Why situps won’t help your Muffin Top

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Rebecca writes:

I have been suffering with Muffin Top Syndrome, and recently hurt my stomach doing situps. When I saw a doctor, he diagnosed the pain as Hitatis Hernia. What can I do to get rid of the muffin top without re-injuring myself.


The two are probably related, so we need to lower your body fat without putting too much stress on your stomach and diaphragm.  Since spot reduction of body fat doesn’t really work, I’d recommend working legs as a primary strength routine since they burn far more calories than situps.  We can use our InBody to measure your visceral fat and check it as it goes down through training and nutrition.

There are a lot of ways we can build up your core strength without situps — the Rip Trainer by TRX is an excellent tool.  Boxing will work as well.  It’s possible the hernia you experienced is caused by excess visceral fat, and so lowering your body fat percentage, may prevent re-occurrence.  Symptoms for hernia usually appear when the abdominal are contracted with the legs forward as the stomach pushes up against the diaphragm. An increase in visceral fat can make this worse or even be the cause.[1]  Additionally lowering your visceral fat levels will also lower your local inflammation in that area expediting healing.

  1. Association of obesity with hiatal hernia and esophagitis.
    Wilson LJ1, Ma W, Hirschowitz BI.


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Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

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BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

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Why situps won’t help your Muffin Top

by Paul. Personal Trainer time to read: 1 min
Best Personal Trainer Alexandria VA Best Personal Trainer Alexandria VA