Tight abs are so 2006

Mar
2016
31

posted by on Body Tips, From Charlotte, Inspiration

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It’s that time of year again – the time when the “Get Bikini Ready” marketing is blowing up our emails and psyche.

I thought it was a good time to revisit the topic of “tight abs” here on the blog. While I am a proponent for using any and all inspiration for healthier choices, I also am committed to exposing what “strong” really means.

With that said, here’s why I do not want you to have “tights abs”…

The abdominals (as with every other muscle in your body), when working efficiently, do not want to engage in a static, stiff, or gripped way. The abdominals work efficiently in a dynamic and supple way. What I mean is that engaging your abdominals isn’t about “sucking in” or tightening up.

The abdominal muscles actually work in conjunction with your diaphragm (remember the jellyfish visual?) and with your pelvic floor. (More on pelvic floor soon, lovies!)They are meant to move out and in with your breath moving out and in.

When the abdominals and/or pelvic floor remain gripped, the diaphragm can’t do its job, and therefore tension builds up in your body. Movement needs to happenwithin your abdomen in order to allow the core system to work efficiently.

When the core system isn’t able to move with the breathe then some kind of discomfort, instability, or pain can easily arise. This could include pelvic floor issues or pain, shoulder or neck pain, as well as a less stable/supported lumbar (lower) spine.

So remember: having “tight” and sculpted abdominals doesn’t always mean you are the strongest you can be.

Strong means accepting the ease of breath and efficient movement in order to find your supple and dynamic strength.

Abdominals that move with your breath = strong.

If you’re a visual learner and want to take this idea deeper, check out this video...

In our society at large, abdominals have been sexualized and suddenly are expected to look a certain way. If it is one of your goals to have six-pack abs, go for it. And if it isn’t, go for that too. I only encourage you to keep in mind just how your core system operates and supports YOU. Even if you have a goal to look a certain way, working from the inside out will help you stay injury and pain free.

And with that said, I want to remind you that your abdominals are around to literally keep you from falling down.

How does it feel today to thank your abdominals for keeping you upright and moving?

In a world where bodies are expected to look a certain way, breathing in some gratitude is a lovely way to offer up a little bit of sweetness for the work your body does all day long.

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