Exercise! - New to the Board....Excercise Tips???

04-04-2003, 06:48 PM
Hello - I am somewhat new here and I thought I'd post here because I am looking for some excercise tips.

I do not own any kind of gym equiptment, dumbbells, weights, or video tapes, so I really don't know what kind of excercises to do except walking everyday.

I would like to learn some excercises to work on these areas...


Excercises for the flab under my arms

Excercises for my tummy (ab excercises)

Excercises for my legs - toning them up


Any tips on what I could do? Do you have any excercises that you use, that work particuarly well?

I injured my back in a car accident a little over a year ago, and I need some excercises that are not going to make my pain worse.

Any tips??

Anything is greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much,
Kari :)

04-04-2003, 07:56 PM
Kari - hi!

Looks like you want to do some strength training from what you wrote...cool!

Krista Scott Dixon has a GREAT women's weight-training site that has tons and tons of wonderful tips and advice for all levels...


Here's an excerpt from an article from Krista's site called "No Weights? No Problem!"

So let's say you live in Upper Armpit, South Dakota, or on top of a mountain in the Himalayas, and there are no gyms for 500 miles around. Or, let's say you're a complete cheapskate and don't want to pay $50/month to the local chrome 'n' tone Fluffy Fitness. Or, let's say that you're agoraphobic and haven't left your house in 13 years. Whatever the case, it is important to remember that you don't need weights to get a good workout.

Now, I'm not talking about those idiotic "you don't need weights, you just need 12 oz. cans of tuna!" workouts that Cosmopolitan magazine advertises (I swear I am not making the part about the tuna up... it was actually suggested by Cosmo for biceps curls... maybe they were aiming that article at 2-year-old malnourished children or something). I'm talking about old-school, farm girl, Dinosaur-training-style pickin' up heavy stuff lying around the house and yard.

what every weightless girl needs to have in her wardrobe

I'll tell ya what to do with all of this stuff. Some are just cheap things you can pick up at the local discount store, while others are likewise cheap things you can pick up at the local hardware store. Army surplus stores are also good places to look for things like heavy-duty knapsacks. If you have other cool ideas, drop me a line.

old soccer ball, basketball, or volleyball

jump rope

an old durable knapsack, and/or duffel bag, maybe even an old suitcase


an old pillowcase

duct tape

a little kids' plastic sled or the "tray" part of an old wheelbarrow



a small towel, or some plain foam, or some pipe insulation foam

a bucket

a shovel

Check out the rest of this article at http://www.stumptuous.com/noweights.html

Now...about spot reducing...unfortunately...short of liposuction...you can't pick and choose the sites where your bodyfat is going to come off. There's a site by a gentleman named Hussman who says this more eloquently than I:

On the subject of fat coming off in "sheets", there's nothing particularly complex about it - it's simply that the body does not preferentially reduce fat in the vicinity of the muscles being worked. For instance, TV commercials love to tell you that if you use this or that ab-cruncher, you'll reduce abdominal fat. The truth, however, is that you'll strengthen the abdominal muscles and burn a little intramuscular fat there, but any overall fat loss is taken uniformly from all over your body. When your body needs energy from lipolysis (fat burning), it sends out a general signal to mobilize fatty acids into the bloodstream. That signal doesn't target any particular area, it just says "I need to burn fat", and takes it from anywhere it can. That's why you can't "spot reduce". Again, you'll strengthen particular muscles by exercising them, but the fat comes off uniformly.

The site above is at www.hussman.org/fitness - just FYI...

What I've found personally regarding losing bodyfat is that it is very much a matter of 'first on, last off'. Here's an analogy: you know when you have a big ol' garbage can or dumpster that folks have been tossing trash and other garbage in for awhile? Think of the can as your body and the garbage/trash within as fat. When you empty it, the stuff near the top comes off quite easily since it hasn't settled and compacted yet (it's fluffier). But as you get closer to the bottom, the older stuff is all packed together and yukky...sometimes you have to SCRAPE it out of the can right? Well that's the old fat! Not a very scientific explanation but that's the way I see it. ;)

I cordially invite you to lurk and/or post at the Ladies Who Lift forum (located here at 3FC under the Exercise forum) if you want to learn more about strength training and its benefits! Have a great weekend!!

04-04-2003, 08:09 PM
Thank you SO much for the reply! The information that you provided me has been very helpful! :) I loved your analogy on how the body fat comes off. Very good way to put it ;) lol.

