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The One Exercise That Will Flatten Your Stomach in 10 Minutes

Reader's Digest logo Reader's Digest 8/8/2017 Brooke Nelson
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Moms everywhere know the struggle of post-baby bulge, or that extra bit of flab that leaves their bellies wiggly and jiggly. It seems like all of the crunches in the world can’t flatten their stomachs again.

Still, few know the scientific term behind this common complaint. Also called diastasis recti, it occurs during pregnancy as the growing fetus pushes the mother’s abdominal muscles apart around her belly button. Although the gap sometimes closes on its own, it often stays open after birth. As a result, it leaves a spot in the belly that lets the organs and overlying tissue bulge out, causing the 'mummy tummy.'

Simply realigning those abdominal muscles will cause the stomach to flatten again, experts say. These flat-belly exercises are certainly worth a shot. But to get results fast, there’s one simple, 10-minute exercise for a slimmer waistline—and you won’t even need to leave your home to do it. (You can also try these science-backed foods for a flatter stomach.)

First, sit cross-legged on the floor with your hands on your belly and take a deep breath, letting your stomach fully expand. Then, as you exhale, suck in your belly muscles as far back as you can toward the ground.

With your stomach flattened against your spine, start taking deep breaths and push your stomach back further and further with each exhale. Do so for 10 minutes.

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Done! Until tomorrow, at least. And so far, the exercise has shown incredible results. A small pilot study conducted by developers Leah Keller, a personal trainer, and Dr. Geeta Sharma, an OB-GYN at Weill Cornell Medical Center-New York Presbyterian Hospital, tracked the progress of 63 women with “jelly belly.” After 12 weeks of doing the exercise for 10 minutes per day, all of the women had fixed their diastasis recti. Some even lost a few inches to their waistlines, too.

“We had patients that were even one year out from giving birth, and they still had such great benefit from the exercises,” Sharma says. “We love to see that there is something we can do to help women.”

No gym membership? No problem. These tricks will flatten your belly without a lick of exercise.

Source: NPR

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