Breathe Out for Great Abs

Belly Contractions

What exercise really flattens your stomach? The answer is any exercise that flattens your stomach. If you can’t keep your stomach flat and drawn inward during your core work, then your core exercises are teaching your belly to stick OUT not pull IN.

So try this: Put your hands on your stomach and inhale, expanding your stomach gently. Then exhale, contracting your stomach inward, hollowing your belly-button under your rib cage. You just flexed your transverse abdominus (TA) which is like your “seatbelt” or “corset” muscle!

You might have hunched forward when you pulled your navel in, or you might have raised your shoulders or tightened your hips and thighs. Take another belly breath and try to flex inward on the exhale WITHOUT curving your spine and hunching. Once you’ve mastered that kind of bracing or vacuum motion, add some pulses.

Do the belly breath, but once you’ve exhaled, pull your belly inward deeper a few times. Work your way up to sets of 30-50, stopping when you feel fatigued in your lower back and deep core. The TA “transverses” your whole middle, originating in your lower back and connecting via the linea alba to your other ab muscles.The real beauty of this exercise is that it will prevent and reduce existing diastasis recti injuries, a common condition occurring in women post partum.

Bethany Learn, CEO and Founder, Fit2B Studio, LLC

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Swimsuit Ready Challenge

This exercise is part of our Swimsuit Ready Challenge (April 2-30, 2012). Do this exercise and comment below “I did this!” to be entered to win our $100 and $50 giveaways. You may enter up to one time per day through April 30th.

Also – be sure to share this on Facebook, Pinterest and other sites to let your friends cheer you on or – better yet – join in on the challenge so they can hang out on the beach with you this summer!

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Author: FizzNiche

This article was created with the help of FizzNiche Guest Bloggers. If you'd like your articles to appear on this site, come see the topics we're working on in the Fitness and Exercise category.

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