You know it, I know it, everybody knows it! Getting in shape is awesome! Feeling good is awesome! Liking the way you look is awesome!
And obviously, I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to work out. If you like to work out through interpretive dance, that’s great! You do what feels good to you!
If you want to work out strictly with weights, that’s super! There are some great ways to do that!
It’s not so much about how you’re working out as it is about the attitude behind how you’re working out.
And that’s what I wanted to talk a little bit about today.
№1 Rib Cage Bragging
"My darling, you have such wonderful...ribs." Yes, apparently ribs are what some people are now looking for and what some celebrities are showing off on Instagram and other social media platforms. No, this doesn't mean displaying ribs sold at Dickey's Barbecue Pit. Rather, a new celebrity Instagram craze (according to Lindsey Kelsey for the Daily Mail) dubbed "rib cage bragging" is posting in a manner to clearly show your rib cage. The more rib cage you show, the more you effectively "brag." Of course, the thinner you are, the more your ribs may show...and once celebrities do something, others follow, sometimes to the extreme. Gee, what then could possibly go wrong?
According to this new concerning fad, the visible display of a person's protruding ribcage is now a positive thing.
The term was coined by Mail Online (shame on you!), who point towards celebrities including Bella Hadid, Rita Ora, Nicole Scherzinger, and Kourtney Kardashian for popularising it with the uploading of bikini pictures showing their ribcages loud and proud. (And no, it's definitely not healthy!)
Time will tell how big a trend "rib cage bragging" will become. Reagan von Wildenradt writing for Men's Health actually thinks that it is not really a popular trend but rather one that was concocted and actively disseminated. It's always difficult to tell what trends emerge naturally and which are artificial. Regardless, trying to emulate celebrities who show their rib cages is not a healthy thing. If you happen to naturally have a similar body type then perhaps seeing your ribs is not so bad...as long as you maintain a healthy weight, healthy diet and a healthy amount of physical activity. (Rush University provides a guide to healthy weights here.) But if you don't have such a body, don't fret and just ignore this trend. Remember that attractive and healthy bodies come in a wide variety shapes and sizes, and not everyone wants you to look like celebrities. Besides, anyone who ribs you about not seeing your ribs may not deserve to see you at all.
№2 Ab Crack
Forget the thigh gap; there's a new, pretty much impossible fitness standard sweeping the world (or, um, Instagram). It's the ab crack. Picture every swimsuit model you can, or Bella Hadid and Jasmine Tookes. Do they have a line going down their abs? That's an ab crack.
Trainer John Ford of the site Find Your Trainer agrees. "I would say any trend that places emphasis on a look that's primarily dependent on your genetics is a bad and unhealthy trend. Additionally, overexerting yourself through specifically weighted ab routines can result in tears in the abdominal muscles and hernias. So if people start over doing their ab workouts in the hopes of seeing a more pronounced ab crack, they could do some serious damage to their body."
Fox News Medical A-Team physician, Dr. Marc Siegel said the ab crack is a deceptive goal for people to attain: “There is nothing healthy about it, except insomuch as thin is healthier than heavy. But to the extent that excess fascination with body tone leads to the obsessive use of isometric (weights, etc.) as opposed to regular of cardiovascular exercise (running, elliptical, bike, rowing), then I would call the ab crack potentially unhealthy.”
The bright side in all this? Focusing on a healthier core. "Having a strong and healthy core goes beyond the basic sit-up, and there are so many exercises to fully and effectively target the midsection," Ford says. "That's not to say you need a visible six-pack, but a healthy diet and strong core will improve your posture, protect your spine, and limit your risk factors for heart and vascular disease."
You heard it: The ab crack isn't worth obsessing over. Time to move on to the next trend.
№3 Alien Yoga
It’s captivating and cringe-worthy all at the same time. A viral phenomenon, what’s being dubbed as ‘Alien Yoga’ has quickly taken over as videos of the strange contortions flood social media.
Otherwise known as Nauli, the traditional yoga move involves exhaling completely, isolating the abdomen and pulling it under the ribcage.
That being said, Nauli.org insist that it can be mastered by a person of any age and level of experience, and in some more classical traditions was often among the first exercises taught to students.
Alien yoga is less harmful than any trend on this list, although it certainly doesn't look it.
In order to master Nauli, it’s necessary to master four movements.
To do the move, you apparently first exhale, pushing your stomach out. While holding your breath, you then pull your abs up toward the chest. Then you isolate your abs and roll them from side to side. This move is called "nauli, " and it's meant to cleanse the digestive system and strengthen the core through a series of abdominal movements. It can also supposedly correct hormonal imbalances, improve willpower, and produce happiness and emotional stability.
Nauli is not recommended for people who are pregnant, suffer from hernias, ulcers or heart problems, and should always be attempted in the presence of a professional yoga instructor.