There are many reasons why our stomachs can become bloated. One of the most common reasons is an excess of gas in your stomach caused by the food and drink consumed but it can also be caused by indigestion problems.
Whatever the reason for your bloating, it can leave you feeling uncomfortable and in pain. For so many of us, bloating can make everyday life intolerable.
Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to relieve bloating. Exercise can be both great prevention and relief for bloating and one of the most effective forms of exercise is Pilates.
In this article, we will list 5 Pilates exercises that will relieve bloating.
How Can Pilates Help?
Pilates is a great exercise for when you feel bloated. As it requires you to move in slow and controlled ways, it won’t make your bloating feel worse as some other more high-impact and energetic exercises can do.
Instead, your concentrated and slow movements will encourage your core to rotate and open and this will both ease your bloating and make you feel better.
Pilates can also help to reduce the amount of bloating that you suffer. Prevention is as good as a cure after all, and by regularly practicing Pilates and focusing on your core, you can tighten your tummy muscles.
This in turn will make your bloating less common and less severe.
5 Pilates Exercises That Will Relieve Bloating
Let’s now take a look at five Pilates exercises that will reduce bloating. If you make these part of your regular Pilates routine, they can also prevent bloating.
1. Criss Cross
Exercises that involve you twisting your core are some of the most effective exercises you can do for both preventing and relieving bloating so the Criss Cross exercise is the first one on our list.
Begin the exercise by lying on the floor on a gym mat. Make sure that your body is straight and then lift your legs with your knees bent into a table top position.
This means that your knees should be bent at a perfect 90-degree angle and that they are positioned over your hips.
Put your hands behind your head. You can interlock your fingers or just leave your hands loose depending on your preference. With your hands in place, your elbows should be spread wide and pointing away from your body.
Take a deep breath and as you exhale, gently lift your head, neck, and shoulders from the mat and twist your upper body to the right.
As you turn to the right, extend your left leg. Your right leg should remain bent and you should aim to touch this with your left elbow. Inhale as you come back to the original position.
Exhale and repeat on the opposite side by twisting to the left and extending your right leg. Make sure you keep your movements slow and controlled and repeat 8 to 10 times on each side.
2. The Hundred
This is one of the most key and signature Pilates exercises and it’s also one of the best for relieving bloating.
It targets the abs but also works on your arms and your lats so you can not only reduce your bloating, but also work on getting toned arms and a stronger back.
Begin the exercise by lying on your back on a gym mat on the floor. Raise your head while keeping your chin down and curl your upper body up from the mat.
Your lower back should remain on the mat so you’re lifting from your shoulder blades and up. Take a deep breath while you hold this position.
As you exhale, extend your arms and legs. Your legs should lift at a diagonal angle of around 45-degrees but feel free to make this higher and lower depending on your fitness level.
Your legs should be solid and held from the mat without shaking. Lift your arms so that they stay at your sides but are a few inches from the floor.
Keep this position and move your arms up and down as you take five short breaths. This doesn’t need to be a large action and instead you should aim for a short but dynamic movement.
Your upper body should remain relaxed and all of the work should be done by your core muscles.
3. Planks With Leg Switches
Planks are common in many forms of exercise because they’re so effective. Begin in a plank position with your body lifted on your hands and feet.
Your hands should be positioned underneath your shoulders and legs stretched out straight with your toes firmly planted on the floor.
Keep your body straight and aligned. Don’t let your stomach or hips sag as this can pull on your back.
Exhale and lift your right leg from the ground. Hold it straight for a few beats and lower before repeating with the left leg. Repeat this motion on each side ten times.
This exercise begins by lying on the floor on your stomach. Stretch your arms out in front of you but make sure that you don’t raise your shoulders and that your shoulder blades are comfortably settled in your back and not drawn tight.
Slowly draw in your abs so that your belly button lifts from the mat. Stretch out with your arms and legs so that they pull away from each other.
This should make them naturally rise from the floor. While you’re doing this, also lengthen and straighten your spine. By straightening your spine, your head will also move up from the mat.
Pump your limbs up and down in short and dynamic movements. You need to alternate this so that your left arm and right leg are raised while your right arm and left leg are down.
Imagine you’re swimming in a pool with no water. Breath in while you do five pumps and breathe out for another five.
For our final exercise, we thought we’d include something quick and easy that you can do whenever you’re feeling bloated.
Doing a full Pilates workout is not always feasible after all, but hopefully some Pilates breathing exercises can still help.
Sit up straight with your back long and your shoulders directly over your hips. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
You should breathe in through your chest so that your stomach doesn’t expand. When you exhale, imagine you’re blowing through a straw and that your ribcage is lifting up.
Try to expel every molecule of breath from your lungs before you inhale once more. Your core should remain tight throughout this breathing exercise. Repeat for two minutes.
In this article, we introduced five different Pilates exercises that can help reduce bloating.
If you include these in your regular Pilates routine even when you aren’t feeling bloated, you will strengthen your core and this can reduce the amount of bloating you suffer from.
All of the exercises are pretty easy to do but are very effective.
We hope that you enjoy working through these five exercises and that they make your stomach feel lighter and better!