Instagram fitness trends under the microscope
By John Harris Fitness
Fit is the new slim: If you follow the latest fitness icons on Instagram or watch international fashions shows, you'll quickly notice that the beauty ideal has turned away from just slim to defined muscles. However, there are still plenty of social media trends based on an extremely lean body. If you follow Instagram regularly, you've probably noticed that many of these fitness and slimming trends originate right there. What's behind #thighgap, #a4waist, #bikinibridge and the #abcrack. Are these trends a new motivator for a healthy lifestyle or more dangerous?
Ab cracks, the new six-pack?
This trend refers to straight abs. Unlike the six-pack, here the emphasis is mainly on the linea alba, the midline between the abdominal muscles, which is strongly defined. You can effectively train the straight abdominal muscles with crunches or on the abdominal press, for example. In order for the line to be visible, a low body fat percentage of less than 10% is necessary. You can measure your body fat percentage with the iDXA analysis. So, you can see right away how far you are from your goal and on which parts of your body you should work especially.
Cracks in themselves are of course not dangerous. A healthy amount of sport and a body-conscious diet is good for everyone. Get advice on how to reduce your body fat percentage in a healthy way, then this trend, if you like it (the classic six-pack is of course still in), can become your new incentive to exercise regularly.
What does the Thigh Gap actually mean?
This trend is based on a hype around the Thigh Gap (the gap between the thighs) of supermodel Cara Delevingne. The model with extra skinny legs became a role model for many young girls on Instagram. If you stand with closed legs, then a narrow gap remains between the thighs or not. In any case, for this trend, the thighs must not touch each other. However, this is dependent not only on the body fat, but also on the physique. Don't be misled and build up the muscles on your thighs better(which of course will increase the circumference). After all, your legs have to carry you through life every day. Fun fact: The easiest way to get a Thigh Gap is bow legs, and we certainly don't all want them.
The Bikini Bridge
In this slimming trend, protruding pelvic bones are the ideal we're aiming for. Lying on their backs, women photograph themselves in bikinis, with the goal of achieving a gap between the bikini panties and the belly. The bikini must not touch the belly in the middle. For this gap, the pelvic bones must protrude clearly. The trend was deliberately created by the Internet platform 4chan.org because they wanted to show how quickly you can currently establish new slimming trends, and successfully so. This trend also depends on the individual physique, depending on the shape of the pelvis it is easier or more difficult to achieve the ideal. For some women, the pelvis is simply shaped in such a way that the pelvic bones protrude further. This dubious trend is anatomical and not achievable through exercise or healthy eating. You either have it or you don't, don't worry too much about it.
The A4 Waist Challenge
This Instagram trend is all about having a waist as narrow as an A4 sheet. It involves women taking pictures of themselves with an A4 sheet of paper in front of their bodies to prove that they are thin enough. The crazy challenge originally comes from Asia, but has now spread to Europe as well. Such an A4 sheet is only 21 cm wide, so the waist must be quite thin.
Women with a generally slim physique can hide their waist quite well behind the sheet of paper (especially with the right camera angle). Keep in mind, though, that you can't change the width of your chest and pelvis through training, and that's exactly what the measurements of your waist depend on, so yes to a slim waist, but no to the same measurement for everyone.
If ideals help you to encourage you to workout and eat healthy, then just do it! But always make sure that you are aiming for a goal that can be achieved in a healthy way with your physique. You can not influence it. Don't chase ideals that you can't achieve.