Today I want to share a secret with you that I learned way back when I was in grade 8 that is going to help you get a flat stomach. It’s not going to help you remove belly fat on top of your muscles in your abdominal area but it is going to help you shrink your waist and get things toned up.
This came about because I had a girlfriend at the time that left me because someone else had better abs. She went out with that guy instead. It was a pretty stupid reason to break up with someone, but we were 14 so you let things get into your head. That experience made me seek a firmer midsection and I later found out that this secret is one of the principles of core stabilization, so I am going to share with you what I learned years ago: abdominal bracing.
Most people just let their stomachs hang out. When you do that, your intestines and stomach weigh down your abs and there is no tone in your muscles. What I started doing back in grade 8 was brace my abdominals when I was walking around.
To do this, just simply draw your belly in. This action activates a muscle called the transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominis is like a natural waist belt that you have inside your core. When it develops more tone and strength it actually reduces the size of your waist. All you have to do is tuck in the belly button. That is the first step. Tuck in your stomach like you are putting on a tight pair of pants.
The second step is to lightly contract your abdominals. That activates the external and internal obliques; your side abdominal muscles. When you draw you belly button in, lightly contract your abdominals.
We are not talking about a full out contraction, but a light contraction. This is an isometric way of training your abdominals. It helps them get better tone, endurance, and strength if you do it on a daily basis.
At first it is a very conscious process but over time it becomes a subconscious process and your body develops natural tonicity in that area. This action also provides better spinal stability. If you are moving around, lifting objects, or working out, you have to abdominally brace at all times – especially if you are lifting weights.
When you bend over and lift something up, bracing your abdominals supports your spine. One of the first things we talk about in doing squats is bracing the abdominals and core through the movement.
Now, let’s get back to the original question.
The answer: get a flat stomach just by bracing the abdominals.
Tuck them in and contract lightly. Do that on a daily basis and give yourself a couple of weeks.
You will notice things tighten up, your posture will improve, and lower back pain may just disappear.