Want a Flat Tummy? Don’t Do Sit-Ups or Crunches (Part 3)

shutterstock_55118254By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

Is your New Year’s Resolution “I want a Flat Tummy?”
This is the final article of the 3 part series.

Many people have problems with pelvic stability and you must have a stable pelvis if you want that flat tummy look.

If you have ever had a baby, you are especially likely to have experienced this problem. During pregnancy, hormones are released that cause the ligaments around your pelvis to soften, getting your body ready to deliver your baby. In some women this can cause severe and frequent pain in the buttock area or at the front of the pelvis. Sometimes this pain and instability can continue for many years.

And yes, Men can develop unstable pelvises too! So guys pay attention, these exercises will help you flatten that gut.

We gave you 2 core activation exercises in part two of this series to get you on the road to that flat tummy look. Now you will learn 3 more advanced exercises to try after you have mastered the activation exercises. The 3 exercises below will help you develop pelvic stability.

(Note: Please read disclaimer prior to performing exercises)

For all these exercises, working on a firm surface is a must – a blanket/comforter on the floor or a yoga mat is perfect.

THE BRIDGEBlock Girl Pelvic Tilt

  • For this exercise, you need to be lying comfortably on your back. Your head and arms should be relaxed with your knees and hips bent. Put your weight on the heels of your feet.
  • Lift your bottom off the floor, aiming for a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Hold for a count of 3, if you can. Then slowly lower your body to the start position.
  • Work up to holding the bridge position for 10 counts, then repeat 10 times.

THE BUTT LIFTBlog Girl Leg Raise

This is a great exercise for your buttock area, working the muscles that stabilize your pelvis.

  • Lie on your tummy, with a pillow supporting it on a firm, comfortable surface. Make sure your head is down and arms are relaxed. Use a towel roll to support your forehead.
  • Bend one knee to 90 degrees, with your toes pointed towards the ceiling.
  • Lift your knee up off the floor. Keep your back muscle relaxed and feel for a strong contraction in your buttocks. Make sure you don’t rotate your hips or arch your back as you lift your leg.
  • Work up to holding this position for 10 counts, then repeat 10 times

THE CLAMclam_edited

  • For this exercise, you need to lie on your side. Your knees and hips are bent comfortably, head relaxed, heels together.
  • Tie an exercise band around your thighs. Start with the lightest resistance and gradually work up to heavier resistance as you get stronger.
  • Keeping your heels together, gently lift your top knee away from your other knee. This should be a small movement, stop lifting once your knee is at the same level as your hip. Make sure to keep your 2 knees lined up.
  • You should feel your outer buttock area working strongly.
  • Work up to holding this position for 10 counts, then repeat 10 times,

It is important to remember that none of these exercises should give you any pain or discomfort – if they do, make sure to ask for advice from your physical therapist. If you do these exercises daily, you will be well on your way to a more stable pelvis, and a flat tummy.

If you missed previous posts of this series click here part one and part two.

Note: Physical Therapy exercise pictures copyright VHI

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