Crunches Don’t Make Your Abs Flat

For all you moms out there who are crunching your way to a flatter belly and don’t see the results of all your hard work – guess what? You’re most likely wasting your time.

When exercising for a flat tummy, why would you do something that causes your abdomen to come forward? If you want your abs to go in, then you should be doing movements that not only recruit your pelvic floor, but engage your transverse abdominis and lucky you, both of these muscles are best friends so it’s a win-win.

Old school ways of creating that six-pack, such as sit-ups, crunches and the likes, do very little for your abdominal, but are great at causing poor posture, neck pain and herniated discs.

But when creating the abs of your dreams, exercise is only a part of it.

Although Diastasis Recti is one of the more obvious reasons for that post-baby pooch, there are other factors that can make it look worse.

Dehydration. Water intake is essential as it helps to “clean you out.” Dehydration can cause bloating and irregularity that results in constipation and bigger bellies.

Bad nutrition. Similar to water, eating whole foods in their most natural state help move waste out of your body. If you eat a hamburger and fries and find yourself full after several hours, it’s because it takes your digestive system a lot longer to break down foods that are not natural and shouldn’t be in your body anyway. This extra “crap” sits in your tummy and adds up until it eventually passes. Crap in equals crap out.

Cortisol. Otherwise known as the “stress hormone,” it can result in elevated levels when undergoing stressful situations, lifestyles and lack of proper sleep. Elevated cortisol has been linked to increasing abdominal fat storage.

Lack of muscle. Although cardio burns calories while you are doing it, strength training gives you the benefit of actually burning more calories at rest. AND, research has shown that women who lift weights have less abdominal fat compared to those who do cardio alone.

So think of these things the next time you try and crunch your way to flatter abs (and probably to an abdominal separation). Abs won’t be flat again unless you remember these rules and train your abs from the inside out.

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Samantha Montpetit-Huynh
Samantha Montpetit-Huynh is the mother of two beautiful girls and the co-founder of Bellies Inc., a company that has created an entire system to not only get rid of the dreaded “Mummy Tummy” and pelvic floor dysfunction, but create core confidence during motherhood. Samantha is known extensively in her field and has appeared on Breakfast Television, CTV News, CHCH and Rogers Daytime. She is also the resident fitness expert on the Marilyn Denis Show and helped to create the Today’s Parent Healthy Pregnancy Guide.
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