Holding your tummy in all the time is NOT the solution for your big belly. In fact “holding stuff in” benefits FEW facets of our life. Yes, I know, sometimes we just don’t know how to let go of stuff, and by “stuff” I mean dreams, children, tummies, that one exercise we just can’t seem to master…
Well, this lil’ fitness chick who founded this lil’ international home workout site would like to shock your socks off right now by saying “LET IT GO!!!” Yes, this was inspired by the Disney Movie “Frozen” and we’ve had a lot of fun in our forum with this phrase.
We want what we want, and we tend to ignore the cost, and we tend to get stuck in thinking-ruts. You want to do 21 burpees like everyone else in your CrossFit class, and you don’t stop to think that maybe your shoulders and core aren’t ready (or able) to do ONE burpee let alone 21 of them! You want to have a flat tummy, so you walk around holding it in… All. The. Time.
Let go of your tummy! Let your abs release!
This recent thread in our private member forum on Facebook really highlights the mentality I’m talking about: We get excited and then we go overboard….
“Holy smoke! i just finished the 5 foundational routines and it was work! I’m about 31 weeks preggo with #5 so I’ve got lots of work to do. My tummy is tired and I’m trying not to just let it hang now in relief. I think doing these for a few weeks alone will help me get the breathing down. At first I felt like I was doing the pelvic floor lift, but then as I went along in the routines I wasn’t even sure if it was lifting! My pelvic floor needs lots of work for sure. My stomach, though tired, feels stronger and better already. Plus, my baby did a happy dance after I was done. My own little cheerleader! Nothing to add, just thought I’d share. I’m excited to get my stomach muscles strong for my VBAC!!”
And everyone was all happy, and I was, too, but I felt that familiar nudge of warning in the back of my brain… you know, that one based on years of research that says “tight isn’t strong” and we don’t want the pregnant mama holding her belly in all the time. And even though someone else who has been a member with Fit2B through 3 pregnancies responded to her by saying, “it will soooooooo benefit you! i started at around the same time with baby #1 and I am on baby #3 now (24 weeks) and my body is doing soooooooo much better than it ever has! congrats!”
Yeah, I still felt the need to write… So I did just that.
“Well done! Now I’m going to shock you: Let it hang and relax. I know that sounds weird, but you need to let it go completely to be able to feel it engage completely. Not all the time, of course, and it will activate naturally when you’re aligned properly BUT it’s not “bad” to release.” And Kelly Dean of The Tummy Team – who I love to have lurking in my forum – clicked like on it, so I guess I said something right? LOL
Let go of that ONE MOVE you keep thinking you need to do…
Too many trainers force their clients to return to exercises that stump and stymy them, and I don’t believe that works. If you can’t nail down the right form and technique for something after a couple attempts, try something different. Our bodies move in so many ways; why get stuck in one pattern?
“I know the answer is going to be “well stop doing that then” but I was hoping to get an explanation. When doing the exercises in ab attack or pilates in pajamas where you sit on your butt and round your back and then sit back up, my MUSCLES don’t bulge, but I get a bulge where my split is. I can feel my muscles strong, staying flat, but the middle, where the gap is, rises up. Obviously don’t do these things, but what does that mean? Out of curiosity, I did a crunch or two, and can even keep my abs totally flat, no jumping, while doing those. It’s just these types of exercises that I get the bulge. What is the problem here and how can I best fix it?” -Jessica B.
My answer to her: It’s not a case of not doing it (except the crunches, don’t do those) but rather how far you’re going. With the Pilates teasers, only go back as far as the bulge [of muscle] stays gone. Test it with your hand and figure out where your stopping point is. Honor it and you’ll be able to gradually go further. There are soooo many other great moves to do, so maybe skip that one for a while since your body is saying “NO!” to it and come back to it in a couple weeks.
Let go of the RIGHT workout attire…
The same gal who I quote above later posted this: “I’ve avoided ‘Pilates in Pajamas‘ simply because it didn’t seem up my alley based on the name. But tonight I was tired, so I thought I’d give it a go. Yeah, not a “oh I’m tired” workout! But now I AM ready for bed!” -Jessica B.
Let go of the numbers…
Fixing your broken belly or broken life is never about numbers. The way one person measures progress will never yield the same numbers as the map of your progress. You are on your own journey. Your diastasis recti width, your lifting reps, your caloric needs, your sleep-time requirements, your weight, your waistline, all of that is different that your own mother’s numbers! So why would your numbers even be the same as that photo-shopped lady on the front of whatever magazine you’ve allowed to program your mindset about what you should look like, or be, or have, or do?
What I’m getting at in this rambly post: Let go of FROZEN thinking and frozen muscles and frozen workouts and frozen numbers. Tune into your body and give it what it needs, not the formula that works for your friend, and not just the right attire. We wonder why so many moms have adrenal fatigue, and it’s because they’re killing themselves with too-difficult workouts and then on their feet all day with their kids! Go with the flow and LISTEN to your body’s limits and requests. We have lots of routines to choose from right here … Find out how to join today and discover how we take the frozen out of fitness and let you find your own formula!