How to Relieve Trapped Gas With Movement

3 Tips to Relieve Intestinal Gas Discomfort

Suffering from stomach pain.

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You may care less about how to relieve trapped gas than you do making sure it happens—and quickly. Trapped gas can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and distention that can make you not only uncomfortable, but interfere with your day.

Thankfully, some simple movements can help release trapped gas and get you feel better again.

This article looks at ways you can use your own body to help relieve gas, and when you might need medical help instead. It also offers ideas on how to reduce gas in the first place.

Get on Your Feet

Mother and son leaving for a walk at front door

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Taking a walk can sometimes be all that's needed to relieve trapped gas and bloating in the short term.

According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, light physical activity can help move intestinal gas and reduce bloating in the abdomen.

At least 30 minutes of exercise three or four days a week should be plenty to help keep the bloating and burps at bay.

Lie on Your Side

Young woman sleeping on sofa

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This simple move may work especially well for relieving trapped gas in the lower intestine. Follow these steps to see if they bring relief:

  1. On a bed, sofa, or the floor, lie on your side.
  2. Gently draw both knees toward your chest.
  3. If you don't get relief after several minutes, try slowly moving your legs down and up a few times.
  4. Try using your hands to pull your knees closer to your chest, if you can do this comfortably or without causing more pain.

Squat

Woman in gym doing squats

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Squats are good for more than building strong thighs and gluteal (butt) muscles. Here's how to lower yourself into this position to help relieve trapped gas:

  1. Start with your feet hip-width apart and facing forward.
  2. Put your hands on your hips or hold on to the back of a sturdy chair. Then, slowly bend your knees until your rear end is close to the floor.
  3. Place your hands on the tops of your thighs (or continue to hold onto the chair). Stay in this position until you feel the gas start to move.

This position may make you need to have a bowel movement, so make sure you have easy access to a bathroom if necessary.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Massage Therapist palpating the abdomen

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Intestinal gas is rarely a sign of a medical problem. Again, it's a normal by-product of digestion. But there are a handful of conditions that are associated with an increase in gas.

These conditions include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), lactose intolerance, and celiac disease.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) advises seeing a healthcare provider about gas if you also have symptoms including:

  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Bleeding

Otherwise, try changing your diet to exclude foods known to cause gas. They include milk, beans, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, and wheat bran.

Other changes that may help are:

  • Stop smoking
  • Chew gum less often
  • Don't drink through a straw

Gum and straws both make you swallow excess air, which can lead to more gas.

According to research, the average person farts between eight and 14 times every day and burps up to 30 times a day.


Summary

You can learn how to relieve trapped gas by changing your body position and being physically active.

Changing your diet also may help. In most cases, gas is not a serious issue. But you may want to see a healthcare provider if you have a lot of excess gas.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What position should I lie in to relieve gas?

    Your side. Lying on your side with your knees bent can help to relieve trapped gas. If you don’t feel relief after a few minutes, pull your knees closer to your chest or try alternating between straight legs and bent knees.

  • What is the quickest way to relieve trapped gas?

    Movement. Research shows light physical activity, such as walking, is the best way to keep trapped air moving through the intestines.

  • What gym move is most likely to make you break wind?

    Squats and sit-ups. To minimize the risk of passing gas during a workout: 

    • Avoid high-fiber foods, cruciferous vegetables, legumes, carbonated drinks, and sugar alcohols in the hours before your workout.
    • Drink water slowly. Chugging or gulping makes you swallow more air.
    • Go to the bathroom to move your bowels and pass gas before your workout.
  • Can yoga help relieve trapped gas?

    Yes! Movements that include forward bends, squats, knees to chest, twists, and bridges can help relieve trapped gas. Examples are child’s pose, happy baby, downward-facing dog, and lying twists.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Johannesson E, Ringström G, Abrahamsson H, Sadik R. Intervention to increase physical activity in irritable bowel syndrome shows long-term positive effects. World J Gastroenterol. 2015;21(2):600-8. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i2.600

  2. Katz LC, Just R, Castell DO. Body position affects recumbent postprandial reflux. J Clin Gastroenterol. 1994;18(4):280-283. doi:10.1097/00004836-199406000-00004

  3. Gennaro C, Larsen H. Symptomatic approach to gas, belching and bloating with OMT treatment options. Osteopathic Family Physician. 2019;11(2):20-25.

  4. Gas, bloating, and belching. Am Fam Physician. 2019;99(5):.

Additional Reading

By Amber J. Tresca
Amber J. Tresca is a freelance writer and speaker who covers digestive conditions, including IBD. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 16.