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Bloating happens to everyone at one time or another and can be brought on by numerous factors, such as an unhealthy diet, stress or a medical condition. Strengthening your abs - especially the deep-seated transversus abdominis - can help to ease the discomfort in your stomach. A strong transversus abdominis can act like an accordion and push gas out, thus reducing bloating. Additionally, working your abdominals can improve your overall digestion and possibly prevent bloating from occurring.
One of the benefits of a consistent yoga practice is that it can help to boost your metabolism and improve the functions of the stomach. Regularly performing poses that target your abs can assist to reduce or prevent bloating. Plank pose is efficient at strengthening the transversus abdominis, which helps to pull your stomach in and push gas out. Twists, such as reverse triangle, twisting lunge and marichi's pose, work to improve digestion while helping with the release of toxins in your organs. Bridge Pose strengthens the top-lying abdominal muscle, the rectus abdominis, which allows for flexibility in your torso and protects your lower back during twisting poses.
Pilates is an exercise method that focuses on strengthening the core, which consists of the muscles from the lower ribs to the pelvic floor. This area is often referred to as the powerhouse muscles in Pilates, due to its ability to stabilize your spine and protect your internal organs. A strong core greatly assists with digestion; a healthy digestion system can lead to reduced bloating. Common Pilates exercises include the hundred, double leg slide, the rollup, single leg stretch and oblique lifts.
Traditional Abdominal Exercises
Traditional stomach exercises, such as crunches, planks and leg raises, can also help to relieve bloating by strengthening the muscles of the abdomen, which assist in pushing gas out of the body. Including a variety of crunches in your workout, like the stability ball crunch, crossover crunch and reverse crunch, can allow for all three abdominal muscle groups - the rectus abdominis, obliques and transversus abdominis - to be targeted. Dolphin plank and side plank add variety to a basic plank, which can help to shock your stomach muscles and help with strength and development.
To maximize the strength of your core, train your abs three to four times per week, allowing for a day of rest between workouts. Beginning yoga and Pilates students should seek instruction from certified instructors. Talk to your doctor before starting any new workout program. Persistent bloating and gas may be due to a medical condition or an unhealthy diet; talk with your physician and a certified nutritionist before treating any symptoms on your own.