As a Pilates instructor i am definitely under pressure to look good, and everyone always assumes i have a ‘6 pack’. Well I have been a Pilates Instructor for nearly 10 years and my ‘6 pack’ is yet to appear! Why? Here are the reasons!

1 To get those washboard abdominal’s you need to have an exceptionally clean diet. Ditch all the bad stuff;sugar, alcohol, processed foods.  My diet is relatively good, I love GOOD food and i always cook meals from scratch avoiding ‘jars’ whenever i can but im not just cooking for myself and I don’t always have all the time in the world to prepare meals so some times convenience foods creep in to the fridge. I also have a sweet tooth and eat junk food!I am a big believer in everything in moderation, I don’t want to feel deprived or that I am ‘on a diet’ but to really get those flat ab’s you have to be extremely careful about what you eat.
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2. I want a strong Core not a 6 pack! Your 6 pack are your rectus abdominal muscles (RA), they connect your pelvis to your rib cage. To work them they require alot of forward flexion. Over working them and not working the other ‘core’ muscles will lead to imbalances in your posture, a weak back and can even lead to a diastasis  which occurs when the band of tissue that runs between the two sides of the RA become weak and over stretched. Most common in pregnancy or if you have a ‘beer belly’.  Your core muscles consist of your Transverse Abdominal, which is our deepest tummy muscle, our Internal and External Obliques, along the sides of our tummy, our Diaphragm, which helps us breath, and our Pelvic Floor muscles, which control us going to the toilet, as well as number of other functions.  Ive had 3 kids, my RA muscles separated in each of my pregnancy’s and after my third im still working on getting them back together. I’ve also had back surgery I need a strong core to keep my body moving so i can lift my kids up, run around and play with them and generally do everyday normal things without any back pain.

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3. I want a life! To get that 6 pack you need to prioritize getting it over everything else. It takes huge dedication not to fall off the wagon.  While im lucky to be in a job where i do get to exercise people dont come to my classes to watch ME exercise! I spend my time ensuring people are doing their exercises correctly and getting the most they can out of my class so it means i  have to put in the time outside of my classes to work out, and with all the best intentions this does not always happen! I am a mum of 3, i want to spend my free time with my kids (not always!) i want to eat out with friends,  go to the cinema and eat some junk food  and generally enjoy life will not obsessing over whether i have a 6 pack or not!

So don’t come to Pilates to get a 6 pack, come to strengthen your core, improve your posture, improve your mobility, tone your arms and legs, come and unwind and relax leaving a class feeling fantastic, but if you want a 6 pack, sort out your diet!

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