Weight Loss & Fitness

Core Training: The Four Point Tummy Vacuum

By: Jen Amadio

As autumn approaches our bodies and minds start to slowdown as we begin to prepare for upcoming winter months. When the weather starts to change and the leaves begin to fall we can now reflect on what a great summer we have had.  As we reflect, we can start to plan for the winter months because before we know it, the snow will be here and our bodies will want to shut down for winter.  How can we keep ourselves motivated to have a positive attitude and continue to live with a level of energy needed to survive over the next while? For starters, we can start by asking ourselves what our core values are, and how do we attempt to fulfill them over the next few months? Core values are essential for many reasons. One very important being, that they guide us through the fast paced lives of work and family life.

How can we fit regular healthy exercise and healthy eating into our routine when life gets in the way? Not only do we need to reflect on who we are, and where we want to be, we need to sit back and discover what we can do that makes us feel good in our bodies.  Once that is established the answer is easy. Your challenge this season is to determine your goals, write down how you are going to get there, and go out and accomplish all that you want to. Your mind and body will thank you on so many levels.  Don’t ‘fall’ into the autumn slump but embrace this time for change and preparation to be who you have been waiting all year to be. Once you understand how to perform this move the name actually makes sense.  However, it gets anyone’s attention if you really want to work on cinching in that mid-section. This exercise has a great importance for a few reasons. One being that is simple and can be performed anywhere. Another being that, learning to breathe properly during exercise is the key to greater and quicker results.

This exercise will help to tone the transverse abdominus as well as the deep inner core muscles related to posture. To perform this exercise, kneel on the floor on all fours. Ensure that your shoulders are directly above your hands and that your hips are directly above your knees. Let the intestinal contents rest against the abdominal wall.  This will put a pre stretch on the transverse abdominis. Holding a neutral spine (letting the natural curve in your spine happen) inhale taking a diaphragmatic breath (normal belly breath). Keep the lower spine (lumbar region) in a neutral lordosis(dip in lower back).

Do not flex the spine or move your pelvis. Exhale and push your belly button against your spine for 10 seconds (do not arch your back). Relax for 10 seconds and repeat ten times. Remember this is the best way to train your inner core unit to work efficiently throughout all of your exercises and in turn improve your results greatly. Jen Amadio is a certified personal trainer and part of the team at Fit Bodies, Fit Minds in Sault Ste. Marie.

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