Keeping our midriffs well managed can be a challenge!
We want our torso area to not just look good cosmetically but also to provide essential functional support to our bodies. A number of factors can contribute to a thickening waistline including stress, inappropriate nutrient balance and excess calories in the diet and most importantly poor technique and postural alignment. Even if you do sit- ups religiously, performing them with the wrong technique can actually contribute to waist thickening as opposed to waist whittling so the exercise can be counterproductive. Your abdominals are traditionally worked from a lying position on the floor, but the latest research also shows the abdominals can be worked standing up and one of my Walkactive Club programmes has specific AB walking techniques and online waist whittling activities to follow. To help you get the technique right here are my THREE Waist whittling techniques – you'll find these technique invaluable when doing any of my workout DVD's. When it comes to flat abs, its not quantity but quality that counts. This is great news, as once you master these simple little flat tummy skills you will get even better results in less time!
You need to master these three skills to get flat firm abs and reclaim that waistline:
THE RIB HIP CONNECTION
Why you need to master it:
It gives you an instant smaller trimmer waistline.
To master the 'rib-hip connection', lie on the floor with your knees bent, place your hands around your rib cage, finger tips in towards your breast bone. As you take a deep breath in, feel your rib cage expand. This is how most people start their tummy exercises - STOP!!
By doing this you will get a bigger waist! To combat this, as you breath out imagine you are wearing a corset which needs to be tightened up. As you drop down you will have engaged your internal oblique muscles, which will help you regain a 'pinched' in waist. Try to feel relaxed and comfortable in this position. Engage the rib hip connection before doing any abdominal exercise.
DO THE LIFT AND LENGTHEN
Why you need to do it:
It gives lean flat abdominals and combats a popped out belly look!
Imagine you are in your classic sit up position on the floor with rib hip connection engaged. Start to SLOWLY lift 2 inches from the breastbone (not the head, chin or nose) lengthening through the crown of the head as you lift and lower. To help you, imagine your head has to touch the edge of a semi circle throughout the whole movement. The movement should feel long as you lift up and down.
GET BELLY STABLE
Why you need to do it:
It stops troublesome lower tummy bulges and supports your back, preventing back pain.
To really flatten that lower jelly belly you need to target the deep transverse abdominal muscle, the one you are contracting when you lie on the floor to do up your jeans. To help you do this - go on all fours and pull your belly button in to the spine up towards the ceiling as much as possible - to test how good you are at this - get your little ones or a friend to try to push you a little - you should feel really stable and not really move. Now repeat still on all fours but relax your tummy muscles, get your little one or friend to push you gently again and see how you wobble and have no stability. Master these three and your midriff management will be something to be proud of.