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How Do I Flatten My Hard, Round Belly Pouch? In Desperate Need Of Advice.


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#1 novah

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:50 AM

Hello,

I am sure similar questions have been asked before but I took a look and didn't see any (feel free to show me). I really need help and guidance.

I am a 28 yr old female. I have never been overweight and my stomach was perfectly flat before pregnancy.

It's now been 1.5 years since c-section delivery.

I have been working out for about 3 months now and I'm starting to get fit in all areas of my body except my stomach.

My stomach looks and feels like a hard round "pouch". I look 4 months pregnant in profile. This is very frustrating and saddening to me. My stomach does not "match" the rest of my body. And I know its not all fat because when I feel it its hard, so it must be muscle.

Even when sucking in my stomach it will not get flat (this was never a problem before pregnancy).

Is there any hope for me? Which pilates exercises will help solve my problem?

Thank you very much in advance for any and all info!!!

#2 bokfukata

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:31 PM

I don't know why your belly is sticking out. It could be your posture or a weak powerhouse, which is not exactly the same thing as weak abdominal muscles (I know plenty of people who have super-strong "ab" muscles but whose bellies still stick out). I sound like a broken record but if you're interested in Pilates, I'd suggest finding a good instructor and taking some sessions.

There are no specific Pilates exercises that I know of or can suggest -- you kind of have to do the whole she-bang to get the benefits of Pilates.

#3 gaile

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:01 AM

You need someone to check the muscles while you are working out.Ive had clients who thought they were "sucking" in but were actually pooching out and creating a dome of muscle.It could also be that the seperation of the rectus muscle during pregnancy hasnt returned to its pre pregnancy state and that really needs to be watched carefully while you workout, otherwise you will continue to build a pouch.Get your doctor to check the rectus seperation and as suggested get one private with a teacher to check your abdominals are working the way you think they are
www.ultimate-pilates.co.uk

#4 Pilates Core

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:29 AM

Usually, people who think they are sucking in but are in fact pushing out are only able to engage their rectus abdominis properly and can't engage the transversus or obliques.

Really there is no way to learn Pilates other than to book some sessions with a certified instructor. I recommend checking out some studios in your area!

#5 vlissa7

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 09:16 AM

Ditto on what Pilates Core said & others as well, try and get to a studio where a qualified instructor can monitor your movement - from what it sounds like you probably are most likely only engaging the outermost ab layer - rectus & not giving enough attention to the others. Also may be a case of rectus separation, I had one, so all the 'traditional' ab work in the world is not going to make things better, but only worse - you will just need to modify a bit to help it heal & simultaneously get stronger from the inner layers as well. there is hope though - do not despair, I have a 20 month old and my abs have come back, after some time, but they have & I am even stronger now than I ever was :-)

#6 Neuropraxia

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 03:27 AM

I had a very similar issue; it was a diastasis recti. After my last pregnancy I had surgery to correct it (my insurance covered it since it wasn't just cosmetic but generally weakened my posture) and although I still have fat to lose, happily my stomach is again flat. Fat and flat are not the same. Now that my muscles are closed, I am embarking seriously on Pilates to restore my core...which because of my condition had not been used for 8 years. Good luck!

#7 LAville

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 04:48 AM

Hello,

I am sure similar questions have been asked before but I took a look and didn't see any (feel free to show me). I really need help and guidance.

I am a 28 yr old female. I have never been overweight and my stomach was perfectly flat before pregnancy.

It's now been 1.5 years since c-section delivery.

I have been working out for about 3 months now and I'm starting to get fit in all areas of my body except my stomach.

My stomach looks and feels like a hard round "pouch". I look 4 months pregnant in profile. This is very frustrating and saddening to me. My stomach does not "match" the rest of my body. And I know its not all fat because when I feel it its hard, so it must be muscle.

Even when sucking in my stomach it will not get flat (this was never a problem before pregnancy).

Is there any hope for me? Which pilates exercises will help solve my problem?

Thank you very much in advance for any and all info!!!


The pelvic floor muscles need to be strengthened so you can engage the deeper muscles. This is very common after pregnancy and especially after a c-section. Check out Pilates-pro.com...there you will find some information about the diastasis-recti and post partum exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor...and you might also google your area to find a Pilates instructor who is trained to do specific post partum exercises. ITs really important to NOT Pooch if you have diastasis recti as that will make things worse..

#8 taowave

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 11:31 AM

Here is the best and most simple advice I can offer.Less is MORE..

In your case this applies lying on your back and performing the ab ecercises,i.e. The series of 5.So many people want to lift their shoulder blades off the floor and have their legs lowered way to close to the floor.Simply put,they have neither the strength nor the control to work at that level,and their TA awareness/engagement barely exisits.

You need to work at comfortable levels,erroring on the side of caution to ensure you are engaginging the TA and keeping the stomach flat.At this point,I would keep one hand on your stomach to feel when you begin to "pop" the pooch.When that occurs,lessen the lever/difficulty,or simply rest.
If it makes you feel any better,bodybuilders often have a clearly defined 6 pack AND a distended stomach.
Until you can develop the internal sensation of lifting up and in,think about bent kness(reduce the resistance arm/lever) keeping the shoulder blades on the mat and flattening that stomach.

#9 GlendalePTand Pilates

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 06:24 PM

Hi,
Congratulations on your child! I know how hard it can be getting your abs back into shape after a baby - I have a 7.5 month old! A lot of times a pregnant women can have a condition where there abdominal muscles may have separated, called diastasis recti. You can look it up:
http://en.wikipedia....Diastasis_recti

You may or may not have this condition, but either way you will need to make sure you are training your abs correctly. Make sure when you are doing any abdominal work that you learn how to "wrap" your abdominal region inward to avoid a "pooching" out of these muscles. This might be happening and you find that you are training your abs to pooch out vs. going inward and hence flattening your stomach.

Hope this helps!
Heather
http://www.balancedphysicaltherapy-pilates.com
Heather Chowaniec Brummett, PT, DPT, CSCS, CPI
Balanced Physical Therapy and Pilates, Phoenix Arizona




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