Many people work the area around the abdomen doing sit-ups or squats hoping to get a belly flatter, but often the opposite is true. Working the abdominal muscles with abdominals builds muscle, but doing only abdominals will not reduce fat in the abdomen; the reduction of a single area is not possible. Your diet, hydration level and bodybuilding are factors on why your stomach is bigger even after doing crunches.
When lifting or doing any type of resistance training, the muscles become tight and micro-tears occur in the muscle fibers. In the process of muscle repair, more fibers are added to prevent further injury. This is equivalent to the hypertrophy or enlargement of the muscles. Stomach muscles also shorten, which can lead to bowing. This could also contribute to the feeling that your stomach is larger, as it pushes the belly into shape, creating a bulky appearance.
One point reduction
One point reduction is the process of focusing exercises on a specific area of the body to reduce fat. The concept of reducing a point is considered obsolete. According to the American Council on Exercise, squats burn calories, which will contribute to fat loss if you are burning more calories than you consume.
Stretch and posture
One way to avoid the swelling that may be associated with sit-ups or squats is to stretch the muscles of the abdomen before and after performing the exercises. This will help keep the muscles relaxed and lengthened. Stand up, with your shoulders down and away from your neck, with your back straight and your head up can help keep your muscles elongated and maintain good posture; this will prevent your belly from swelling and allow the muscles of the abdomen to stretch.
Many times exercise can lead to overeating, as it increases appetite. Sometimes, this can also lead to drinking too much fluids. It is possible to gain weight when exercising due to excessive intake. Controlling your food ration after your workout can help you avoid a bigger stomach, and maintain weight.
The only way to flatten the belly is by burning fat and reducing your total weight. The abdominals will build the muscle and offer definition once the fat is gone. Creating and strengthening the muscles of the abdomen will also contribute to good support for the back, offer balance and stability and make most physical tasks easier, according to the Harvard Health Publications.If there is pain associated with the swelling of the abdominal muscles, an injury or a hernia may be the reason. Call a doctor if this is the case.