4 Quick Fixes for a “POOCH”

I know what you are thinking. How does HE even know what a “pooch,” is? Here is the thing about being a professional trainer for the better part of the last twenty years. I have become a pretty decent translator of medical-anatomical-biological slangs. YES…I know that “tone,” means you would like to lose some body-fat and have a little muscle to show. YES….I know that when you say “back-arm,” you are talking about the tricep. TRUST ME….I know what you are saying when you refer to your “pooch.”

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For those of you scratching your heads, a “pooch” is defined by the presence of a little belly that protrudes forward. The technical reason behind this doesn’t have to do as much with what you eat, as you likely have allowed yourself to believe. It has much more to do with your structural alignment than you realize.

The belly “pooch,” is actually the result of a forward tilt in your pelvis. What happens when your pelvis tilts forward, is that your lower back will arch and your pelvis will dip in the front and push your abs out front. This will create the presence of over extended ab’s, which in the case of sufficient amount of body fat, will have a soft pooch-like appearance.

Well, what can be done? One thousand-crunches, 850 bicycles, 1200 situps and two reverse crunches…OK, JUST KIDDING!!!

Chances are, you have tried that and you know it wont help. More usually isn’t the answer, and in this case really will make things worse. Your problem is more structural and not a result of you not exercising enough.  Try this quick test real quick.

THE WALL TEST

This is really easy. All I need you to do is stand with the back of your heels, your “butt-bone,” upper back, and the back of your head against the wall. Take your right hand and attempt to slide it through the arch of lower back. If you are able to successfully slide your hand to other side, then you are really good at rocking your hips forward and we need to exercise to pull them back a little bit.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The simple answer is that the muscles in the front part of your hips, and of your lower back are doing way too much work to keep your spine in the upright position. The little more technical answer is that this is an example of what we call a lower crossed pattern, Your hip flexors are overactive, and your glutes are underactive. Anatomically, it looks like this.

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Don’t worry, most people nowadays don’t do well on this screen. You see the thing is, that our poor habits lead to poor postures. The tight muscles that you see there are the ones that shorten up while we sit whereas the other muscles get lengthened. The point is, the muscles that surround the hip are no longer in balance with one another.

What to do?

Its uneven tension that created this pelvis pattern, and ultimately that is what will correct this, as well. Basically what we have been taught all along is that tight muscles you stretch and long muscles you strenghthen. Essentially that is still true. I just want to keep this simple for now. Lets just do 4 things to try and fix this deviation.

  • Hip Flexor foam roll   Image
  • Ball in lower back       Image
  • Glute Bridge               Image

These are corrective exercises and should be pretty regularly. Think of it kind of like brushing your teeth. Your body is out of alignment and this will help fix it.

hope this helps,

Jeremy

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Categories: pain fix

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