Fad diets and new exercises are never in short supply.
With popular, easily accessible mediums and platforms like Youtube, Instagram, and TikTok, it seems like there’s always new and enticing info being “sold” to the masses in regards to shrinking your waistline.
Sometimes these newly revealed ideas take off like gangbusters with or without merit…the merit obviously coming after some tried and proven true results.
But, how much of this new info is actually good info?
And, how many of these new exercises actually work?
Honestly, some of them, once investigated, only merit one type of exercise. And, this movement involves a circular-type motion of your eyeballs.
Others, when investigation proves that there may be some merit to the information, may be worth your time and effort to gain positive benefits to your health and fitness endeavors.
So, where does the Japanese ab exercise fall in that spectrum?
We’ve done the investigating here, so we’ll let you read on to decide if it merits your effort…
What Is The Japanese Ab Exercise?
A trending new ab workout, the Japanese ab exercise involves a method that boasts claims to:
- Get rid of belly fat
- Improve posture
- Strengthen back muscles
- Improve back pain
This exercise was developed roughly ten years ago by a Japanese physician by the name of Toshiki Fukutsudzi.
The physician’s method is now often called the Japanese towel exercise or you may have seen it listed as the 5-minute Japanese towel method.
The premise behind this method centers around the idea that the extra fat around your abdomen is merely a result of your pelvis being misplaced.
The physician’s claims state that when you correctly exercise this area, the pelvis is properly placed, and you then see results in the form of a smaller waistline.
The steps to doing this exercise are as follows:
- Roll a medium sized towel into a cylinder (it is important to note that this towel should be no less than 38 cm long and should be about 10 cm wide). Use a rubber band or string to wrap around the towel to help it keep its shape.
- Sit flat on the floor or on a yoga or exercise mat, and place the towel behind you.
- Lie down on your back, positioning the towel so that it is against the small of your back and parallel with your navel.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart, but turn your toes inward until they are touching.
- Now, stretch your arms above your head, palms facing downward, and touch your pinkie fingers together.
- Hold this position for at least 5 minutes.
- Now, slowly move to a standing position. The emphasis here is on slowly standing up as your joints and bones may have slightly changed position during the exercise.
Fukutsudzi claims that when practiced daily, results will be noticed within a month.
Does It Work?
Okay, so there is a theory behind this trending movement.
But, what are folks saying about this simple Japanese ab exercise?
Here are a few observations:
1- One observation noted right off the bat is that when done correctly, simple doesn’t necessarily mean pain free or effortless.
Kind of like a plank position, it seems easy enough as far as technique, yet challenging when you attempt the position for any length of time.
As in the case of a plank position, the Japanese towel exercise is one that you may need to set smaller time goals to build up to the 5 minute mark.
2- One yoga instructor says that your waistline may indeed shrink, but she doesn’t necessarily cite fat loss as the reason why.
Ask any chiropractor and they will let you in on a little secret: one small subluxation or misalignment in your spine can set off a cascade of other negative outcomes to your health.
Such seems to be the case here as well.
Kristin Scott (personal trainer and yoga instructor) cites the same interconnectivity of our organs, limbs, intestines, and brain to our spinal column.
The connection between your spine and digestive organs is located in the area the Japanese towel method emphasizes.
This exercise may then correct digestion troubles, constipation, gas, and bloating issues that are often experienced as a result of poor posture and stress or misalignments in the pelvic region of the spinal column.
So, if these issues are corrected, while you may see a slimming of your waist due to less gas, bloating, and constipation, these results are not necessarily indicative of abdominal fat loss.
3- While the exercise may not truly shed excess abdominal fat, it may benefit you by strengthening your lower back muscles, tightening your core, and relieving back pain.
Subsequently, each of these benefits can boost weight loss efforts by increasing mobility.
While these may not be in line with the original claims surrounding the benefits of the exercise, perhaps they do make up the silver lining of this method.
4- Some TikTok demonstrations of this exercise are reporting or claiming that incorporating this method will give you a “flat stomach and toned abs in 10 days.”
Aaaannnndddd…there’s the “too good to be true” claim that just throws a wrench in the whole thing.
Seriously people…nothing is that beneficial to your health or life in only 10 days.
Heck, I wouldn’t know from experience, but I’m just going to lay it out straight here. Even if Ed McMahon shows up on your doorstep with a humongous check from Publishers Clearing House, that dough is going to take longer than 10 days to materialize (and I seriously doubt it’ll come without a little legwork on your part).
The moral of the story:
This exercise may or may not prove beneficial to your spine, which absolutely can improve your health in numerous ways.
But, as far as promising a flat stomach or toned abs, those things, like life, are just a tad more complicated than that.
Anything worth having or doing takes time…and abs are no different.
Ancient Tonic Melts 54 Pounds
A doctor from Japan recently leaked the formula of a secret Japanese tonic that BURNS fat from your frame faster than almost anything else discovered…
Shady figures behind the scenes were scrambling to keep this formula hidden to protect the profits of the pharma and weight loss industries…
But the doctor secretly leaked it to the brother of Susan Atlee, a 45 year old Mom of 3 kids who was struck by a sudden heart attack she got from standing up too fast…
….With this ancient tonic alone she lost 54 pounds in 7 weeks without exercise (due to osteoarthritis in her left knee) and without restrictive diets…