• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

granadajose

Hi! Looking for the answer to a question that completely puzzles me...

Recommended Posts

Hi!

 

I'm 47 years-old and I live in Spain. I've been going to the gym a lifting weights since I was 26. While I'm mostly happy with my physique, I'm quite dissatisfied  with my belly. It's not that I'm fat, it's just that... it's weird! I have some fat in the belly, but also some "holes". I think that it's best to illustrate it with a picture (forgive, this isn't going to be nice)...

 

antiabs.jpg.ada3b41aaaf72cf7a7b1d771275c0f63.jpg

 

As I've tried to show with the red lines, it's looks that there's some flesh in excess, but also some flesh missing! I'm quite a resolute kind of person, but in this case I don't know what is the cause and how can I fix it...

Is that dieting issue?

Should I eat less? (but in that case, I don't know how I'm going to get the missing flesh)

Is that a breathing issue?

Should I do more abs training?

Is that a posture issue?

Should I use more stomach vacuum?

Is my core too weak?

I feel quite lost as I don't know what the issue is. I'm not even looking for a solution (although it would be most welcomed!), just pointing me in the right direction and learning the name of this issue would be great.

And many thanks for taking the time to read this far!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just putting a message here as a remainder to come look back in a few days, after the people who actually have a clue have had a chance to come: I've got absolutely no kind of learned answer but would be willing to wager part of a guess.

 

ETA: Also, Hi and welcome! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Granadajose. It's hard to tell because one side of the photo has a light background while the other has a dark background, but are both sides the same? Because I don't see "holes" or "missing flesh". I see curves caused by a little bit of fat stored on or just above your hips. "Love handles", in other words. It's super common on women, but is seen on men, too.Take a look at this chart (in the spoiler because they have no shirts) with men at different bodyfat percentages. You'll see the guy at 20-24% has the same curved hip shape. I think it depends on hip structure (how wide your hips are compared to your waist) and also on bodyfat levels (how lean you are) and bodyfat distribution (where you tend to store fat). You can't change your hip structure, but the curves would probably shrink if you lost fat, or be less obvious if you gained muscle in the chest and core. It's up to you if think it's worth doing either of those things.

 

Spoiler

blogpost_Males_Legion-2019-1000x1024.png

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Harriet, both sides are the same even if the light make them appear different. I'm afraid that the picture is not too good, but it's the best I managed. My bodyfat is around 18% (if my home scale is to be believed). Apart from the shape, it's also a matter of consistency. The fat in the belly zone seems to be flaccid. I'm used to see bellies larger than mine, but they seem... nicer. It's like below the ribs, the flesh has dropped down to the hip. Maybe gaining muscle on the core will do. I will try to find workouts or exercises for that! Can you recommend me some?

 

Many thanks for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, granadajose said:

The fat in the belly zone seems to be flaccid.

 

All fat is flaccid. If someone's belly seems firmer, it's because they have less fat/more muscle. 
 

7 minutes ago, granadajose said:

 My bodyfat is around 18% (if my home scale is to be believed).


Home scales are highly inaccurate, and pretty much only measure resistance in the lower body. So they tend to overestimate body fat for people who keep fat in their legs and underestimate it for people with skinny legs who keep fat in their belly. Anyway, the exact number doesn't matter so much. What matters is you'd like to address the fat stores on your hips.
 

9 minutes ago, granadajose said:

I'm used to see bellies larger than mine, but they seem... nicer. It's like below the ribs, the flesh has dropped down to the hip.


Many men either have big muscly abdominals under their fat (which gives it a bit more shape). Or they store their fat more evenly around the torso. Or on the front of their belly, rather than the sides. Yours hasn't dropped down. From what I can tell, you have a slim ribcage (not much muscle or fat) and are storing some fat just above your hips. I have this shape, too.  
 

11 minutes ago, granadajose said:

Maybe gaining muscle on the core will do. I will try to find workouts or exercises for that! Can you recommend me some?


