Hey, ladies! Today we’re going to talk about four fails when it comes to getting that flat belly. I know. Here we go. Today we’re going to talk about possibly why our abs are not getting flat. What are we possibly doing wrong? Even if you do have abs, why are they protruding? It’s so weird. My diet is on key, I’m going everything I should, but they still look like they’re puffing out a little bit.
Here are four things we need to talk about to hopefully get to the bottom of this, because I know it’s extremely frustrating. We’ve all had our major fails. The first thing we’re going to talk about, number one, is doing way too much lower ab training. A lot of times when people are thinking about training their abs, a lot of times they’re focused on the lower belly. Which, number one, is the last place to lose fat. Normally we’re going to lean out here first before we get here. So, this is the trouble area for most people anyway. That’s where the problem comes in because people are thinking “I’m just going to crank these out every workout and all I’m going to do is come in, do my hanging leg raises until I can’t do them anymore.” So, you see people in there just cranking these out rep, after rep, and they’re hitting the ground. “Okay, now I’m going to do my leg raises”.
More lower ab workout here. Crank this out. Okay, those are great exercises, but if that’s all you’re doing you’re going to overbuild that muscle and that can cause the lower ab to start protruding. It’s okay to have those in, but really think about all the aspects of your core, making sure you’re doing other things, too. Your planks, your bodyweight work, my obliques, my side planks; all that stuff is really critical, too. The next thing we want to talk about is focusing on quality, not quantity.
I see those people in there on the weekends. I call them the ‘weekend warriors’. Man, they are cranking those crunches out. They’re firing them off and it’s like ‘okay, slow it down’. That’s not the objective of all of this. You really want to think about contracting that transverse abdominus first, before you move into the exercise. So, there is a lot of contracting that needs to happen before you actually go into your reps. Also, how are you breathing? Are you holding your breath and at the end pushing the air out? That can also cause your lower abdomen to protrude. Like I’m saying, if people already have abs, but they’re training them in a way that they’re making them pooch out by the way they’re breathing, that can really be another huge factor.
So those are two to look at. Quality over quantity. Slow, concise, contraction first, breathing out as we’re contracting at the same time. That’s really going to make a big difference, guys. The next one, a lot of people don’t even really think about. Tight hip flexors. They can really affect everything, including your posture. So, with that, with the tight hip flexors – say that three times fast – they can make your butt stick out and then your belly is going to come out.
I had trouble with that for years because of all my years of track and gymnastics. I had this anterior pelvic tilt and my stomach was really pooched out. I was like “What’s going on? I’m pretty lean, I’m an athlete. Why do I look so weird?” That can be another thing, too. Just making sure we’re really stretching out those hip flexors. Especially, are you sitting all day? Do you have super long commutes getting back and forth to work? All of that stuff. The more we’re sitting all day, it’s allowing those hip flexors to become tighter and tighter. So, we get up, we hit the gym, we’re not stretching them out, and then that’s when all the muscle imbalances are going to happen.
Then everything just goes crazy. So super easy stretch. You can even do them at work. Maybe every half hour, every hour. You’re going to go into what I call a high split stance. With our leg behind us, my heel is on the ground. I’m going to reach up, and then I’m going to lean away from this back leg here. So, this is the hip flexor I’m stretching. I’m going to reach up, I’m leaning away from it. If you have to do a slight rotation, or a twisting away to get that to open up, that’s great. I can really feel all these muscles here getting stretched out. Do that during the work day.
Do it after you – before you get in the car, after you get in the car, if you’ve got that long commute. All that stuff is going to make such a big difference, you guys. Big time. And last, but not least: structural causes. A lot of people don’t even think about that. I mean, if you’re already having some back pain, you’re already going to find it hard to hold good posture because, let’s say your back hurts. I have lower back pain and sometimes at night I’m shuffling around the house and it’s hard for me to hold good posture because I’m in quite a bit of pain sometimes.
So that can really be a factor, too. Some of us may have issues within our hips. I know if one hip is off that can throw everything off. So, there are already things in our bodies that may be contributing to a lot of the reasons why we’re not able to really train properly. So, a lot of rotational exercises can be tougher. For me, that’s a tough one because, once again, I have a lower back injury and my spine does not like to rotate. If I try doing it it’s like, a couple of days and I’m in quite a bit of pain. So that’s where we have to realize ‘what are my limitations, what do I need to work on, do I need to see a specialist?’ Maybe a chiropractor or somebody who’s beyond my expertise of what I’m doing to help get my body in alignment before I really start training it.
These are some really good things that we need to address. They’re all fixable. We don’t get like this overnight, you guys. Just really think about a lot of these when it comes to getting those abs, getting that flat belly. I hope these are helpful. Thanks for joining me. Check out ATHLEANXXforWomen.com. Great stuff on there. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. They’re always putting up great videos of workouts. Really good, different exercises. Maybe you’re at a little bit of a plateau. Hit the like button and subscribe.
See you guys soon. .