Want a flat belly? No problem! Just rub our magic lotion on your belly 20 times a day for a week and presto; you’ll have the belly of your dreams!
Ok, ok… Just kidding…
But sometimes it feels like flat bellies are the realm of scam artists and super athletes.
While it remains true that you can’t have a flat stomach until you get rid of belly fat, there’s another little tidbit that can help. Have you ever seen a thin person that still had a protruding belly? Keep reading and you’ll understand why.
You know those washboard abs? Well, very fit people with washboard abs are displaying a strong rectus abdominus muscle which goes up and down the abdomen. Of course, this is good.
But there is another, often ignored, ab muscle which has even more influence on that flat belly look you want. It is the deepest ab muscle and it is called the transverse abdominus. It’s literally like a girdle because it goes around the abdomen extending between the ribs and the hips. Its fibers run horizontally just like a back support belt. And what does a girdle do? It holds in the gut! If something strong is holding in your gut, guess what? You have a flat belly!
This muscle is located so deep that you can’t even touch it from the outside. So what exercises can you do to strengthen it? Pilates focuses on strengthening your core and hits this muscle a lot. The exercises that hit the lower abs include leg raises and knee raises and they also strengthen the transverse abdominis.
But, here’s the less known exercise that I want to share with you. You can do this on all fours, sitting, kneeling, standing or just about any time! That’s what is so cool about this.
Here’s what you do. Exhale all the air from your body, and suck your abdomen up and in as far as you can. Hold it for 10 seconds or more. Then do it again!
You can do this while in line at the grocery store or when you’re bored in class or while waiting for a friend. The stronger the transverse abdominis is, the flatter the belly!
Go for it!