Belly not budging? It might be your posture

  • A poor posture may not only cause aches and pains, but may affect self-esteem
  • A protruding belly might be caused by an anterior pelvic tilt, where the pelvis pushes forward
  • Luckily, this can be fixed with a few exercises and some focus

Trying to get rid of belly fat through changing your eating habits and more exercise, only to find that you still have a protruding tummy? There might be one bad habit that you're overlooking.

Bad posture can creep up on us over a period of time and cause all sorts of problems, from aches and pains to muscular imbalances and poor form when it comes to performing daily tasks, such as lifting heavy objects.

One aspect of bad posture that is often overlooked is negative self-image and low body confidence, as a bad posture can influence how you perceive your body.

Posture and your tummy

When you have a weak posture, this can cause an anterior pelvic tilt, where your pelvis tilts forward – and when this happens, your lower back arch becomes pronounced, your bum sticks out and your stomach protrudes, which creates the illusion of a larger stomach.

This usually happens when our glutes, hamstrings or abdominal muscles are weak. We rely on these muscle groups to naturally push our hips backwards, which gives us an upright posture and flatter stomach.

The illusion of a larger belly is not only a vanity issue – when your pelvic tilts forward, you may experience pain and tightness throughout your body.

Fix that posture

If you recognise this in yourself, there are ways to fix your posture. The first thing you can do is take a long, hard look in the mirror and see for yourself how your tummy “fixes” itself as soon as you stand up straight, drop your shoulders and keep your pelvis and hips in a neutral position.

Now, you can be mindful of keeping a correct posture throughout the day, especially when sitting at a desk. Ensure that the ergonomic layout of your desk is set up to keep your posture correct and help you avoid aches and pains.

As an anterior pelvic tilt is often the result of muscle weakness and hip stiffness, there are some exercises you can try to improve this:

  • Stretch your hip flexors by lunging with your one knee onto the ground and bending the other leg at a 90-degree angle in front of you. Tilt your pelvis forward until you feel the hip flexor tense up. Hold this, and repeat before switching legs.
  • Do glute bridges. Lie flat on your back with your feet on the floor, arms by your sides and legs bent. Lift your pelvis up as you keep your heels on the floor. Repeat at least 12 times. Keep your core tight and your stomach drawn in.
  • Do squats to strengthen your glutes.
  • Don’t sit at your desk for too long. Take breaks by going for a walk or doing stretches.

SEE | How to sit correctly

READ | No more slouching and slumping

READ | Avoid aches and pains by setting up your work station properly at home 

Image credit: Burst from Pexels 

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