt

Correction: Maintain contact of low back with surface you are laying on

  • Excessive shoulder and neck tension

Correction: Think of pressing with your lat/shoulder blade rather than your arm

  • Losing the core engagement

Correction: Monitor your core engagement with the fingertips of the down arm

Why We Love It:

  • Teaches you how to actually fire your core in a safe gravity minimized environment

  • Helps you learn how to coordinate proper breathing mechanics while firing your core

  • Practices maintaining core control while introducing leg and arm movement

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation.


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