Feeling tight in all the wrong places?

Whether you ate a little too much, or your stomach didn’t quite agree with your last meal, we feel you — bloating can be rough.

That swollen, sometimes painful feeling is usually diet-related and caused by eating too much or the wrong types of food for your body, excess gas buildup, or problems with the muscles of the digestive system.

If you’ve tried these 11 steps to eliminate bloating, but you’re still feeling down, try our anti-bloat exercises to help promote circulation and blood flow and banish that bloat for good.

Try it first: Cardio

Whether a nice long walk, a brisk jog, a bike ride, or even a jaunt on the elliptical, cardio will help deflate your bloat. Physical activity such as this will help expel gas that causes pain and help move digestion along.

Aim for 30 minutes of mild to moderate exertion.

Then add: Yoga poses

1. Cat-Cow

Many yoga poses, like Cat-Cow, can help with digestion and bloat. In this move, you’ll stretch and compress your intestines to help promote movement.

Equipment needed: Mat

  1. Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Your spine and neck should be neutral.
  2. Engaging your core, start the upward phase of the movement: Exhale and push your spine toward the ceiling, allowing your back to round and your head to fall toward the floor in alignment with your spine. Hold for 10 seconds.
  3. Continuing to engage your core, move to the downward phase: Let your stomach fall toward the floor, arching your back the opposite way. Let your shoulders come together, keeping your neck neutral. Hold for 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat 3 times for 1 minute total.

2. Torso Twist

The Torso Twist will increase blood flow and circulation — exactly what you need when your stomach feels like a puffer fish.

Equipment needed: Mat

  1. Sit down on the mat with your legs extended and arms at your sides.
  2. Activating your core, bend at the knees and bring your legs up toward your chest, balancing on your tailbone. Bend your elbows and bring your arms in front of your chest, palms touching each other.
  3. Ensuring that your core is engaged and your back and neck remain straight, begin to rotate your upper body to the left, stopping when your right elbow crosses your knees.
  4. Return to the middle and repeat twisting to the right. That’s one rep.
  5. Complete 2-3 sets of 10 reps.

4. Extended Triangle Pose

The gentle stretching in Extended Triangle Pose will help get things moving again.

Equipment needed: none

  1. Stand straight with your feet together and arms down by your sides.
  2. Step back 3-4 feet with your left foot, turning your left foot at a 90-degree angle and twisting your chest toward the left side of the room.
  3. Keeping your legs extended, reach your right arm forward and your left arm backward with your palms facing down.
  4. Hinging at the waist, bring your right hand to the floor, keeping your chest open and your left arm extended.
  5. Bring your gaze to wherever it’s comfortable — up toward your left arm or straight ahead. Hold this pose for 15 seconds, ensuring your breath is conscious and deep.
  6. Repeat with the other side.

4. Sphinx Pose

Similar to the Cobra Pose, Sphinx Pose will stretch your torso and thus your digestive organs, aiding in digestion.

Equipment needed: Mat

  1. Start by lying face down on a mat with your elbows bent and palms next to your chest.
  2. Bracing your core, begin to press up slowly by extending through your spine. Keep your glutes relaxed and utilize your low back while maintaining a neutral neck.
  3. Once you’ve reached a comfortable height, pause for a few seconds and lower back down to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 5 times.

5. Extended Puppy Pose

Try this pose when you’ve eaten too much — it will relax you and your stomach.

Equipment needed: Mat

  1. Start on all fours with your hands stacked below your shoulders and your knees stacked below your hips. Walk your hands a few inches forward and curl the top of your toes to the floor.
  2. Exhale and start to move your butt back while you drop your forehead to the floor and extend your arms with palms on the floor. Keep a slight bend in the back.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Monitor and move

A combination of tracking your diet and bloat response, as well as cardio and yoga moves, will have you feeling back to yourself in no time!

If your bloating is persistent or causing extreme distention in your abdomen, even after you’ve tried changing your diet or exercising, make an appointment with your doctor. While bloating is a common issue, it can also be an early sign of ovarian cancer in women. The key to knowing whether it’s serious or simple is to get a screening. The results can help you understand your body a little more.


Nicole Davis is a Boston-based writer, ACE-certified personal trainer, and health enthusiast who works to help women live stronger, healthier, happier lives. Her philosophy is to embrace your curves and create your fit whatever that may be! She was featured in Oxygen magazine’s “Future of Fitness” in the June 2016 issue. Follow her on Instagram.