Even very lean women can have a little “pooch” on their lower bellies.
Check out these bikini models that have what my daughter calls a “pooch”:
These models are lean, heck – you can see their ribs!
So what causes that little bulge in the lower belly?
Is it something they ate hanging around in their digestive system? Maybe. Grains, even whole grains, can bind up in your intestines and cause bloating. (More on that here: Beat The Belly Bulge)
But if your diet is on point, you’re lean, you’re working hard… What can cause the pooch?
Simple: tight hip flexors.
The muscles that cross the front of your hips can get really tight and pull you into what we exercise science types call an “anterior pelvic tilt.”
This forward tilt pulls your low back out of alignment. Look at the diagram below on the left, it shows what happens when your low back is pulled forward:
Whoa! In the lordosis (“swayback”) picture the lower belly is pooched out!
Even on someone very lean having a swayback can give you a lower belly pooch. Here is a skinny kid that manages to look like he has a belly:
In the title of this blog post I promised one exercise that would end lower belly pooch. And here it is: The humble hip flexor stretch
This stretch will bring your hips back to where they should be, ease forward pressure on your lower back, and dial back the lower belly bulge.
Here is an example of someone with forward tilted hips (from tight hip flexors). Notice the slight bulge:
And here is the same girl without the forward hip lean. Notice that she isn’t sucking in her stomach or flexing her abs, just fixing her hips and low back:
Pretty cool, huh!
So if your diet is straight-on and you’re looking for that last little edge on getting rid of lower belly bulge, try the 3 way hip flexor stretch twice a day, for 30 seconds in each position.
And say bye-bye to the lower belly bulge!
(If you want a few exercises to tighten things up even more, check out this program:Turbulence Training For A Flat Belly)