11 Abdominal Stretches To Reduce Tightness

This blog post contains the best Abdominal Stretches to address a tight stomach region.

Benefits of stretching the Abdominal muscles:

Do you sit with a slouched posture in your chair throughout the day?

If you are like most people – You probably sit like this.

bad posture

In this position, the abdominal muscles (Rectus Abdominis, Internal/External Oblique) will get tight over time!

Performing the following abdominal stretches will help address this tightness and improve flexibility.


Abdominal Stretches

Once you have established a position where you can feel a good ab stretch, aim to push your stomach outwards to increase the stretch even more.

Note: Please be careful when performing these ab stretches if you have difficulty with extending your lower back.


(The exercises have been listed from the easiest to most difficult.)

1. Lying Down

Lying Abdominal stretch

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Place your arms over your head.
  • Tilt your pelvis forwards.
  • Arch your lower back.
  • Push your chest and stomach upwards.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

2. Chair Stretch

chair stretch for abdominals

Instructions:

  • Sit down on a chair.
  • Lean your back against the back of the chair.
  • Place your hands behind your head.
  • Arch all the backwards.
  • Make sure to push your chest and stomach region outwards.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

3. Standing Ab stretch

standing abdominal stretch

Instructions:

  • Stand up right.
  • Place your hands behind your waist.
  • Push your hips forwards.
  • Lean backwards.
  • Push your stomach outwards.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

4. Lying on a Ball

ab stretch with exercise ball

Instructions:

  • (You will need an exercise ball for this stretch.)
  • Sit on an exercise ball.
  • Have your feet supported against a wall.
  • Lie down facing upwards on the exercise ball.
  • Place your arms above your head.
  • Relax your body as much as possible.
  • Push your stomach outwards.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

(Note: You could also use a Foam Roller, Bosu Ball or Yoga Wheel to similar effect.)

5. Cobra Pose

cobra pose ab stretch

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Place your hands out in front of you
  • Extend your arms.
  • Arch backwards.
  • Try to keep your belly button in contact with the floor.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the Upper abdominal region.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

6. Lower Abdominal Stretch

lower abdominal stretches

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Place your hands directly underneath your shoulders.
  • Extend your arms.
  • Arch your spine backwards.
  • Push your stomach towards the floor.
  • Push your hips into the floor.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the Lower abdominal region.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

7. Internal Oblique Stretch

internal oblique stretches

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Place your hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Extend your arms.
  • Lean backwards.
  • Push your stomach towards the floor throughout this stretch.
  • Turn your torso away from the side you are trying to stretch.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

8. External Oblique Stretch

external oblique stretches

Instructions:

  • Lie down on the floor.
  • Cross your leg over your body towards the opposite side.
  • Spread your arms out on the floor.
  • Expand your stomach.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

9. Wall Lean

wall lean stretch to abdominal

Instructions:

  • Place your hands high up onto a wall.
  • Have your feet away from the wall.
  • Push your hips backwards.
  • Tilt your pelvis forwards.
  • Push your stomach forwards.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

10. Elevated Torso

torso elevated stomach stretch

Instructions:

  • Place your forearms onto a low couch.
  • Have your feet on the floor away from you.
  • Allow your abdominal region to sink towards the floor.
  • Arch backwards.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

11. Bow Pose

bow pose

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Bend both knees.
  • Grab both ankles with your hands.
  • Use your ankles as a point of leverage to arch your torso backwards.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

Note:

Do not over stretch! Only stretch as far as your body can comfortably tolerate.

Aim to relax your body into the stretch position.

Do not hold your breath. BREATHE!

Position your body at slightly different angles until you obtain a specific abs stretch in the desired area.


Conclusion

Try out these 11 different abdominal stretches to help address tightness in the stomach region.

It is important that you can feel the stretch in the desired area.

Once you are in a good position, you can increase the ab stretch by pushing your stomach outwards.

Focus on the one or two stretches that gives you the best stretch in the abdominal region.


What to do next

1. Any questions?… (Leave me a comment down below.)

2. Come join me:

Facebook | Instagram

3. Start doing the exercises!


Disclaimer: The content presented on this blog post is not medical advice and should not be treated as such. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the content provided on this blog post is at your sole risk. For more informationMedical disclaimer.

8 thoughts on “11 Abdominal Stretches To Reduce Tightness”

  1. Hey Mark,

    I have trigger points in my upper rectus abdominis causing a lot of pain. Before stretching this, should I work on other stuff like strengthening glutes or stretching hip flexors? When I stretch my abdominals it just feels like I irritate the trigger points.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Michael,

      If you have strained the abdominal muscles, be careful with the amount of stretch being applied as this can irritate the muscle. If your abs are tight, stretch as far as you can without making the pain worse.

      In regards to addressing other areas such as the hip flexors and glutes, this can certainly be helpful if they are causing more tension to the upper abdominal region.

      Mark

      Reply
      • Thank you. Us folks who are injured/disabled can forget what movements should be occurring through a normal gait cycle, or can just “guard” movements causing rigidity. Appreciate your response above.

  2. Hi Mark
    I thought I left a message here but it didn’t appear.
    I have posterior pelvic tilt, some swayback, rib flaring and flat back.
    Hard to know where to start. The overriding current issue is is tightness along base of ribcage that comes and goes but a pretty tight rectus ab muscle and belly muscles look distended. Getting a handle on those would really help.
    Any ideas appreciated..
    Thanks for your help
    Sam

    Reply
    • Hey Sam,

      A distended looking belly suggests that your lower back is in hyper extended position. This usually occurs along side an anterior pelvic tilt. Are you 100% sure that your pelvis is rotated in the posterior direction?

      Let me know and I’ll see what I can come up with.

      Mark

      Reply

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