T Nation

Lower Ab Pouch

My girlfriend of 49 recently joined a gym. She is 5’4" and 130 lbs but after 4 children she has a pouch on her lower abs that is protruding. After working out a month she has lost only 3 lbs and still has the gut. I would tend to believe that she needs to increase her cardio and reduce her calories / carbs in order to help shrink this area. She’e determined to lose this pouch even if it requires surgery. Any help is appreciated.

Post some training and diet DETAILS


Glad to hear your lady is getting serious about training. Well I’m no expert but I would imagine 4 kids would do a number on anybody’s abs. It’s only been a month, right? Give it some time. Also give some info on what kind of training and diet she’s using so your T-peers can pool their knowledge. This site is a great resource.

Good luck!

It could be stretched skin, or possible even a hernia from the babies (her stomach would still pooch out a bit, not just flab probably)

Skin might not decrease no matter what, give the diet/working out some time & a great effort. It could fix it, it could help alot to the point where dangerous surgery is not neccessary, if after no results occur see a really good surgeon if its what she really wants. Be aware of the risks though.

Please give us more info about diet & working out routine.

I would suggest having her do abd. hollowing or other exercises to activiate the tranverse abd. This muscle performs the function of narrowing the waist as well as providing stability to the spine. This area is prone to weakness, esp. after four kids. You do abd. hollowing by first finding the two points on the front of your pelvis (ASIS), now slide your fingers just inside of them. Next try to draw your belly button and lower abs in toward your spine, thus making your waist smaller. If you do this correctly, the muscles under your fingers will contract. Hold the contracted position for appx 5 sec. and release. Work up to 3x 15-20 reps. While this exercise is pretty simplistic, it helps to promote neuromuscular re-education of these muscles. Once she has mastered this, you can progress to some more advanced exercises.

Take care

you mean suck your abs in? i do that for fun to gross my girlfriend out because how deep i could suck it in! lol.

The right kind of diet and weight training program make huge difference in reshaping the body, not cardiovascular exercises. it doesn’t hurt to do a couple cardio each week as long as you focus on the diet and weight training. if you just do cardio, it won’t be what you’re looking for.

I am not talking about the abdominal vacuum ala Arnold.

As many of the others have said, details on her diet and exercise regime would help.

However, I did note that you said she RECENTLY joined a gym. Given that she is a novice her scale weight may not be dropping quickly as she could be putting on muscle. Again, we can’t know this unless we see her routine.

As I see it there are a few potential causes of this “pouch”.

  1. She just has fat there. Having 4 kids, not exercising, and a bad diet can do that to ya. A solid diet, a good weight training and cardio routine, and patience may be all that she needs. Rome wasn’t built in a day…and I’m sure that pouch wasn’t either. Tell her to be consistant and patient in her efforts. It will take time.

  2. She has loose skin. Another real possibility after having kids. With time the elastic properties of the skin could tighten it up. Age has a lot to do with this process so she might not be as elastic as she once was. In the end she may have to have abdominoplasty.

  3. As was mentioned, she may need to strengthen her abs via the hollowing mentioned earlier.

  4. There is also a possibility that she has a severe anterior pelvic tilt leading to protrusion of her stomach. Read the Neanderthal No More articles for more on this.

Best of luck.