Question – Why Do I Have A Tummy Full Of Air After Exercising?

Did you know we take requests and questions?

This question is from a lady who has been exercising a lot recently and looks simply magnificent now. She asked me this recently because her trainer wants her to breathe properly during her weights and cardio.

Gas in the stomach - why?

It is hard to know exactly why some people can get gas in the stomach and if it is painful or troublesome, you really should consult your medical practitioner.


However in Louise's case, I figured she might be drinking a lot of fluid because she is working hard. Lots of water or saliva in the mouth will make you swallow because you don't want to look like a dribbling idiot 🙂


I put it to Louise that perhaps her mouth is excessively moist and causing her to swallow a lot - since she is huffing and puffing, she is likely to be swallowing air as well - hence her tummy full of air.


Not a real physiotherapy problem...but it is a good thing we can think laterally!

2 Responses

  1. Abbey

    Dear Physiodetective,
    Cool Post, My question is …..
    I goto the gym very regular 4/5 times a week . I am fairly carefull about what i eat maybe the quantity is a bit much ?? not a huge amount though . I am getting to the point where i am reasonably happy with the way i look in the mirror . i have a fairly tight tummy now where before it was bloated and big . i have just a tiny bit of flab left at the bottom. when i stand up and neithere breath in or out my belly looks fairly flat . (my brother and dad have pot bellys, though they dont exercise) I just want to know when i fill my belly with air and breath out i have a massive pot belly is this because of my body shape is it cos i still have a way to go or is it being bloated ? Or am I being radiclious. I am going to look more at my diet see if i am allergic and what kinds of foods might be bloating me . Maybe im allergic to something ??? remember its only really when i breathe out
    Nice One!

    1. Hi abbey,

      Great question.

      A few things:
      1. It could be bloating from eating foods you are intolerant to. However you would be bloated whether you were breathing in or out. So I don’t think that is it.
      2. It could be body fat but you look good at rest. Again I don’t think this is it.
      3. It could be swallowed air but again it would be there at rest and you would burp!

      I think the real issue (remembering I haven’t assessed you for this) is that your chest muscles are out of balance with your abdominal muscles when you are breathing out.

      It may be from your gym training – it is often the case in my patients. To make your tummy pop out when breathing out, often it is your external oblique muscles that squeeze your lower chest so it becomes narrower. This means the pressure of bresthing out is not shared around the chest and tummy so your tummy has to pop out to accommodate the pressure.

      Try this exercise – breathe in and out with one hand on your chest/breastbone and te other on your tummy in standing or sitting. When breathing in, both hands should move equally out forwards and breathing out, both hands should move in together. If they don’t, practice!

      If that still doesn’t help, ask your physio to see you or book in to see on of ours on 9585 8844 or at

      Cheers and thanks for the comment!

Leave a Reply