- Jennifer Penney
Abdominal Spot Reduction (Part 4)
The postural key to flat abs.
Have you read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3? Check them out...
Would you believe me if I told you there is one tiny postural change that would instantly make your abdominals look flatter? There is!
Stand up tall and tuck your chin...
Your abdominals are part of your core (along with your shoulders, back and glutes.) I like to think of my core as the "connector." It connects everything at the top of my body to everything at the bottom. Because it is the center of your body, if it is weak, it will cause problems up and down your body. Example, weak lower transverse abdominis and weak glutes can often mean tight hip flexors, IT band syndrome and plantar fasciitis.
The reverse is also true. If there are issues (weakness, instability, misalignment) at the top or the bottom of your body, it will affect how your core (and abdominals) look and function. Common example, your feet are weak, you have fallen arches, or plantar fasciitis. Your weak feet will function improperly causing problems all the way up your body to your lower back, hips and glutes.
Because your core is affected by the top and the bottom, standing up tall and tucking your chin will affect the look and function of your abdominals (not to mention your back and hips too.)
Check out the two photos below (they're a little fuzzy but I wanted to zoom in and make a point.) Can you see the difference between the two pictures? The ONLY difference between the two is head position. Now, look at my abs in each photo. They look better (and are firing more evenly) in the photo on the left. That is what a difference in head position can do.
So where does this leave you? For optimal positioning, stand tall and tuck your chin. Gently lifting up from the crown of your head will naturally make your chin tuck down. This changes your muscular firing all the way down to your lower abs. If you have good body awareness, you should be able to feel your lower abs engage when you tuck your chin.
Try this, stand up and lift from your crown. Imagine you have a high pony tail in your hair and it is being pulled up towards the ceiling. You should feel your chin tuck under and your head pull back in line with your shoulders. Be cautious not to overdo it, military straight posture is not necessary.
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