T Nation

Lower Ab Region (Not Fat) Too Large


#1

Hi Guys. I have a problem with the lower ab region - not really the abs themselves, but a little under, in between the abs and the groin area. There is very little fat there, but that area still 'sticks out' or 'pushes out' a lot. I can see and feel that it is not fat, but actually quite a hard, muscular area. I have worked for months doing things like vacuums, thin-tummy contractions, and working a lot on posture. However this hasn't helped at all.

Anyone know what that area is and what makes it large (ie. what to avoid doing)? Should I not be doing lower ab exercises at all? Are there other specific posture exercises/stretches I should focus on?

Any help appreciated,
X


#2

Just checked your profile. You're 180cm tall and you weigh 150. Unless that's metric too, the last thing you should be worrying about is how far your lower ab muscles stick out.

Perhaps if you built up everything around those muscles they wouldn't be so prominent.


#3

Side bends? I know training obliques makes your stomach flatter (altough it might thicken the waist...well it will certainly thicken the waist)


#4

If I remember right it deals with the hipflexors or somthing in that area being tight. Stretches to release this area will help. Its a common side effect of cyclists due to over use of this muscle. Damn... I hope its the hip flexor.. mods mods...


#5

The area under your abs sticks out? Its called an erection. Every man gets them. Welcome to puberty son.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Jeff


#6

most women tend to get these...they are called FUPAs


#7

post up a picture


#8

it seems like the only thing it could be is obliques. if that's the case, stop doing "twisting" exercises. (ie dont twist from side to side when doing a situp just sit straight up)


#9

larry scott(the first mr. oplymia) wrote an article onece describing this, and it sometimes can lead to back pain as your not as aligned as you should be(i believe he said leg raises and something else led to this)...he basically goes on to describe an exercise which is great for this but sadly is hard to get an idea from just reading the instructions as there's no easy way to write this...i'll try to post a picture of this at a later time...


#10

Undigested food or allergen response = distention of the viscera . .a "bloat".
Use of a digestive enzyme complex before each meal helps alot.
As I switched many clients to eating right for their blood type there was a great reduction in this distension as well.
Paul Chek refers to the symptoms as similar to leaky gut . .

In my own case (Sad Canadian sigh here . .), it was the regular consumption of beer . .from the pec line up- muscled, from the hips down- powerful . .the gut . .8 weeks pregnant (phhhhhhht !!!!)

Also SSRI's or benzodiazepines (ativan and the such . .I know the latter personally), will distend the area . .

How's that for a start ?


#11

Sounds like the name of someone's dog = )


#12

Use a Glute-Ham Developer if you have access to one. Work both glute-ham situps or 'roman chair situps' as they're sometimes called. Turn over and do back extensions to fully balance the core. You'll be covering all the bases, extension and flexion.


#13

No, please don't lol.


#14

I agree. Don't worry about it. Add 20 lbs of muscle and you will look 100 times better.


#15

Essetially you lie on your back on a bench and put a weight between your feet with your thighs 90 degrees to the ground, then you arch your back, then flatten it against the bench. That was the way I took it anywho.


#16

yep...u nailed it:)


#17

Hi There,

Thanks for the suggestions! I will give that exercise a go. Just to confirm - I assume that, in order for the thighs to be 90 degrees to the ground, you lift your lower legs off the bench into the air so that the lower leg is parallel to the bench/ground. That sound right?


#18

Do you take creatine?


#19

Lower ab region sticking out is a very common problem -- even among "skinny" people. As some people here have been hinting at, the problem is usually anterior pelvic tilt. Basically, this means your pelvis (hip bone) is tilted forward. For evidence of this, stand in front of a mirror and tilt your pelvis to a neutral or posterior position and watch your "lower ab bulge" almost disappear.

This is especially common among women, because of high heels, sedentary lifestyles, and also just because a "feminine" way to walk is with an anterior pelvic tilt. Men have a problem with this because of tight hip flexors (sedentary lifestyle and/or training imbalances).

Problem is, people often think their "lower ab region" sticks out because they need to do more "lower ab" work, so they do a bunch of leg raises and stuff, which often just makes the problem worse. Leg raises, if not done properly, work the hip flexors a lot (even if done properly, they will still work the hip flexors a little). This leads to tighter hip flexors which just makes the problem worse.

The floor bridge exercise (looks like you're trying to hump the ceiling) is good to teach your body how to activate your glutes. Tight hip flexors means lengthened glute muscles and reciprical inhibition of glutes (too much hip flexor strength/activation, too little glute strength/activation). The floor bridge teaches you how to activate your glutes (learning proper motor patterns). However, this exercise itself will not fix the problem, it is just a first step. You will not get a lot stronger glutes by doing this, it will just teach your body how to activate them.

In short, the long-term solution is to stretch the hip flexors regularly and to strengthen the glutes. Core work will help, too. You might want to consider ART (Active Release) on your hip flexors, because you can stretch and stretch those hip flexors all you want, but if you have any adhesions, scar tissue, or flat-out shortness of the muscle, you need to have it worked on to restore the full length of the musculature.

Another good exercise to help with glute and core activation is the "bird-dog" -- get down on your hands and knees, arms and femur perpendicular to the ground. Then extend one arm and the opposite leg straight out, while keeping the rest of the body in the same position (no leaning to one side). While doing this, tighten your core and your glute muscle on the same side as your extended leg to maintain position. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Work up to 3 sets of 10 or more.