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I have heard that if the abdominal muscles are flexed deliberately (kind of forcibly) throughout the day, it increases metabolism and helps reduce weight. I have a few questions regarding this as I am trying to reduce weight:

  1. Is it true?
  2. If yes, how safe is it?
  3. How long should I do it (e.g. the whole day or a few minutes each day)?
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4 Answers 4

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Pulling your stomach muscles in will help keep them active. It doesn't necessarily increase metabolism and help reduce weight, but it does help your muscles get a tiny workout. Keeping the muscles in your abs active will make it easier to use them when you do workouts like crunches, sit ups, and anything else involving your abs.

It doesn't matter how long you do it, it's perfectly safe because you are just working on your muscles. It doesn't hurt if you do it all day long or for 2 minutes 3 times a day.

I try to remember to use this technique when I am doing something rather sedentary, like doing dishes or driving in my car.

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Doesn't do much. I have tried for the past 6 mos and i still have a little gut. Probably time to get serious and do more ab workouts.

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  • Hi @smith288, care to explain why keeping your abs flexed doesn't work? Do you have any other alternative or suggestions that would help?
    – user241
    Jan 14, 2012 at 21:29
  • Not saying it won't help nominally but nothing beats a good old fashioned abs exercise and core fitness to burn total body fat and build abdominal muscle. Jan 19, 2012 at 22:41
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It is complete nonsense.

If anything, constantly tensing your abdominals will decrease metabolism, because it makes more difficult for food to pass the gut. Chronic tension in the abdominals can result in constipation.

You will not see much fitness benefits either. The abdominal muscles are no different from any other muscle. It is not possible to get much stronger and healthier by voluntarily contracting the biceps the whole day against no resistance, so why would it be any different for the abs?

The effective way to increase metabolism through exercise is to work as many muscles as possible. The biggest muscles in the body are the quads, glutes, and back muscles. So get some serious exercise and stop focusing only on abs.

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Haha, muscles are a lot closer to the surface than your internal organs such as intestines (responsible for digestion). Flexing won’t interfere with your digestion whatsoever. If you flex your abs as you’re walking from point A to B, you may begin to see so a difference in the long run, however it’ll take a little while to visibly notice anything. It’ll definitely help your core get a lot stronger though.

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    The internal obliques and the transversus are linked to the intestines through connective tissue and one (often overlooked) function of the abs is explicitly the improvement of peristalsis. That's why walking is so effective for it in the first place. Additionally, the transversus is reflexively linked to the pelvic floor which will always coactivate. Thus, what you write is wrong. Mar 5 at 21:34
  • @PhilipKlöcking - Well said. Calling the abs the "core" misses about 34 muscle groups. :|
    – JohnP
    Mar 6 at 13:57

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