Low Belly Pooch? Let’s Learn to Breathe.

low belly pooch

Do you feel like your low belly pooch won’t improve no matter what you do? First off, remember that you are the owner of a uterus and it is normal to have some pooch to our tummies! This is especially true after having babies. That said, I’m going to share with you the best kept secret to improving the appearance of your lower belly.

Why Ab Exercises Aren’t Helping Your Low Belly Pooch

What if I told you that you didn’t need scissor kicks and Pilates 100s to minimize the low ab pooch? Say whaaaaat? ⁣In fact, these exercises could be making that mommy pooch worse.

Of even greater importance, what if I told you that your low ab pooch is trying to tell you something about your pelvic floor function? ⁣

What if I told you your breath was the way to a flatter low tummy? ⁣

(Okay, Ashley…spill the beans).

Your Core is a Pressure System

Your core is a pressure system. The diaphragm sits under the rib cage, and ideally, as you inhale this dome-like muscle flattens and pushes air down into the lungs. This gentle expansion lets the pelvic floor relax. As you exhale, the diaphragm recoils and the pelvic floor gently lifts. But, if you are sucking in your tummy and gripping your abs, you are putting major kink in this natural system. As a result, you start to breathe backwards. Essentially, you breathe up into your chest. This can cause headaches, anxiety, pelvic floor issue, and it sucks. ⁣

If you suck in all day, as many women do (especially as you become even more self-conscious with the mom belly pooch), the middle of your abs grip tight. When your upper and mid abs grip tight above the belly button, it creates a pooch. Think about it like a balloon. If you press into a balloon, the air just moves.  Similarly, this core pressure still has to go somewhere, and so it gets redistributed. The result? A pooch. Hot damn.

How to Get Rid of the Low Belly Pooch?

So what’s the fix?  First off…let it go. Legit. Stop sucking in. Most of us have been sucking in since we were teens. It will feel scary and hard to let your tummy relax. Also, try to relax that booty, too. Now, when you inhale, try to get the breath down. You’ll find this frustrating at first, but keep practicing. It will become second nature (well, really first-nature again) with practice. ⁣

When we exercise, it is particularly important to set up that inhale, or we bear down on pelvic floor. If you see your low abs pooching on any movement, it usually means that you are also bearing down on your pelvic floor. ⁣

This free guide will teach you how to breathe and manage your core pressure system in day-to-day activities.

Other Reasons Your Low Belly Has a Pooch?

In addition to your breathing patterns, it could be that you have diastasis recti, a thinning of the connective tissue between your six-pack abdominal muscles. It is quick and easy to check yourself. Here is how.

It can also be excess skin from pregnancy. This loose skin like to hang in the lower portion of our belly, especially after having a C-section. There isn’t much you can do to get rid of loose skin.

Lastly, it can be fat. Listen carefully though. You cannot spot reduce fat. There is no tip or trick to losing lower belly fat, and if anyone tries to sell you on this…RUN!

What If I’ve Had a Tummy Tuck Postpartum and Still Have a Low Belly Pooch?

A lingering low belly pooch is actually really common after abdominoplasty, and it is because of that dang pressure system. Even if you tighten the tummy muscles and remove the skin, your core is still very much a canister of pressure as we discussed above. If you are still sucking in constantly, or breathing only into your chest and not down into your body, you may still have a pooch. Take the time to train your brain to breathe properly, and you will see a big difference in the way you look and feel.  Also, remember that swelling can persist for quite some time post tummy tuck as your lymphatic system has been disrupted.

Try Strong Like a Mother Free for 7 Days

I go over this in way more detail in my Core Basics program (which is included with your Strong Like a Mother subscription), but hopefully this gives you a good start.⁣