Tim Ferris, a lifestyle hacker, has published several best sellers. I own a copy of The 4-Hour Body, his second published work. In the chapter titled Six Minute Abs: Two exercises that really work, Tim reintroduced me to the transverse abdominal muscles. These muscles "run horizontally like a belt" and because of this they're also known as the "corset muscles." Whenever I want to create a smaller waist, I grab one of my belts to create that illusion. What if I can train my stomach to have that same look naturally?
I actually did. You see, I went through a period of time when I consistently did transverse abdominal "exercises" and was handsomely rewarded with the slimmest waist I ever had. My stomach wasn't just flat. It shrunk all the way around in a way I've never seen before. Now I'm ready to have a flawless tummy again without having to do a myriad of sit ups. Let me share with you how I'll do it.
Instead of crunches, I'll focus on core strengthening exercises like planks that focus more on the transverse abdonminals. Planks work the muscles deep within. Whenever I do them I can feel every muscle in my abdomen come alive. The best thing about planks is that I don't have to do 50 of them. I just hold the pose for as long as possible and keep it moving. Even though planking is not as labor intensive as doing sit ups, doesn't mean they're easy. But it's always fun to set a goal and challenge yourself to beat your time.
The next transverse abdominal exercise I did was even easier than the plank. By consistently practicing the stomach vacuum, my midsection shrunk in ways I have never done before. Simply put, the stomach vacuum is where you pull your core muscles in as deeply as possible after expelling the air out of your lungs. Like the plank, you hold for a period of time and release. When I first started doing these, I felt silly and was certain that I would receive no value from doing them. But after remaining consistent, and seeing the wonderful results, I changed my tune. Here's a video that describes and demonstrates the stomach vacuum.
Another version of the stomach vacuum is introduced in Tim's book as the "cat vomit exercise." Which is pretty much the stomach vacuum done on all fours. Here I am demonstrating the exercise.
|Me, practicing the stomach vacuum exercise.|
Another easy waist "workout" I love doing is a callanetics inspired move known as the waist whittler.
Other things I'm doing to accentuate a small waist is to do lots of lower body work like squats and leg presses and focusing on my lower back. As I build my bottom half, my midsection seems to shrink in comparison. Last but certainly not least is the addition of plenty of cardio into the mix. The only times I could see visibly see my ab muscles were when I maintained routines that involved plenty of jogging, jumprope, or other cardio intensive moves. By the way, I did little to no sit ups in conjunction to the cardio. Once upon a time, I did sit ups every night. My abs were pretty strong but not were as visible as when I focused on fat burning.
With regards to my eating habits. I intend to do the following:
- Less rice, more vegetables.
- Smaller portions. I almost always eat until I am full or stuffed. Never until I'm satisfied. This results in my stomach stretching out into a nice little pot belly after every meal. Going forward, I will eat sensible portions.
- Lot's of water.