Why Stretching To Lose Weight Doesn’t Work
Even though I’ve titled this blog post stretching to lose weight I’m definitely not advocating the practice. Huh? The thing is that I firmly believe that you’re not going to lose any significant amount of weight just by doing stretches all day long, but you can reduce your belly.
This post may not apply to everybody because there are those rare few out there who already have perfect posture so this would just be a refresher course for them. But for the majority of us out there who don’t have such great posture then you’re going to want to pay attention.
Having your belly fat unnecessarily stick out is a result of having an anterior pelvic tilt which pushes your stomach out and hunches your shoulders leaving you with a not-so-attractive posture.
If you take a look at this picture above then you’ll notice that the figure on the left has an anterior rotation of the pelvis which is causing their belly to push out and their shoulders to hunch over. Then take a look at the figure on the right and notice how they have a neutral pelvic and the same figure appears to have a slimmer stomach when they’re actually the same.
You want to have a natural neutral pelvis that has a very slight anterior pelvic tilt but for the many of us out there it is way out of alignment. So the reason I entitled this blog post stretching to lose weight because I knew it would get your attention and you’ll be able to naturally reduce the appearance of your belly and posture even though you won’t be losing any real weight.
Forget Stretching to Lose Weight & Start Stretching to Reduce Your Belly
The reason why we get the anterior pelvic tilt is because certain muscles become tight and others become weak usually from some overcompensation or from staying in one position for too long (i.e. sitting). To bring your out-of-alignment hips back into a neutral alignment so your belly doesn’t stick out we’re going to need to stretch out your hip flexors while also strengthening your glutes.
I strongly suggest performing these exercises before your next workout as a warm-up routine or if your able I would even go so far as taking a 10 minute break from sitting at your desk to do this little routine. You’re not going to see your hips achieve a neutral alignment overnight but keep it up and they’ll be back soon enough.
Stretching to “Lose Weight” Exercises
3D Hip Flexor Stretch (My #1 Stretch!)
Start by kneeling down on one knee and tighten your glute on the same side your kneeling on. Tilt your pelvis up towards the sky so you’ve reduced your anterior pelvic tilt and then gently bring your body forwards towards your front knee until you feel a stretch in your kneeling hip. Then with your arm on the same side your kneeling reach it over the top of your head as you also twist your kneeling hip towards your front knee. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds per side before repeating for 2-3 sets total.
Having weak glute muscles is another culprit for this problem so the simple solution is to perform the hip bridge exercise. Lay on your back with your knees bent at about 90 degrees with your feet flat on the floor and your palms up out to your sides. Keep your heels on the ground as you lift your toes off the ground and point them to the sky. Then slowly raise your hips up as high as you can and pause once your reach the top. Slowly bring your hips back down to the ground before repeating. I recommend doing 12-15 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
Cats & Dogs
Start on your hands and knees on the ground. Slowly raise your spine as high as you can towards the sky as you continually look down at the ground. After pausing at the top slowly bring your spine back down towards the ground as you stick your chest out towards the floor as well. I recommend doing this Cats & Dogs exercise for 12 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
To perform the plank lay facedown on the ground. Then come up onto your elbow so only your elbows and feet are holding you up above the ground. Tighten your abdominals and continue to breathe deeply. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds before repeating for 2-3 total sets.
Even though you may not be technically doing these stretches to lose belly fat but you will stop your stomach from pushing out. Improving your pelvic tilt is not only going to keep you from having your belly poking out but it’ll also help prevent lower back problems as well.
Also you will naturally look more attractive and more confident with a proper posture so there shouldn’t be anything holding you back. You now know that stretching to lose weight doesn’t work but you can stretch to reduce the appearance of your belly fat.