If you’ve exhausted yourself with crunches and cardio, but seem to be making no progress with your belly area, the problem may be in your hip flexors. Sitting for long hours can cause a forward tilt in the pelvis, making it seem like you have a pooch, when you really don’t have a big belly. While hip flexor stretches will not help you to lose weight, they can help to reverse your pelvic tilt, making it appear like you no longer have a belly pooch. Perform the exercises every day to see progress.
Warm up by walking or jogging for 10 minutes.
Perform the lying lower back stretch. Lie on your back on a mat. Bend your knees about 90 degrees and grab the back of your thighs, pulling your knees toward your shoulders. Hold for 20 seconds.
Do the kneeling hip flexor stretch. Bend your left knee and place your left foot flat on the floor. Place your right knee and lower leg on the floor. Do not allow your left knee to go past your left foot. Push your hips forward. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Complete the supine hip flexor stretch. Lie on your back on a mat. Slide your left leg back, bending your knee and placing your left foot flat on the floor. Keep your right leg straight. Grab onto the back of your left thigh and pull it toward you. Tighten your abs and keep your lower back on the mat. Push your right heel into the floor. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Do the standing hip stretch. Stand up with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your right knee 90 degrees and lift your leg up so that your right thigh is parallel with the floor. Do not lean back. Hold onto your right knee with both hands. Move your right knee to your right and then back to the starting position. Repeat three times with each leg.