My Stomach Bulges While Exercising

by Heather Topham Wood Google

About Heather Topham Wood

Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.


If you notice that your stomach bulges while you are exercising, you may need to discontinue your workout routine and consult a doctor. Stomach bulges may be a sign of a medical condition like a hernia. A routine physical exam can determine the cause of the bulge and your physician can recommend a treatment plan.

Possible Hernia

A symptom of a hernia is a bulge that appears in the abdominal area. Hernias occur when there is weakness in the muscle, tissue or membrane that typically holds an organ in place. Additional symptoms of a hernia include dull or sharp pains that intensify when standing. One of the potential causes of a hernia is lifting heavy objects. If you are participating in a weightlifting program as part of your exercise routine, you may be more prone to the condition.

Seeking Treatment

Surgery is the only permanent fix available for a hernia. Surgery secures the tissue that has weakened on the abdominal wall. If the intestines become lodged in the hole on the abdominal wall, emergency surgery may be required. If the hernia is left untreated, the blood supply to the intestine is cut off and a portion of the intestine dies.

Things to Consider

Abdominal bloating may occur during exercise which can cause your stomach to bulge out. The abdomen will look distended and feel swollen and tight. Eating too close to exercise may produce this uncomfortable symptom. Eat only a light snack one to two hours before you workout. You need at least three to four hours to digest larger meals. Not drinking enough water during and before exercise may also produce bloating as your body retains water.

Types of Exercise

The type of exercise you do may cause bloating during your workout. If you are doing high intensity exercise, your rate of gastric emptying is decreased, according to a 1989 study published in the “European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology.” Moderate intensity exercise actually increases the rate of gastric emptying and may help relieve symptoms. Also, if your exercise form is poor, your stomach might bulge. This is often the case during abdominal exercises, which frequently require you to tighten your core rather than push out your tummy.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or