Being bloated can not only be annoying and inconvenient, but it can also be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. Beyond that, it's quite common. Anywhere from 10% to 25% of people say that they suffer from bloating every once in a while, and around 10% claim to be bloated on a regular basis, according to the Cleveland Clinic. While there is a range of causes behind bloating, there are also various ways to deal with it. Along with using antiacids and drinking herbal teas like peppermint and ginger, you can also take certain supplements and perform specific exercises. We have you covered with the exercise part with the best floor workout to deflate your balloon belly bloat.
The following routine is brought to you by Jordi Sadurní, personal strength trainer, cycling coach, and founder of JS Cycling Training, who tells Eat This, Not That!, "For reducing the bloating, apart from some breathing techniques like deep breathing, you can try and do some stretches that work on your spine mobility. By generating movement in the midsection of the body, you can help those gases move around and finally eliminate them reducing the bloating sensation and therefore the discomfort associated with them. I propose a circuit of three stretches and two core exercises."
Sadurní also suggests doing two to three rounds of the below five exercises and taking a breather for one to two minutes in between each round. Keep reading to learn how to deflate your balloon belly bloat with the following workout, and next, don't miss 5 Foolproof Exercises to Debloat After Meals, Expert Says.
"Oftentimes we have a rigid spine because of a lack of movement in that section and a tendency to extend it like when sitting on the sofa," Sadurní says. "By doing this motion, you help the spine gain back its natural mobility and possibly decrease some back discomfort. This movement can also be done by flexing and extending the back while doing circles (adding a lateral bending motion) for a further spine mobilization." Sadurní also says this exercise is typically practiced in yoga.
To get started, position yourself on your knees and hands while keeping your spine in a neutral position. Next, begin to lift your head and flex your back. Sadurní explains that this is the cat's pose. Hold this for one second before reversing the motion. To do so, simply flex your neck as you look down and extend your back. This is the cow pose. Complete five reps of this sequence.
The World’s Greatest Stretch
The name of this exercise may promise a lot, and you'll likely agree that it's one pretty amazing stretch once you put it into action. As Sadurní puts it, "This exercise is great for working the trunk rotation, a movement too often overlooked, and also the hip flexors range of motion. The hip flexors for average sedentary people tend to get quite shortened from too much sitting time and lack of stretching." That means that along with helping with bloating, stretching them out could release tension in your back, since the "psoas," aka main flexors, link up to your lower back.
To perform this stretch, start in a deep lunge with your right leg back and your right knee extended. You'll also want to place your hands on the floor. Then, lift your left hand and let it point down to the floor as you extend your arm back as far as you can. Keep yourself in this position for three to five seconds before letting your hand come back down. Place it between the area on the floor that's been left by your right arm. This will allow you to perform the movement in an opposite rotation. Repeat this full movement three times before changing sides.
If you're a yogi, you're familiar with child's pose. What you may not have known is that it can help get rid of your balloon belly bloat.
This time around to set up, you'll sit on your knees. Bend down while keeping your hips flexed. From there, bring your arms in front of you as far as you can. Stay in this position for 20 to 30 seconds, making sure to breathe and focus on getting a solid stretch in your lower back.
"This will help release some lower back tension, and bringing the hands as far as possible also [stretches] the vertebral column [a little bit,] increasing the intervertebral discs space, possibly gaining 1 cm of height in the process and helping those structures release the tension from holding the body all day and bringing them more nutrients and oxygen," Sadurní explains.
Side Plank with Rotation
Now, it's time to switch over to core exercises. That means you'll want to tackle some side planks with a rotation.
In order to do so, get down on your side with both feet on the floor. The weight of your upper body should be on your one forearm while the rest of your body remains straight. Now, start the movement by pointing your other arm up above you, and then let it come back down until it's under your body. As you do this, let your torso rotate. Continue this motion until you've done it around eight to 10 times. Then, change sides.
Frontal Plank with Hollowing
Finally, Sadurní suggests another plank. Only this time, it's a frontal plank with hollowing which is similar to a traditional plank. You'll get into position by lying face-down on the floor. However, instead of merely holding yourself still like this, focus on your midsection and bring your belly button in as much as you can.
Sadurní explains, "This will activate the transversus abdominis which is an internal ab muscle targeted when working the pelvic floor, this will make sure the bowels get to this position and ease the bloating."