Question: Belly Binding

Hi Lisa, I know belly binding works after you give birth (age old african knowledge) to get the womb back to its form, Hollywood has also caught on this, my question now is will it work in general to flatten the tummy? I saw some videos of ladies doing waist training with corsets, does it help to flatten the tummy permanently? With exercise and a healthy diet of course.

Answer

Hi Andrea!
To train your stomach effectively after giving birth, you need to understand how your tummy muscles work.

The most important abdominal muscle is the transverse abdominis – This internal muscle forms the innermost layer of the abdominal wall. Tightening and firming this muscle is the key to flatter abs, and is the FIRST muscle to focus on when working on your abs. Simply pull in your stomach to feel the necessary muscles work. When doing so, you should feel as if you are pulling your belly-button in towards your spine. Hold this for a few moments – whilst still breathing regularly – then slowly release again. It may seem simple, but practicing this as many times as you can in a day will go a long way towards strengthening your abdominal muscles from the inside out. Proper form during all ab exercises is essential, where these muscles are always pulled in during each contraction. Imagine you are pulling your belly button in towards your spine. No matter what external source is holding your stomach in, making sure the transvers abdominis is being trained is the first step towards flatter abs.

My top tips for torching fat:

Practise high intensity cardio and interval training
Shaking up a steady-state cardio routine to one that is varied and explosive has been proven to target more abdominal fat. This is perhaps because you will not only burn more calories during the session, but afterwards as well. The exertion of varying intensities will stimulate your body’s repair cycle more than if you were going for a steady state run. This means more fat and calories burnt for up to 24 hours after training.

– Switch up your usual run with 20 seconds of sprinting followed by 60 seconds of jogging or walking. Repeat these intervals 15-20 times each session. As you progress the 20 secs can become 30-40 secs and the rests can reduce to 20- 30 secs.
– Don’t switch all your cardio sessions to high intensity interval training. Aim for two sessions a week, along with one or two regular 30-60 min cardio sessions.

Compound movements for lean mass and increased metabolism.
Strength training plays a critical part in toning your abs, as well as the rest of the body. Muscle requires fuel to operate, so the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day, and the higher your metabolism. Compound exercises are multi-jointed movements, while isolation exercises only use one. Many people accredit isolated exercises to significant results, but compound exercises are responsible for greater calorie burns during sessions as well as increasing lean muscle tissue at a greater rate, therefore improving your resting metabolism.

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