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Question
Posted by: Karen | 2011/07/02

Stomach muscles going ''bulgy''

Hi doc, I was on a cardio programme, just running on treadmills and the sorts. I started using the equipment to tone my stomach muscles about a month ago, about 4 times a week. My lower stomach muscles have started bulging, I look like I''m pregnant (which I most definitely know I am not)! I haven''t really looked at myself to see progress because I know I will discourage myself when I don''t see daily progress so this is quite a shock. I''m going to stop the stomach exercises for a while, but how do I reverse the bulge? Or could it possibley be water retention/ bloating?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Karen

No, I don't think it's water retention. If I had to guess, I would say that you may be struggling with something quite complex and common, and that's that when you do stomach exercises, you "push out" to get stability, rather than "pulling in". The idea is to get the stability by drawing your belly button in, to "hollow out". The temptation is to bulge out, and I think that can create the problem you have. You need to learn to activate differently, to focus on hollowing by getting the belly button in and then you should see it change.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2011/07/24

Hi Karen

No, I don't think it's water retention. If I had to guess, I would say that you may be struggling with something quite complex and common, and that's that when you do stomach exercises, you "push out" to get stability, rather than "pulling in". The idea is to get the stability by drawing your belly button in, to "hollow out". The temptation is to bulge out, and I think that can create the problem you have. You need to learn to activate differently, to focus on hollowing by getting the belly button in and then you should see it change.

Good luck

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