I'm actually not a bodybuilder, I'm a powerlifter, so I'm not the best person to ask. I lift to get stronger at the squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press rather than to shape my body in a certain way. I can tell you that heavy squats and deadlifts have added some mass to my midsection (front and back), but I can't tell you if they're the best way to do that. Maybe @Defining can chime in here. Otherwise, I tend to check bodybuilding.com's exercise database to search for exercises when I want to hit specific muscles. They let you search through a big data base of exercises by muscle group. Also, you might want to look at getting some width on the upper body, since it will make the hips seem slimmer by comparison. Benching has added a little width to my shoulders. And I think pulling exercises (pull-ups, chin-ups, lat pull-downs, barbell rows, bent over dumbbell rows, inverted rows) can add some width to your lats (the big back muscles up top). 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey buddy, @Harriet has hit the nail on the head - that's just how your body deposits fat, and it's pretty common actually to have a bit of 'extra' on the lower abdomen. You can't really control where your body wants to put fat; you can only change how much fat has to put!

 

20 hours ago, granadajose said:

My bodyfat is around 18% (if my home scale is to be believed). 

Don't believe your scale. They're useful for tracking trends, but notoriously inaccurate. Also, unless you're competing, your actual bodyfat percentage doesn't really matter, so long as you're healthy and can tell what you'd like to do for your physique goals.

 

20 hours ago, granadajose said:

 The fat in the belly zone seems to be flaccid. I'm used to see bellies larger than mine, but they seem... nicer. It's like below the ribs, the flesh has dropped down to the hip. 

You might actually be talking about the difference between subcutaneous fat (under the skin) vs. visceral fat (surrounding the organs). Neither in excess is healthy, but visceral fat is generally worse for you. A 'smooth' belly with extra fat is technically less healthy than the 'lumpy' tummy.

 

YTiTlMV.png.2e7cbe06727d4deca9e24bd3709b00b4.png

110606844-human-belly-and-abdomen-fat-layer-vector-subcutaneous-and-visceral-fat.thumb.jpg.cf2be41756fa09fc3549608a08c7a1ff.jpg

 

20 hours ago, granadajose said:

Maybe gaining muscle on the core will do. I will try to find workouts or exercises for that! Can you recommend me some?

This can help, for sure - but ultimately those 'holes' won't go away unless you also lose fat. I'll repeat: lose FAT, not just weight. Luckily, building muscle is often very similar to losing fat; higher protein, resistance training, sleeping enough, etc. For core specific stuff, it kind of depends on what you're already doing, what equipment is available to you, what level you're at already, and what your short/long term goals are. However, a few suggestions for you:

- Planks (RKC, side, back, weighted, feet elevated, etc.)

- Ab wheel (only if you're already strong enough to use it safely, otherwise you might tear something)

- swiss ball crunch

- bodysaw

- hanging leg raise

- Turkish getup

- Chin ups

 

Or you could use a good balanced workout that's already put together for you.

 

And just because I can't help myself, I'll also recommend that you should add some posterior chain work in as well, to ensure a bit of balance. Those could include (but aren't limited to): glute bridges, hip thrusts, bird dogs, fire hydrants, banded x-walks, clamshells, reverse hypers, rows, pullups, hamstring curls, good mornings, RDLs, face pulls, lunges, etc.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't say how truly I appreciate your answer, Defining! It seems that I finally have something that could be a plan! Apart from the esthetic part of my issue (and I'm not going to pretend that I don't care much about it), I think that the lack of consistency of my belly is related to the almost chronic pain in the lower back that I suffer. I work with a computer a I'm also a computer enthusiast who loves to program and write in my spare time, so I have come to think that it was somehow inevitable, but now I think that the posterior chain work that you mention could be helpful to strengthen my back and, hopefully, lowering the back pain.

 

Many thanks!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.