2005-01-06 / Women's

Jogging Is Great - But Watch Out For “Runner’s Pouch”

During an average run, your body weight rests on one or the other leg about 80 percent of the time. To maintain balance, your stomach muscles (particularly your lower abs) must stay contracted.

The problem with running is that it can work your hip flexors and erector spinae (your lower back muscles) to a greater degree than your abs. If you don’t make an effort to stretch these areas, you could develop an imbalance, known as excessive anterior pelvic tilt. The result: your stomach looks larger than it really is, resulting in “runner’s pouch.”

The best solution is to stretch these spots for at least five minutes after every run. Loosen the hip flexors. Stand with your left leg forward, right leg back, feet about 2 feet apart: gently tilt your pelvis forward: hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Switch legs, repeat. A good lower-back looser is to lie face up, legs extended, arms out at sides. Bend your right knee and place your foot on the floor. Rest left hand on right knee and slowly lower your knee to the left as far as you can as you twist your torso to the right. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. © Womenfitness(www.womenfitness.net)

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