Don’t Be A Sucker

Do you suck in your stomach?

In an effort to look thinner, many people get into the habit of pulling in their stomach while flaring their rib cage. Try it yourself. Pull your stomach in as if you are posing on the red carpet.

What part of your stomach moved? What happened in your chest area? Did you notice anything in your pelvic floor?

Most likely, your belly pulled in and your chest puffed out more while your pelvic floor remained dormant. By sucking in your stomach, you may appear to have a smaller waist. However, this ‘pulling in’ is a temporary quick fix which does not yield lasting physique aesthetic improvement. Actually, it may manifest into some unwanted outcomes. Check your ribcage position. If this a habitual pattern for you, consider the following and note if any apply to you…

-Low energy resulting from decreased oxygen caused by restricted diaphragm movement and decreased lung volume

Holding in your stomach restricts diaphragmatic movement which, in turn, restricts lung volume. According to the experts at Guard Your Health, “Holding your stomach in can result in your body getting 33 percent less oxygen than normal, which can make you feel tired and can even slow down your metabolism.”

-Power loss or weakness during movement requiring effort (e.g. lifting Kids, shoveling, carrying suitcase) due to inefficient core bracing

When you pull in your stomach to shrink your waist, notice how your lower belly is contracted while your upper belly is relaxed. According to the instructors at Embody Movement Pilates, flared rib posture “indicates weakness in the core, as well as muscle restrictions in the shoulder girdle.  The spine is going into extension and is not well-positioned for strength, having veered out of neutral.”

-Impaired balance

Holding in your stomach changes your postural alignment which can throw you off balance. According to Jennifer Booton of Balance Motion, this stance can “cause your hip flexors and back extensors to tighten, while your abdominals, glutes and hamstrings weaken; which eventually will wreak havoc on your back.”

-Incontinence due to disconnect between ab wall and pelvic floor engagement

Pulling in your belly is typically done without any engagement of pelvic floor. According to The Tummy Team, “common compensation strategies – like holding the breath and bracing – pushes down on the pelvic floor placing too much demand on the sphincters responsible for controlling the flow of urine.”

-Irregular bowel movements

Holding in your stomach restricts diaphragm movement which normally serves as natural facilitator of the elimination process. According to the studies cited on Normal Breathing, “with regular, gentle diaphragmatic breathing, bowel movements occur more easily .”

-Inability to sculpt abdomen or protruding upper abdomen

Pulling in your belly to look skinnier causes the upper portion of your abdomen to distend. What’s more? Guard Your Health warns, “if you hold any muscle in the same position for too long, it actually weakens.”

AB-EZE Upper Crunch targets the upper ab wall integrating closed rib position and exhalation upon contraction.

In other words, AB-EZE Upper Crunch will help…

  • sculpt your belly
  • increase strength upon exertion
  • improve posture
  • improve energy
  • improve overall stability
  • improve elimination

With AB-EZE, you can adjust the suspension strap to your strength level. Start with a slight angle of your body to learn how to combine exhalation, abdominal contraction, and closed rib position. You will notice a big difference in your ability to integrate these three principles while in a slight supported recline with AB-EZE vs lying on the floor where you need to lift your head and shoulders along with concentrating on closed ribs and breath. Simply lengthen the AB-EZE suspension strap incrementally as your strength and mastery of movement improve.

While sucking in your stomach may result in a dissociation between abdominal and pelvic floor musculature, this exercise does not specifically target how to remedy this. Recommended AB-EZE exercises to improve core strength with an emphasis on pelvic floor recruitment are Pelvic Tilt, Pelvic Tilt Sit, and Straight Leg Slide which are found in our membership video library.

AB-EZE comes with FREE 30 day access to The LOOP. Our membership library has over 70 videos. With education and understanding, your chosen exercises will yield the results you desire.

Quality movement coupled with mindfulness = efficient and effective outcome

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