Often known as the "pooch"
belly (I have no idea why), you can also call this "protruding
inferior abdominal syndrome" if you want to make
up a more scientific sounding name for it :)
The pooch belly is the
bulge in the lower ab area that seems to happen to most
people...and even in people with low bodyfat AND in
people who train the area directly.
This can be a really tough
area to flatten out, if you don't know exactly how to
go about doing it. Electric ab belts aren't going to
do it...sorry to burst your bubble. Those things won't
even hold up your pants.
So here's how to get
rid of your pooch belly...
It's a very simple, very
easy exercise that involves very little actual movement,
strangley enough. The key is in WHERE and HOW the movement
takes place. You have to feel the right muscles working
in order to get the desired effect out of this one.
I have to give credit
to former Mr. Olympia Larry Scott for this one...and
my dad for telling me about it. The first time I tried
it I could really feel it targeting the exact area and
in the exact manner that I knew would get the job done
and flatten out the lower ab "pooch" area
(yeah, I can't believe I'm using that word either but
you have to admit, when I say, you know exactly what
I'm talking about :).
What this exercise is
going to do is tighten up the muscles underneath the
pooch area, pulling them back into better alignment
and basically teaching the body how to keep that area
Naturally, if you're got
a big, fat gut, you won't really notice a big difference
by doing this. It's not going to burn any appreciable
fat by itself, so you have to do it context of an overal
fat-reduction program, if you really want to notice
the best results with it.
If you're already fairly
lean and you still have that pooch belly, this is the
perfect exercise to help get rid of it.
I'll show you the exercise
and tell you how to work it into your overall training
Lie flat on your back
with your arms out to the sides and flat on the floor
for balance. Your hips should be bent 90 degress and
your knees bent 90 degrees, with your left foot crossed
over your right foot to "lock in" the lower
abs (cross at the ankles).
You'll notice when your
hips are 90 degrees, your lower back is not flat on
the floot, due to it's natural arch. THAT is the key
thing to think about.
movement itself is simply flattening out the lower back
and bringing your knees towards your chest by focusing
on tightening the extreme lower abdominal area. There
is very little resistance in this exercise and you don't
NEED significant resistance...just repeat this movement
doing about one rep per second.
You'll repeat this for
10 reps with your left leg higher then switch and put
your right foot over top to keep it even. Do this for
100 total reps, switching the feet every 10 reps.
It's a little tough to
see the difference in position in still pictures, so
I've got a rollover image below - just move your mouse
on and off the picture below here and you'll see it
in motion (also I've got a demo video below, too, which
will help you see the tempo of the exercise).
The key to remember here
is you're not trying to do a full leg raise...just bring
your hips to 90 degrees and then bring your lower back
flat on the floor then repeat. Focus on using the extreme
lower ab area to make this movement happen...not the
hip flexors. It might take a bit of practice, but the
results are worth it.
You'll need to do this
exercise regularly...and that means pretty much every
day as a habit...to really see the difference, but it
WILL happen. The good thing is, this exercise is VERY
easy and won't impact your recovery in any way, shape
or form. You can do it in the privacy of your own home
(just make sure you're on a solid surface when you do
it - no water beds :)
Give this one a few weeks
of regular use and you should see that pooch belly flattening