Alright people, let’s address the pooch and no…I'm not talking about your fluffy little pal! As a trainer the lower belly pooch is often the first area of concern I’m told about which doesn’t surprise me because it can be the most difficult area to get rid of. So what do I advise? Let’s dive in!
First things first...
Crunches are NOT the answer + will not take care of the problem. Instead, majority of people dealing with lower belly fat are also dealing with one (or more) of the following situations:
high cortisol levels (aka stress)
not enough sleep
improper pressure management (aka poor breathing patterns)
choose poor core exercises or simply lack core strength
So where do we begin?
First step is to identify the problem. Review my list above. What areas are you struggling with? Once identified it will be easier to make proper changes however I easy isn't necessarily the case so let me help outline some simple areas to start which may reduce or even rid of your lower belly pooch for good!
STEP ONE: RELAX
The jaw, neck, shoulders + upper abdominals are common areas in which people hold stress. Do you clench your jaw during exercise or while you are working? Do you suck in your stomach while lounging by the pool? These habits are part of the problem!! I myself suffer from jaw clenching + used to “suck in” my belly all the time in order to create a flatter appearance. But turns out I was only making the issue worse by creating pressure build up in my body.
Take a moment now + visualize your core as a balloon. If I were to squeeze the balloon in the center (sucking in) what would happen? The air would push down (ie: lower belly pooch) + above the waist. Learning to manage this pressure by relaxing the upper abs instead of gripping + releasing the jaw will reduce the pressure in the lower belly making the stomach appear flatter than ever!
STEP TWO: FIX YOUR POSTURE + MAKE EVERYTHING A CORE EXERCISE
Just as holding pressure in our bodies creates an issue, holding poor posture for long periods of time can do the same. Slouching over when seated or hanging into the hips while standing are a few common postures I see that will make the issue worse. How come? Other than the fact this is creating pressure build up in the body - it is also not allowing our core to function properly. Bringing awareness to your daily postures + making everything a core exercise is a simple way to manage pressure within our body while also strengthening (tightening) our core muscles.
STEP THREE: ACCEPTANCE
Alright mamas, this one is mostly for you! Post-baby our bodies change forever. Our hips widen, our skin stretches + our core weakens. Not all of this is reversible so it’s important to embrace your body just as it is. Sure your 20yr old body may have felt different but that’s not the body you have now. Even if not post-partum, as women we have a uterus that sits around our low belly. This uterus is beautiful + wonderful because it nurtures life into this world! I understand it’s not as easily done than said but accepting our body as it is + being proud of all it has done is really half the battle we all face. Tugging at your belly isn’t going to fight any battles but embracing this part of you will. You are strong, you are beautiful + your body is incredible just how it is!
NEED FURTHER HELP? Contact me for a nutritional guide to learn dietary changes that can help reduce overall body fat or stay tuned for me to discuss the most effective core exercises to target stubborn body fat.