In this exercise, breathing activates and strengthens the deepest abdominal muscles by simply contracting them, explains Rick Sturla, a personal trainer at the British Results Health & Performance Centre.
“For a flat stomach, you don’t need to do an infinite number of crunches. We found that breathing exercises can ‘suck’ your tummy in and stabilize your spine,” says Sturla.
If you do this exercise properly, you will strengthen the entire central part of your body and stabilize your spine; this will eliminate any lower back pain and improve your posture.
DEEP BREATHING TECHNIQUE
- As soon as you wake up (ideally, on an empty stomach, and while you’re still in bed), lie on your back with bent knees and feet on the mattress. Breathe in deeply and suck your belly in hard. The more you suck your belly in, the stronger the contractions will be i.e. the effectiveness of this exercise.
- Keep your belly contracted for 15 seconds at first, and as you progress extend the time to up to 60 seconds, taking shallow breaths as needed. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
- When you are ready for a more difficult version of this exercise, do it kneeling on your hands and knees, sitting upright in a chair or on a Pilates ball.
- After a while, you’ll be able to keep your stomach sucked in while sitting or standing all day.
If you do this easy exercise for a flat stomach regularly, eat a balanced diet, and do your usual workout sessions, you’ll see the results in less than 2 weeks.
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