If you’ve ever done a Pilates class, you’d know how important deep breathing can be to the effectiveness of the movements. Not only does it help you hold the poses for longer, but it also activates your core.
Now, figure skater Adam Rippon – one of the first openly gay U.S. Winter Olympians – believes breathing is the secret to helping him achieve his set of abs.
His trainer, Steve Zim, revealed to the New York Times that it was their number one focus for Rippon during his workouts. “Breathing is everything when it comes to abs. If you want ripped abs, you need to allow them to contract,” says Zim.
The trick is… really not all that tricky.
“Before every move, breathe out,” Zim said.
“Pull your belly button into the spine and continue breathing out as you’re contracting, so your abdominal wall is sinking into you. You’re essentially making room for your abs to contract fully by pushing air out.”
Now don’t forget that this is a professional athlete we’re talking about, so breathing is very much coupled with a high-protein diet, complete with plenty of fruits and veggies, and sticks to a six-days-a-week workout schedule.
His go-to sweat sesh involves a series of moves using a medicine ball, Russian twists, weights, and generally anything that’s going to melt his abs.
Zim says that having strong abs means everything to keeping him “stable and strong in the air. If you’re tired, you’re saved by your core.”
So there you have it, it’s your breathing – not that prosciutto pizza on the weekend – that can be blamed for your lack of six-pack.
Read on for tips on bettering your breathing, and how to beat anxiety with paced breathing
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