I’m sure you have heard it before when you are doing a workout video or taking a class at your gym… “tummy tight, abs in, belly button to your spine!” I’m sorry, you want me to work out as hard as I can and remember to suck in my stomach the entire time? Yeah, right!?
If you are like me, your stomach is not completely flat but sure gets a lot flatter when it’s sucked in tight. But again, who can remember to do this through an entire workout? I’m either too focused on how much my legs or arms hurt or I’m thinking about the work I need to do after my workout is over. Sigh. I know this is an important aspect of working out, but for me, it’s one of the hardest parts to do or really just remember.
This topic, along with all the others on fitness and weight loss, has a lot of conflicting information. So what did I do to find informtion? I Googled it. I searched “Sucking in your stomach while working out.” The first thing that popped up was: Sucking in Your Stomach Can Harm Your Health.
Well, I tend to agree with that article if you are truly sucking in your stomach and holding your breath. Yes, holding your breath for long periods of time is bad for you. Breathing is good!
The next one down on my search was: Stomach Vacuum – The Best Exercise to Get a Flat Belly. Even you are curious on that, aren’t you?
I read on about the Stomach Vacuum and although the name sounds absolutely ridiculous, the concept is not that far-fetched to me. According to Build Muscle 101, “the Stomach Vacuum consists of blowing out all the air from your lungs and ‘sucking in’ your stomach as much as you can for about 10 seconds.” This concept is also talked about in the 2-week diet by Brain Flatt, https://www.2week-diet.com/. I’ve done this exercise before and it definitely works your abs… when done correctly.
Something that I think all of these sites are missing is using the term sucking in rather than flexing or tightening. There’s a big difference between sucking (and holding your breath) and pulling in your stomach with purpose and reason… or flexing.
Pulling in my stomach with purpose and reason throughout an entire workout is exhausting just to think about, but I know it needed to be done. A bad habit I have is not holding my tummy tight or even worse, sticking it out. NOOOOO!
I wanted to really test how much I was keeping my stomach held in or pooching it out during my workout. To do this, I wore nothing by a sports bra and shorts for a few of my workout. Now, as I have mentioned before, I work from home and I have been doing home workouts through BOD. If you’re confident enough to try this test in your next gym class, more power to you. I have never been one to only work out in a sports bra in a public place.
The results? Having my stomach exposed like this made me very aware of the problem and reminded me throughout my working to hold my tummy tight! I bet if I had mirrors in my workout area this would help even more. I doubt my husband would let me put up mirrors in our basements… or would he???