By Physio Room / November 20, 2021

A Bulletproof Core: Find and Engage the Multifidus

How to engage the lower abdominal muscles during exercise

How has your core been feeling lately?  Were you able to find and engage the lower abdominal muscle to give you more support during exercise?  Do you have a better understanding on how to contract your pelvic floor? In this post, we’re going to discuss how to find and engage the multifidus, a key component of a strong core.

What is the multifidus?
The multifidus is a diamond shaped muscle in your lower back that sits deep to your spinal erector muscles. While these muscles are often quick to kick in to help stabilize, they get tight very quickly and can cause  compression in your back.  The  question then becomes – how do we find that deep muscle and activate it?  No worries, I’ve got your back. (see what I did there?)

Finding the multifidus
Start in a standing position and put a hand on each side of your lower back right over those spinal erector muscles.  Lean backwards slightly and feel those muscles contract and tighten under your fingers.  Now, come back up to neutral and tip just slightly forward and you should feel those erector muscles relax; if you keep leaning forward they will tighten back up to support you from falling over. 

Come back up to the point where you feel those erector muscles are nice and soft and sink your fingers deep to feel the multifidus.  From this point, try to come an inch taller without letting those erector muscles get tight. 

Activating the multifidus 
There are a few different ways to activate this muscle. You can either engage by practicing a few different positions or engage as prep before an activity that involves support such as carrying or lifting.

I encourage you to try these exercises and consider incorporating into your overall fitness routine. If you have any questions, feel free to connect with me at

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