Drawing-in while sprinting

I recently heard a speaker at a convention say that he has all of his athletes draw-in to activate the Tva while they do posture drills leaning against the wall. He actually does this w/out testing and just assumes every athlete needs to do this.

While I disagree with this view point on a number of different levels, is anyone here aware of any research correlating this movement with sprinting?

a track coach? I asked this question 4 years ago to a lot of sprinters and none did it! Tell us more…name names. This is a board not a tv interview.

I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand this post. Drawing in? Tva? please explain.

B.S. Like most actions, breathing is a reflexive action. If you want to draw in properly, just practice breathing properly allowing for abdominal distension upon inhalation. If you draw-in like they say to, you may increase stabilization of the spine, but it sacrifices respiration.

Agreed. The hips need to be free to move on a horizontal plane. If the athlete has had a specific injury and the Tva is not recruiting properly, then they need profesional therapy. Also, concentrating on this would not be condusive to “hind-brain” sprinting.

The speaker was a director at one of the velocity peformance centers so I assume that it is a Loren Seagraves method? Not one hundred percent sure though.

>>>The hips need to be free to move on a horizontal plane. <<<
Could you elaborate a bit more?

>>Also, concentrating on this would not be condusive to “hind-brain” sprinting<<

And this as well?

thanks for all of your responses!

From what I’ve heard, ‘drawing in’ is a proven method of rehabilitating those with weakening of ab.wall muscles who have had troubles with spnial discs.

I think drawing in is a misnomer for what it actually is.
Abdominal hollowing is a bigger one.

The movement they are aiming for is actually a bracing of the ab.wall, but the visual effect is a slight movement in of the belly button (1 cm?). So, it’s a kind of visual cue, for those who need it.

TVA or Transversalis (Gray) is the focus of attention (assuming it is possible to isolate that muscle with your attention), as VMO is when rehabbing leg.

Sounds like some people may have (deliberately) misinterpreted this info, and encouraged a different movement. Extrapolation to healthy athletes is just funny.


I’ve had athletes practice breathing and activating the transverse abdominus, but just in the first 4 weeks. Most athletes are used to holding their abs in tight so they have that slim waist line look so I just explain how they interfere with their breathing when they hold their stomach in like that. Very easy to fix.

Anyone who claims to understand the “correct” action of the TVA during sprinting is plainly just giving you their own opinion, because science has never conclusively identified an optimal TVA action for any movement, let alone something as seldom researched as sprinting. INFERENCES are worthless. Don’t think about your TVA while sprinting!

Stop trying to change what God created. Let the body do what the body wants to do. Correct imbalances and prevent injuries. Yes! But don’t get carried away.

Breathing is an innate human trait. The abdominals play a big role in resperation and drawing them or keeping them consciously short while running may affect respiration. Why do I bend over when I can’t catch my breath? I’m placing my abdominals in a stronger positon to enhance lung/diaphragm function.

If the person has a weak TA then strengthen it off the track. Micro-movents for workout after workout like TA activation and wobble boards are an injustice done to many athletes. Running fast is a gross motor movement. How much time off your 100 will a stonger TA take?

Work on other things that will make a bigger difference.

Get off your soap boxes for a second guys :smiley:
You guys don’t believe that given american society people learn to breathe dysfunctionally. Take a deep breath: if your chest goes up to your chin, you got a problem, brothers and sisters. There’s nothing wrong with fixing a broken part.


it works if done right…during sprinting? Not me.

How do you know that the TVA is a ‘broken part’? How do you know what the correct patter of breathing/TVA action is? If you don’t know, how can you identify a dysfunction and how can you fix it?

The claim that people in America (read: western society) learn to breathe dysfunctionally is an inference first of all, and IMHO a serious overgeneralization… I doubt that people who are highly active/athletic have developed whatever ‘dysfunctions’ may affect the people who sit in chairs all day every day

BS. If you notice I said practice “breathing” and activating the TVA. I didn’t say the TVA was a broken part, I said breathing was. Blah, blah, blah. These aren’t opinions, they’re facts. In fact, for appearances sake, many athletes hold their abs in more than other people who sit in chairs all day.

Good points kevinG.

The diaphragm is the principal muscle used in respiration. With continued contraction, harder, deeper breathing, the intercostals are also involved along with about 7 or 8 other muscles including the upper trapezius. Therefore, the chest cavity will expand the ribcage inferiorly/superiorly, transversely and anteriorly and posteriorly. The chest will rise towards the chin.

However, if during respiration there is a hollowing of the abdomin such as when performing a TVA contraction, pulmonary pathology or paralysis of the diaphragm. The accessory muscles do more of the work maybe causing the chest to rise higher to the chin.

So, can we conclude that TVA contraction puts more emphasis on the accessory muscles and less on the primary muscles comprimising respirtation?

We can conclude that the TVA functions in respiration and spinal stabilization (as well as the lumbar multifidus, pelvic floor muscles, intertransversari, interspinales, posterior fibers of the internal obliques, the quadratus lumborum, etc.) but that just breathing properly is the best solution. I agree that there is an over-emphasis on the action of the TVA and I do not believe in drawing-in unless it is a reflexive action (which an athlete would not control anyway). I do believe that “heavy” chest elevation is a compensation that is unnecessary unless serious stress has been encountered (as in a 100M Sprint). Normal breathing action should be more relaxed. So in agreement with Thomas, we must not compromise respiration.

This is fun, shall we define logic, facts, knowledge, reasoning while we’re at it? (without using a dictionary)

This is where it gets interesting?

(edit may-7-2004) This post referred to the now deleted dictionary definition of inference in above post.

I refer to Jacob Bronowski in ‘Ascent of Man,’ who wrote ‘…there is no right absolute knowledge, and those who claim it—whether they are scientists or dogmatists—open the door to tragedy. All information is imperfect. We have to treat it with humility…’ -Ian King

Woah woah woah SPEED! I don’t mean to criticize and be negative, though when I re-read my post it does kind of look that way.

I thought you were referring to the TVA when you said “there’s nothing wrong with fixing a broken part”, but I guess I misinterpreted you. To be honest I’m not even sure what your position is regarding TVA action. Are you saying that drawing the abs in interferes with breathing patterns? If so, I would not refute that, although I don’t think that many athletes are consciously holding their abs in just for the sake of appearance… well-conditioned athletes don’t need to hold their guts in to look good!

I think we both kind’ve misunderstood so we can skip the soap opera ending. Yes, I said that actively drawing-in the abdomen was inappropriate and that breathing is the primary function of the “core”. My apologies for being a little harsh, I’m very much like a 16-year old female in that respect (I’m not if you’re wondering).