A note from Chris Hudson:
“Spring break, pool parties, summer vacation…it’s all right around the corner which means it is flat belly time!
Diet, cardio, and core work will get you started but there is one thing people always forget and something I’ve been telling my clients and students for years! You will NEVER have a flat stomach if you have tight hip flexors. Don’t want to stretch for flexibility or mobility? Hey, that’s on you, but if I told you it would get you that flat belly….”well maybe I can spend a few minutes on the mat.” Check out the following article:”
Working hard but you just can’t lose that stubborn fat on your tummy? Doing lots of crunches and endless hours on the treadmill to try to get rid of it?
Here’s a little secret: When you sit all day — as almost all of us do — your butt muscles turn off and your hip flexors (the muscles on the front of your hips) get short and your abdominal muscles stop working. This causes your hip bone (pelvis) to tilt forward which puts stress on your back — causing, yes, lower back pain — but it also pushes your belly out. You can be adding to this scenario with exercises like crunches and running on the treadmill creating shorter and shorter hip flexors. So you look like you have a gut, even if you don’t have an ounce of fat! This is also the case if you are spending a lot of time in spinning classes which are a huge culprit of tightening the hip flexors and creating this pooch.
Look at yourself sideways in the mirror. Check to see: Does the top of your hips tilt forward, creating a pooch, because your pelvis is being pulled forward by your hip flexors and your core and glutes are not engaged and working to flatten out your center? Or are your hips underneath your center with a flat tummy?
I have an exercise to fix the former — it’s called the hip extension, and all you need is your bodyweight. This exercise will stretch out your hip flexors, engage your core and switch on your butt muscles, which will lead to your hips getting into the right position to flatten out your pooch!
Position: Lie on your back, on the ground, arms outstretched at 90 degrees from the body. Bend one knee so the foot is flat on the floor as it would be in a sit-up.
Movement: Keeping the other leg straight and in line with the trunk at all times, drive down with the bent knee foot, causing the body to lift. The top of the movement is when the straight leg is in line with the thigh of the bent knee, which is about a 45 degree position. Make sure the body is straight at this point and both hips are even.
Reblogged from Huffington Post.