Hey all, quick question – right now are you holding your tummy in? Do you hold your tummy in? Is it all day? Some of the day or only when you are around people you think are prettier than you?

Men and women, we both do it. It seems to have been trained into us. The scary thing is the problems it can lead to for your body. I know, crazy hey?  You thought all this time you were doing well, working your core. Let me help you understand a bit more what’s going on when you hold your tummy in – it’s quite a revelation……

Take a look at any baby breathing … you never see their shoulders moving. It all comes from the middle, 360 degrees middle breathing not just the belly – the back and sides go as well.  What’s going on?

They are building their core foundations allowing them to become stable and mobile at the same time. Think of your diaphragm (the sheet of muscle covering the whole underneath of your ribcage, front to back and side to side) and your pelvic floor –  yes both men and women have one (the sheet of muscle lining the whole of your pelvic girdle, front to back and side to side) as a pump system. The two are designed to work together.

As you take a breath in the diaphragm should lower. This pushes your organs down and out a little bit – 360 degrees. This then puts a stretch on all the deep muscles around your middle. Like a catapult, muscles work much more efficiently if they are stretched first, this is what is happening on the in breath – I digress. While the organs get pushed down and out, the pelvic floor also gets some stretch. On the out breath the stretched pelvic floor now contracts, the muscles in the middle (360 degrees) – all contract and the diaphragm goes back up. CLEVER! Our pump system along with an internal massage for your organs every time you breathe.

That is until you hold your tummy in! When you hold your tummy in the pump stops. Think of a balloon with a cuff around the middle. You end up with balloon on top and balloon underneath. This puts increased pressure on your pelvic floor, stops your organs moving and can lead to things like leakages, digestive problems and constipation.   As a result of this the shoulders and neck are put under more pressure and have to overwork, doing the job of the middle pump muscles. Because the middle muscles are no longer getting a work out every time you breathe the back gets weaker and less supported.  Leading to……you’ve guessed it….. pain.   Our once stable and mobile foundations have disappeared all through holding your tummy in!

Do not fear you absolutely can change this with some work. In the next blog we will look at ways get those foundations back.

KNOWLEDGE is POWER when ACTION is taken! 

ELLE x 

By | 2018-04-10T15:26:15+00:00 April 10th, 2018|blogs|0 Comments