Diet and Fitness – Sucking in Your Gut

When it comes to improving our appearance, we should concentrate on diet and fitness, not fads, trends, or gimmicks. For example, it’s no secret that many women these days have a habit of sucking in their stomachs when they walk in an effort to have a tinier looking waist. While this may seem like it improves the look of your figure it has detrimental health effects and can actually hurt your looks in another respect you may have overlooked.

Renowned spine health expert, Dr. Stu McGill’s research has shown that sucking in your gut or drawing your belly button to spine is detrimental to health of the lower back. It reduces support to the lower back which can result in long-term injury. His research has also concluded that tightening the abs impedes normal movement. This only makes sense as you don’t flex your arms or tighten you legs when you walk. You would look ridiculous.

McGill maintains for proper back support you need to brace your core by using all the abdominal muscles. You need the transverse abdominals, rectus abdominals and obliques all firing off to support your core. In other words, you need all these muscles to be strong for good back support. You will also need the back itself to be strong. As well as the surrounding muscles, even your lats help with back support. So a strong mid-section which results in a tinier mid-section requires development of all the muscles of the body. Remember the body is one unit. If you only develop certain areas it will cause imbalances in strength that cause injury down the road.

A good abs workout a few times a week will contribute to a firmer and tighter waistline, along with a sound nutritional plan to keep you body lean. Your abs workout should work all the muscles mentioned above. So don’t do endless crunches and feel you are working your abs thoroughly. You need a program that works the upper and lower abdominals as well as the obliques and transverse abs.

As for the way sucking in your gut affects the way you walk, I want you to envision a big muscle-head guy walking down the street sticking out his arms and flexing his lats. We’ve all seen it and it looks foolish. Whether it’s your arms or stomach, tensing the body detracts from natural movement, and it is not pleasing to the eye. The body is meant to work as one unit. It should flow naturally. We have all admired the confident walk of a fit person; their casual gait free from tension or tightness. When you suck in your stomach it causes tension which will affect your walk. You can’t strut with your abdomen sucked in; your hips won’t sway from side to side with your stomach is held tight.

If you are worried about the size of your waist concentrate on your diet and fitness program. Eat good nutritious food. Work out not just your abs but your whole body. For a sexy walk concentrate on good posture, but don’t flex or suck any part of your body. Your waist will shrink and you’ll have a head-turning strut before you know it.

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