As I watched my clients perform these movements, I noticed that extreme side-bending (lateral flexion) produced a bulging out of the stomach wall. Because I wasn't maintaining length in my clients' core during their side-bending exercises, I was adding unwanted inches to their waist. So I reduced the amount of side-bending exercises I taught in each session and cued my clients to reach long, prohibiting the "crunching" motion that shortened their lateral fibers.
I was giddy to have solved the mystery of why my clients were gaining girth, but I dug deeper to find the tools to help my clients lose inches around their waist, to uncover the secret to creating a small, sleek and super strong midsection.
There is a common Pilates cue that goes, "Exhale and squeeze your abdominals as if you're wringing water out of a washcloth." I ruminated on this and realized that the most effective way to wring out a cloth is not to merely squeeze it, but to twist it. Twisting makes the center of the washcloth long, tight and narrow. So why not try the same thing on the core?
Spinal rotation promoted greater flexibility, developed definition in the oblique muscles and quickly shrunk my clients' waistlines!
5 Twisting Moves For A Slimmer Waistline
Photo by Katrina Wittkamp