I am looking to do some strength training, and some toning. I was told that when you lose weight, and you work on toning areas like the under arm flab, that it will eventually tighten up. How true this is...I don't know lol.

Anyways, thanks again for all of the information!
These sites are very helpful! :)

~ Kari ~

04-04-2003, 08:18 PM
Kari - I'm not sure how badly your back is damaged, or what exercises might be beneficial for it, but you might want to ask your doctor about pilates. If your doc approves, I'm sure you could rent a video from either a library or video rental place to see what you thought. The two I've actually used are Winsor Pilates and Pilates for Dummies. When I first started, I was extremely frustrated, but after about 3 weeks, I'm hooked. Pilates has really helped with strengthening my butt, abs, lower back, and legs. It's all floor work, so it helps if you have good carpeting. :D

Again, only if your doc says it's ok for your back, though.

04-04-2003, 09:31 PM
Hello RavenToy,
Thanks for the post :) I was actually going to look into pilates, but after reading about most of it being floor work, I may not be able to do that.

When I got in the car accident, my lower back, mostly near my tailbone was injured. Right now, I can only sit for 20 - 30 minute intervals, and that's only in a chair. If I sit on the floor, it'll take me a while to get up.

I was told about an excercise ball that I could buy at Wal-Marts, but I'm not sure what types of excercises I will be able to do with it. If I'm not mistaken, I think it came with some sort of a book, but I'd have to check again.

Do you, or anyone else know of any good VHS tapes that I could possibly do? I used to do the Richard Simmons tapes, those were kinda fun, and I enjoyed the music (which kept me really motivated.) I've seen several different tapes throughout local stores, I'm just not sure which one to buy. My cousin was doing Tae-Boe for quite a while, and lost a significant amount of weight. It didn't look that interesting to me though lol.

Anyways, thanks again for the posts, they are truly appreciated! :)

~ Kari ~

04-04-2003, 10:50 PM
Kari - check this out!!!

This article is off the Krista website...what an EXCELLENT resource that is!!
I have had 4 spinal surgeries over the years, two of which resulted in removal of the L4/5 & L5/S1 disks. Also have C4/5/6 vertebrae fused. For what it's worth, I am 40 years old. I still do full squats and deadlifts. About the only things I don't do anymore are full sit ups and bent over rows. I am in the best shape of my life strength-wise.
There are almost no exercises you can't do. You just need to be very, very careful with form. Start out with empty bars, and dedicate yourself to reading everything you can get your hands on regarding proper biomechanics of all the exercises. Get somebody to watch you, or even videotape yourself with an empty bar. The poundage will go up by itself.
Start a moderate stretching program to loosen up your hip sockets and hamstrings. You must realize that all of the flexibility of the two fused joints is now gone, and will be taken up at the next level (L3/4). So you must make sure that when you do things, you do not allow that joint to take too much bending stress. This requires a lot of concentration while working out (and people just thought I was anti-social at the gym) and a lot of knowledge.
You must be tremendously focused on strict form. To do this right you will also need a lot of ab strength to stabilize your torso. The important thing to realize is that when you train to "failure" now, failure means failure of proper and strict form, not necessarily muscular failure of the muscle group(s) you are working. And the consequences of failure are a little more severe (maybe more fusions). So you stop a set when you can't either mentally or physically maintain strict form.
Anyway, it is possible to get into way more than just good shape. And done correctly, you will be minimizing the risk of future injury. Your athletic life is not over, despite what some bozo doctors might be telling you. Good luck.

--Al Jenab

Of course I do recommend talking to your doctor!! :)

The ball they were probably talking about is called a Stability Ball or Swiss Ball is what I call it. And of course Krista also has an article on the swiss ball at her website...here's the direct page link!


As far as fitness videos, truthfully I'm no expert there - the last one I LOVED was one I owned 12 years ago - it featured a large-sized model and fitness instructor Idrea. (this was the first one - not the one she made a couple years later with Carnie Wilson in her pre-WLS days). Of course it has all those 80's trappings - leg warmers, headbands, etc. etc. But I used to work out to it at least 3-4 days a week for MONTHS, until I started going to Jazzercise!

04-05-2003, 04:37 PM
Thanks so much for the links! :) Last night I spent over an hour reading Krista's website. It was great! What in inspiration she is! :) I just love her sense of humor. lol

Anyways - I just may look more into getting a Swiss Ball. I am going to talk to my Physical Therapist, and doctor on the 9th of April to find out what I can and cannot do.

I just recently had a bone scan on my lower back and tail bone, so I need to get those results too.

Thanks again for all of the help!

~ Kari ~