Have you ever vacuumed in a bikini? Me neither. (Although I must admit I have vacuumed in the nude. Anyone with kids understands how one could find themselves in such a situation.) Anyways, one of my favorite trainers suggests that wearing a bikini while doing household tasks, like vacuuming or folding laundry, helps you maintain good posture and ab support. It’s true! I find that when my abs are showing, they’re more inclined to bare their strong side. It’s like when the tank top veil is lifted, they stand at attention. And abs at attention are more better than abs vegging out.
Take a second and play around with your own abs. What are they doing right now? (Currently mine are chilling super bowl Sunday style.) Okay, now pull your belly button back towards your spine. Does that feel different? It does for me. When I do that, my shoulders pull back, my chest expands and I sit/stand taller. While it may seem like a slight change, it packs a big punch. There’s a domino effect of engaging your abs and it can be seen throughout the whole body – with a solid foundation, the body moves properly. The back is safer. So are the hips.
So, while I may not workout in a bikini, I often shed my tank top when running and biking. I bare my belly because it reminds me to engage my core, giving me a solid foundation to move from. It’s not about flattering myself – trust me, sitting topless on a bike is hardly cute. Thankfully, it’s not about cute. And it’s definitely not about sexy. It’s about technique and form.
And since form is important to me, I have to get over these thoughts:
- I hope she doesn’t think I think I have a six pack.
- Why does it look like I just ate a pound of nachos?
- Oh man. There’s my new gym friend. She probably thinks I’m trying to be all Shakira over here on the treadmill.
- Shit. Is that my friend’s husband stopped at the light? Quick, run! Before he recognizes you!
thoughts fears go on and on. And they all have one thing in common: what people think of me. (Because I’m human and I think that everyone cares about me and what I’m doing. #ego) Well, I really don’t want, “what are they going to think of me” to dictate what I do. Especially when I know what works for me.
So, I will continue to ditch the tank and bare the belly when I run and bike. But that’s where I draw the line. If I had the guts (ha!) I would do all my training without a tank, but I don’t. I just can’t stomach (bahaha) the idea of doing a bent over row topless in the middle of the weight room. Thankfully those aren’t the kind of exercises in which I need core reminding. No, when I’m lifting weights and working on strength, my awareness is already turned on and form is the focus. It’s in the fast and repetitive movements involved with running and biking that my form seems to suffer after a while. Much like household chores, I’m sure… maybe I should throw on a bikini before starting up the damn vacuum.
So please, if you (or your husband) see me baring my belly while running on the street, sitting on a bike at Burncycle or sprinting on the treadmill, don’t be shy. I welcome the following friendly reminder: “pull the shoulders back and down, keep the chest open and hug the belly button into the spine” and even a joke suggesting I ate all nachos.