Since I run on a regular basis, I am thin and in basically decent shape. But after having 4 children, my stomach looks somewhat distended. Doing crunches 3 days a week has not helped and I am wondering if you could please advise me on what would work. I really do not want to lose any more weight but I definitely want my stomach to be flatter. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! – Kaitlin
Stop doing crunches! For the life of me, I don’t know why people keep doing something that isn’t giving them the results they want. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Doing something over and over again and expecting different results. If it’s not doing what you want, realize it, own it and move on. The reason why your “stomach” as you call it, isn’t getting flat is because you’re helping it to get bigger by doing an exercise designed to build muscle in your abdominal region. So reality would speak to not doing that exercise. Anything that folds your body in half or twists your body will build muscle in order to perform that exercise better in the future. That’s just the way the body works.
To keep your “stomach” flat you need to do compression exercises very similar to the ones done in most Yoga and Pilates mat classes. Compression poses in yoga squeeze and release internal organs and twist and release your vertebrae and spine. For a refresher course…practice sucking your abs in and pretend your taking a sh**, yes press like you’re pinching one off and hold for about 30 seconds. This will exercise your tranverse abdominus, which is the muscle that keeps all your organ from spilling out. If you want to find an organized class, there are many quality places that teach both, so look one up that’s close to your work or home.