Our society deems this as the ideal body configuration. Just take a look at the magazine covers or headlines at the checkout line — “10 Ways to a Flatter Stomach” or “Find out how XXX lost her mummy tummy.”
The truth is that a fat-free abdomen occurs in less than 10% of the population. Read that again, 10%. Wow! How many of us are striving, dieting, pushing, and whipping this area of our body into a form that 90% of us do not possess?
Instead of focusing on the flatness of our abdominal area lets concentrate on its function.
How can we do that in realistic everyday steps? (Because none of us need more added to our schedules.)
1. Stop sucking in — Many people have been told that this makes you look slimmer, which may be true but the lasting effects of this equal a weakened core.
2. Take time daily to focus on breathing. Belly breathing seems to be all the rage right now. It’s a great way to use breath to relax the body, but I would like us to look at another way to breathe today.
Try this: breathe through the entirety of your ribs. Feel your ribs move forward, backward, and right to left. Your breath should move in all directions.
3. Sit less — Especially reduce the amount of time you sit in poor alignment against the back of a chair. When you sit this way, signals are sent to the core to turn off temporarily.
4. Keep your ribs down. Keeping your lower ribs vertical of your ASIS and pubic bone allows the abdominal muscles to be able to do their job effectively.
A flat stomach area may not be part of your makeup, but the ability to have a core that supports your activities of daily living is possible!
Christina Mroz is a Lead Trainer for Holy Yoga Global®, LLC. She leads an array of HYG's specialty trainings from Kids, Pre/Postnatal, Chair/Senior, Weights, Yogalates, Plus, Adaptive, and Therapy Yoga certifications with an emphasis on alignment and accessibility for all ages and abilities. Christina is an E-RYT 200 hour and continuing education provider through Yoga Alliance. She teaches yoga and movement classes in Somerset, WI and through her blog christinamroz.com