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Old 06-21-2006, 02:29 PM   #30
Meg
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 9,846

S/C/G: 257/135/maintaining

Height: 5' 4"

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Hi Mom2Seany!

I don't think the author of the article is saying that side bends are dangerous. He's saying that they may be ineffective because people do them in order to reduce their waist circumference, but they can actually have the opposite effect. Side bends done with weights can make your waist thicker, not smaller. The goal of any weighted exercise is to build muscle and adding muscle to your waist will - yep - add inches and make it bigger, not smaller.

It's exactly the same problem with the abductor and adductor machines, also named in the article. When you isolate and build the muscles in your inner and outer thighs, you're going to make them bigger. Bigger muscles underlying fat will push the fat out and make thighs look bulkier, not slimmer. Some people think that they can hop on the machines and get rid of the fat off their thighs, but we all know that you can't spot reduce away fat.

I personally don't ever do weighted ab exercises - I only use my bodyweight. Here's a good article (with illustrations) about the most effective ab exercises from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) that you might find interesting. In a nutshell, they found:

For strengthening the rectus abdominus, the 13 exercise were ranked most to least effective:

1. Bicycle maneuver
2. Captain’s chair
3. Crunches on exercise ball
4. Vertical leg crunch
5. Torso Track
6. Long arm crunch
7. Reverse crunch
8. Crunch with heel push
9. Ab Roller
10. Hover
11. Traditional crunch
12. Exercise tubing pull
13. Ab Rocker

For strengthening the obliques, the 13 exercise were ranked most to least effective:

1. Captain’s chair
2. Bicycle maneuver
3. Reverse crunch
4. Hover
5. Vertical leg crunch
6. Crunch on exercise ball
7. Torso Track
8. Crunch with heel push
9. Long arm crunch
10. Ab Roller
11. Traditional crunch
12. Exercise tubing pull
13. Ab Rocker

Hope that helps!
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Meg
Start: 257 - June 1, 2001
Goal: 135 - May 12, 2002
Size 22/size 4
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