The secret to amazing abs: Fit mum-of-four, 32, reveals why the core is key to achieving your dream body – and the main mistake she sees people make
- Fit mum-of-four and personal trainer Sophie Guidolin shared the secret to abs
- The 32-year-old said the most important thing to do is engage your core
- However, she said many people just think this means sucking in your stomach
- Sophie revealed how to engage your core, and how to bring it into workouts
- She also shared her day on a plate, which includes 3,500 calories per day
A fit mum-of-four and personal trainer has revealed why engaging your core muscles is the secret to getting amazing abs, and the major mistake she sees people make in the gym.
Sophie Guidolin, 32, from Queensland, said having a strong core is essential for everything you do, whether it’s working out, good posture, balance or stability.
But all too often, people think that ‘engaging your core’ just means sucking your stomach in.
A fit mum-of-four and PT revealed why engaging your core muscles is the secret to getting amazing abs, and the mistake she sees people make in the gym (Sophie Guidolin pictured)
‘Core engagement is about bracing the core, so instead of sucking your stomach in, you need to focus on pulling your navel up and in towards your spine,’ Sophie wrote on her website.
‘Imagine feeling as if you’re about to be punched in the gut. That “brace” feeling resembles the feeling of filling out your diaphragm and tightening your midsection like a brick to prepare for the blow.’
The 32-year-old added that when you ‘brace’ your abs, they should feel tightened, but you should still be able to move and breathe as normal.
This means you can engage your core throughout a workout, without feeling like you have to hold your breath.
Sophie (pictured) said many people think engaging your core means just sucking your stomach in, but you should still be able to breathe when you do so
How to engage your core muscles properly
1. Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
2. Press your lower back into the ground so that your tailbone tips up slightly.
3. Inhale deeply. Once your belly is full of air, clench your abdominal muscles.
4. Use your ab muscles to pull your belly button up and in towards your spine, as if you’re ‘zipping up’ your abs.
5. Take a few breaths, relax, and repeat the exercise.
Source: Sophie Guidolin
To practise ‘engaging’ your core correctly, Sophie recommends you first of all lie with your back on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
‘Press your lower back into the ground so that your tailbone tips up slightly and inhale deeply,’ she said.
Once your belly is full of air, clench your abdominal muscles and use them to ‘pull’ your belly button in towards your spine, much like you are ‘zipping’ up your abs.
‘Take a few breaths here, relax and repeat the exercise,’ Sophie said.
‘Tight, toned abs may look amazing, but the health benefits of a strong core are even better,’ Sophie (pictured) said
Once you have nailed ‘engaging’ your core when you want to, the 32-year-old advises trying to do so through as much as possible of your workouts.
‘Tight, toned abs may look amazing, but the health benefits of a strong core are even better,’ Sophie said.
‘Your core is your body’s powerhouse – facilitating movement, housing your inner organs and central nervous system, plus enhancing balance and stability to reduce the risk of falls and injury.’
Sophie’s day on a plate revealed
BREAKFAST: Cereal and protein shake with milk.
Sophie (pictured) has shared a day on her plate, which includes 3,500 calories
LUNCH: Lasagne and salad.
SNACKS: Apple, choc fudge and honeycomb yoghurt snack pack, two Cruskits with chocolate peanut butter, low fat chocolate mousse.
DINNER: Satay chicken with rice.
DESSERT: Mango Weiss Bar.
DRINKS: Three litres of water, sugar free hot chocolate.
The mum’s ripped physique is maintained with weight-based workouts three to four times per week (Sophie pictured at the gym)
Earlier this year, Sophie shared a typical day on her plate with FEMAIL, which includes a broad range of foods and around 3,500 daily calories.
‘I eat a lot, and have slowly worked up to 3500 calories a day, this is after six years of flexible eating and concentrating on my macros rather than my calories,’ Sophie told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I can now eat intuitively because I know how much protein and how many carbs are in my food.’
Sophie’s day on a plate is not restrictive, and includes the likes of low fat chocolate mousse and mango Weiss bars.
The mum’s ripped physique is maintained with weight-based workouts three to four times per week.
To find out more about Sophie Guidolin, you can visit her website here.
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