T Nation

IMPORTANT SQUAT QUESTION

If i do squats where i breathe so my stomach sticks out and i flex my abs, will my belly start to stick out by itself?? cuz ive been doing super squats where i take a deep breath so i stick out my belly and flex my abs and now when i flex my abs in the mirror my whole lower section seems to stick out more than it used to, im concerned because i dont want it to look like i have a big gut.

someone answer please

I have the same problem I can see my abs, however it looks like I have a little gut because the bottom of my stomach sticks out (there is a little curve in my back there) how can I fix this? Do you think it is tight hip flexors/weak back/etc.?

Yes, Squatting like this tends to create a “power belly”. By protruding your belly this way you are teaching your transverse abdominus to relax when it should be firing. The rectus abdomnus then becomes your primary stabilizer which over time results in a distended belly and a reduction in function often resulting in low back pain. Refer to paul check’s articles in the archives or his video “Squatology”. Ian King also teaches squats well in his video.

if you are squatting at all heavy, forget Chek’s articles on sucking in your abs to squat. Siff, Zatsiorsky, Louie Simmons, and Dr. Squat i am sure will all tell you to expand your stomach and flex there to create more intra-abdominal pressure.

As I understand it, the transverse abdominus draws the abdominals outward as well as inward. It’s not a matter of the transverse firing, but rather whether you’re strengthening the musculature which pulls the abdominal wall inward or outward. To be honest I’m not sure the names of each, but there may be two different names for the dominant abdominal muscles in these two opposing actions. Regardless, if you push outward, you’re in fact tightening whatever the muscle is that pushes the abs outward, and vice versa. Arnold may very well be right when he said that vacuums help to narrow your waistline…

As for whether to push out or in, I’d suck in most of the time, especially for aesthetically oriented bodybuilders who have concern for their training longevity and muscle balance.