Protruding Lower Belly?

02 November 2023

You Might Be Bearing Down at Effort


Does your lower belly stick out and feel weaker than the rest of your abdominals?

It might be a habit of bearing down at effort.

You can see below the belly pushing out and down as I press into the wall. This often comes together with straining and holding the breath.

the belly pushing out at effort

This is a strategy I see often in people with chronic low back pain, abdominal bloating or new mums.

Itโ€™s not a great one if you have diastasis recti or prolapse, as it creates outward and downward pressure on the organs.

Now, here is a different option: zipping up from the base of the torso at exhalation and creating upwards support for the organs.

3D core activation

Test if you tend to bear down:

๐Ÿ‘‡ Roll up your top, so you can observe how your belly moves.

๐Ÿ‘‡ Lie on the ground next to a mirror. You can also ask your family member to record a video of you, so you can see what strategy your body will use.

๐Ÿ‘‡ Press your hands into the wall behind you.

โ“Did you belly push out? Or maybe even the navel moved down?

If the answer is โ€˜yesโ€™, you can:

โœ… Exhale slowly and press - use voiced exhalation - humming, hissing, blowing birthday candles or Ujjayi breath from yoga for extra core support.

โœ… Imagine zipping up your torso from the bottom up as you exhale - letโ€™s say you have a zipper going all the way from your pubis to above the navel.

โœ… You can also place a soft ball in between your thighs and gently squeeze your inner thighs into the ball to help initiate this zipping up from the base of the torso.

โœ… Work on strengthening your deep abs (scroll down my page for a plenty of ideas).

Try this, save it for later and get in touch if you need help.

As someone who had a habit of bearing down for years, Iโ€™m really passionate about helping people to overcome this bad habit and improve their pressure management for longterm low back and pelvic health.