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Sexy Stomach Part 1: From slouch to sexy

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PHUKET: To start with, I’d like to debunk the myth known as “spot reduction”. It doesn’t exist. You can’t lose belly fat by doing sit-ups; you can’t reduce the fat around your legs by doing squats; and you can’t reduce fat around your chest by hitting the bench press.

If you want to reveal that six pack, you’ll need to lower your overall body fat percentage. You can do this with a good exercise routine and a fairly clean diet.

There is one shortcut that you might not be aware of – posture. Poor posture can make you look fat and out of shape, which means correcting that bad posture will make you look less fat and more in shape.

The image above is meant to represent two identical men. They are the same age, height, weight, and have the same percentage of body fat, but the figure on the left looks fatter and generally out of shape.

This is a perfect example (though perhaps slightly exaggerated) of how important your posture is, not just from a functional point of view but from an aesthetic one too. This posture is known as kyphosis-lordosis.

Kyphosis is an outward curvature of the back (hunchback) and lordosis is an inward curvature in the lumbar region of the spine (lower back).

You can thank sitting at a desk and using a computer for them. Sitting for prolonged periods shortens and tightens the hip flexors, causing the pelvis to tilt forward and the lower back to curve.

Looking at the computer with your head extended forward causes muscles in the upper back to shorten, giving a hunchback appearance. We will get to the upper body another day, but you should see by now how posture can give you the appearance of a more pronounced belly.

What’s the solution? Strengthen some muscles and stretch others.

Let’s start with the basics – the main muscles to strengthen are the abdominals and the glutes.

For me the “get up” exercise is probably the most complete core workout I know for stabilizing and strengthening these two muscle groups. The “dynamic plank” is great for stabilizing core muscles, such as those in the abdominals.

The main muscles you will want to stretch are the hip flexors and lower back muscles, called the erector spinae.

The best all-in-one exercise for correcting these muscle imbalances is the popular yoga stretch called “sun salutation”.

Correcting bad posture is just one step on the way to revealing a sexy stomach. Look out for Part 2 of Excuse Buster’s sexy stomach series with Nutritionist Craig Burton in the June 28 edition of the Gazette.

Krix Luther is a fully qualified personal trainer with nearly a decade of experience specializing in strength and conditioning. For more information about Krix and his services, visit thevitruvianmethod.com

— Krix Luther

 

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