Did you know when you suck your belly in you are actually weakening your core?

Elle X

Are you sucking that belly in?

Quick question – right now are you holding your tummy in? Do you hold your tummy in? Is it all day? Some of the day or only when you are around people you think are prettier than you?

Men and women, we both do it. It seems to have been trained into us. The scary thing is the problems it can lead to for your body. I know, crazy hey, you thought all this time you were doing well, working your core. Let me help you understand a bit more what’s going on when you hold your tummy in – it’s quite a revelation.

When a baby breathes you never see its shoulders moving

Take a look at any baby breathing … you never see their shoulders moving. It all comes from the middle, 360 degrees middle breathing not just the belly – the back and sides go as well.  What’s  going on? They are building their core foundations allowing them to become stable and mobile at the same time. Think of your diaphragm (sheet of muscle covering the whole underneath of your ribcage, front to back and side to side) and your pelvic floor – yes both men and women have one (sheet of muscle lining the whole of your pelvic girdle, front to back and side to side) as a pump system. The two are designed to work together.

what happens when you breathe

As you take a breath in the diaphragm should lower. This pushes your organs down and out a little bit – 360 degrees. This then puts a stretch on all the deep muscles around your middle. Like a catapult, muscles work much more efficiently if they are stretched first, this is what is happening on the in breath. I digress. While the organs get pushed down and out the pelvic floor also gets some stretch. On the out breath the stretched pelvic floor now contracts, the muscles in the middle -360 degrees – all contract and the diaphragm goes back up. CLEVER! Our pump system along with an internal massage for your organs every time you breathe.

Holding your tummy in weakens your core which can lead to pain

That is until you hold your tummy in! When you hold your tummy in the pump stops. Think of a balloon with a cuff around the middle. You end up with balloon on top and balloon underneath. This puts increased pressure on your pelvic floor, stops your organs moving (can lead to things like leakages, digestive problems and constipation). Now the shoulders and neck are put under more pressure and  have to overwork, doing the job of the middle pump muscles. Because the middle muscles are no longer getting a work out every time you breathe the back gets weaker and less supported, you’ve guessed it – pain. Our once stable and mobile foundations have disappeared all through holding your tummy in. Do not fear you absolutely can change this with some work. In the next blog we will look at ways get those foundations back.

KNOWLEDGE is POWER when ACTION is taken!



"I'm at the end of a long hard journey that I couldn't have taken without you and your wonderful knowledge - I haven't stopped blubbing since I got home - that breathing thing has made me feel like I've let go of something that's been keeping me down and I'm so so eternally grateful."

Business owner (Once held back by major neck surgery)

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Mum (Once a hip pain sufferer)

"I am so impressed by the amount of mobility I regained so quickly. A set of well structured small achievable moves relieved a huge amount of pressure from my back. My issues were cumulative and had reached a point where I was struggling to move."

Accountant (Back pain was stopping her move let alone run)

"Ellie quickly assessed my whole body, my body’s history and posture and saw problems that I wasn’t aware of. These were causing the pain and most likely all the other previous ailments I had, all on my left side."

Business Owner (Once had long term hip and knee problems)

"I highly recommend Ellie, don’t wait until all other options have failed, go to her first. She will give you an honest answer about any pain in your body."

Business Owner (Once suffered with neck, back, knee problems)

"First time in so many years I have no back pain, it's such an amazing feeling and I love working with her."

Business Owner (Once plagued with years of back pain)