On today’s #TBT episode of Live Lean TV, I’m answering a viewer question on how to fix bloated abs and showing you what you’re doing wrong with your ab exercises.
Before I share my quick thoughts, this is a post from our #TBT Q&A series.
The issue I’m having is my 6 pack is bulging out. It’s not sucked in or pulled in. I’d like to have a lean and ripped 6 pack. Not bulky abs? Can you show me how to fix bloated abs?
First of all, I would ask which ab exercises are you doing to train your transverse abdominis.
The transverse abdominis, also known as the TVA, is the inside core muscle that helps with stabilization and pull your stomach inwards.
Also add in more swiss ball ab exercises to your workout to work to help strengthen your core.
Here’s the next question you should ask yourself.
It’s really important that you’re training your abs the right way.
Often times when people don’t train their abs with proper breathing and contraction, they get a pushed out, turtle belly looking mid section.
You know what I’m talking about, when you have six pack abs, but it’s on top of your gut.
Nobody wants that.
If you’re struggling with how to fix bloated abs, here’s the number one secret why you’re probably performing your ab exercises, or any other exercise, wrong.
This abs training secret can change your physique from bloated abs to lean and flat abs.
For an example, here’s how to practice this flat abs trick while doing a plank.
We recommend you start practicing this flat abs trick with a modified plank version by completing a forearm plank on knees.
By starting with the beginner plank variation, you can then really focus on tightening the lower abs.
The primary goal when completing a plank is to keep your abs tight throughout the duration of the exercise, by focusing on tightening and contracting your lower abs.
When breathing during a plank, rather than expanding and contracting your stomach, the goal is to contract and hold.
Even though you’re still breathing, it’s important to focus on tightening the lower abs by pulling them inwards, rather than sucking them in.
To fix bloated abs, you need to re-train your lower abs to work in this way, where they just maintain the pulled in tightness, rather than loosening and expanding out.
This way, when you’re just walking around and living life, your abs are used to this pulled inwards position, since you’ve trained your abs to stay tight.
This is one of the best waist slimming coaching cues, because your waist is being trained to be pulled inwards and tight, which will create a small waist and flat abs.
To properly do a stomach vacuum, fill the belly up with air like a balloon.
Next, pull your abs inwards while keeping them contracted.
In a few seconds, you will start to shake as you really feel the tightening of your lower abs.
Again, think about pulling your abs inward, rather than sucking in your abs.
When you suck in your abs, you tend to lose the contraction, thus your abs go soft.
Now look at how hard your abs get when you think about pulling your abs inward, since you can maintain a strong contraction.
Repeat this vacuum movement by expanding, then pulling your abs inward for a tight contraction.
You can complete the lower abs tightening vacuum trick:
Make sure you really work on making that mind to muscle connection with your lower abs.
This will teach you how to train your abs pulled inwards and keep them tight, rather than loose and pushed out.
Remember, this tip of pulling your abs inwards isn’t just for your workouts.
Always be thinking about pulling your belly button in towards your spine.
If you have bloated abs, you may also be eating foods that you have intolerances too, such as lactose in dairy.
Here is a post on other foods that cause bloating.
Regardless, give these abs training techniques a try.
If you are interested in having access to different abs workouts, check out our Live Lean Abs training program.
There are much more abs training workouts in this program.
We’ve included abs exercises that can be completed in the gym and at home.
If you don’t have access to a gym, simply stick to the home abs workouts.
Whatever works for you, we have your back.
Every abs exercise comes with a video demonstration to show you exactly how to do the movement for proper form.
All the workouts are quick and very effective.
Trust us, when completing these Live Lean Abs workouts, along with following a nutrition plan, you will definitely see definition in your abs.
Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.