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Sucking in Your Abs is Wrecking Your Pelvic Floor

I vividly remember being in my anatomy class as a student and asking my teacher if I constantly held my abs tight would it "tone" them up.

To be honest I cringe at this memory for so many reasons.

Who knows where I got this information from and secondly why was I concerned about toning them up (I did not need to worry about this as I was already lean enough that I lost my period - discussion for another post)

Circling back around more than a decade later, I realize how terrible this fitness advice is!

Now I don't want to scare you off by any means...

If you’ve been sucking in your tummy/abs it doesn’t mean that you have forever destroyed your muscles.

I want to help with re-educating the conversation and changing the script about how to work our abs.

Here are some easy ways you can engage your core wayyyy more without putting strain on your pelvic floor by sucking it in...

  1. Focusing on core exercises. Not core like abdominal exercises, I am talking about exercises for all your core muscles. Think abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, glutes, inner thigh muscles (adductors), hip flexors, low back muscles. These muscles all help contribute to how strong your core is regardless of how it looks.

  2. Progressively overloading your exercises will help strengthen your core muscles. Constantly lifting with only 5 pounds is not going to get you stronger, plus your baby weighs more than that. In order to get stronger you have to continue to add the tension, the weight, or the intensity of the exercise. This will essentially tell you muscles that you need them to continuously get stronger, to do more, and the need to be able to take on life's tasks.

  3. Engaging your TAs will help with intrabdominal pressure. Your TA's or transverse abdominis muscles are known as the corset muscles and they help bind the core together. By working out or actively engaging this TA muscles, having them on board when you need to lift something can drastically help by reducing pelvic floor symptoms, coning and lower belly pooch.

  4. Diaphragmatic breathing is an essential for core health. By focusing on your breath and adding these strategies you will “tighten” up your core far more than a number of crunches will ever do. Not only that but you will feel way better in your body and your pelvic floor will thank you too.

So next time you feel the urge to suck in your abs,


And remember that your Pelvic Floor and core are getting stronger perfectly fine without the sucking in.


Your pre/postnatal strength coach

Dani Jones

Need help healing your pelvic floor and core??? Here's my FREE guide that walks you through exactly how to do that! Get it here with this link and start healing today.

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