Fix Your Lower-Belly Pooch
by: Courtney Virden
You may have always had a pooch belly, or maybe it appeared after pregnancy. Regardless of when it appeared, most women don’t want a lower stomach pooch and think exercising will make it disappear. Many search for the best shapewear for lower belly pooches or how to get rid of a FUPA. But does shapewear or exercise make it go away? That depends on what caused your lower belly pouch in the first place.
What Causes a Lower Belly Pooch?
Excessive belly fat is an obvious cause of a lower belly pooch. “One of the fascinating things that were discovered in the peer-reviewed and published research of the FasciaBlaster tools is that they are able to “spot reduce” fat, which allows us to target pooches without overall body fat loss, perfect for FUPA,” says Ashley Black. With age, women also tend to store lower belly fat more easily with hormonal shifts.
Many women also have excessive skin after pregnancy or significant weight loss leading to a pooch, and others have diastasis recti which is a separation in the abdominal wall and overstretched connective tissue. Self-checking for diastasis recti is easy (see the video below).
If you have diastasis recti, doing our Restore program can help your body heal and fix the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles. There are exercises to avoid when you have diastasis recti, such as crunches, sit-ups, leg lifts, and front planks, that can make your belly pooh and the diastasis recti worse.
Often, many women with pelvic floor dysfunction also have a belly pooch because a woman’s lower belly pooch causes issues in the pelvic floor, and pelvic floor issues lead to breathing issues and belly pooch. It is a double-edged sword. Pelvic floor issues such as lower back pain, painful intercourse, pelvic pain, prolapse, and incontinence are common in women with diastasis.
Stop Sucking In Your Stomach – Breathe
Many women also hold their breath and suck in their stomachs. This stomach gripping tightens the upper and mid abdominals and then causes the belly to pooch. It also forces you to breathe shallowly, which tightens the pelvic floor.
Proper diaphragmatic breathing keeps our diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles strong and able to relax. Our core is a pressure system; when you chronically suck in, you make this system imbalanced long-term, causing issues besides lower belly pooch. You can do diaphragmatic breathing exercises to help teach yourself to breathe deeper and relax your pelvic floor muscles. So relax and breathe. Sucking in and shallow breathing wreak havoc on our bodies.
Address the Causes of Your Pooch Belly and Fix It
Suppose the cause of your belly pouch is excessive fat or loose skin. In that case, it isn’t an issue that impacts your entire body and functioning, such as diastasis recti, pelvic floor dysfunction, or sucking in and breathing improperly. You should address the issues if one or more of those are causing your belly pooch because it is a dysfunction in your body.
Even if you don’t have symptoms, most likely, they will soon come, and your core and foundation are unstable and imbalanced, which is why you want to address it. If you have a belly pooch from weight or loose skin and not dysfunction, it is up to you whether you want to try to tackle it, but from a functional standpoint, it isn’t cause for concern like pelvic floor dysfunction or diastasis recti.
Use breathing exercises and pelvic floor exercises to help you heal if it is from dysfunction or diastasis recti. Time and consistency are key to learning to breathe deeply and treating dysfunction. Our Restore pelvic floor exercise program and our 90-Day Pelvic Floor Challenge can help you if you have diastasis or pelvic floor dysfunction. The programs will help you restore proper function of the pelvic floor and abdominals. The challenge combines our powerful pelvic floor programs with the FasciaBlaster for a dual modality approach to restore pelvic floor health. Our diaphragmatic breathing exercises can completely restore your core and resolve your issues. Things will only worsen if we take a band-aid approach and don’t fix the underlying issues.