Exercise! - Abdominals

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06-08-2005, 10:11 PM
I recently (3 weeks ago) began a workout routine, where I do cardio everyday and do weight resistane exercises 3 times weekly. I just bought Jane Fonda's "Toning and Sculpting" routine and it seems to be a great workout. The only area where I have a problem is when she focuses on the abs.

I find the ab exercises extremely difficult to do, as I have so much chub in that area. Are these exercises ESSENTIAL to my workout? Also, do these exercises help with excess skin after weight loss? I'm a bit concerned about that. I have heard, a lot has to do with age, but I can forego these until I've lost a bit in my mid-section? :?:

06-09-2005, 08:24 AM
Annie -- Although ab exercises are difficult at this point keep doing them they are important for your core muscles and help your back too and if you work your lower back this helps your abs. Ab excercises will not get rid of your excess skin, that is determined by genetics and age.

Here is a Weight Loss And Skin FAQs link from the Maintenance Forum which has a lot of information about excess skin.... http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36040

HTH :wave:

06-09-2005, 07:41 PM
If it's any consolation, I hate ab exercises and until recently avoided them, until the trainer at the gym told me I was wrong to avoid them, that I had to do them to protect my back, and that I would feel better once my tummy muscles were stronger. You can bet any money that I have more tummy fat than you. I had a funny moment the first time I went to the gym and the guy got me on the leg press, it was like I had a giant comforter folded on my lap and it kept pushing my legs out so it was hard to do the weights. It is a bit smaller now and I have got my thing together, but the poor old instructor was so embarrassed and trying to make me feel better about it. Charecterisically for me, I just laughed and told him not feel so embarrassed, it was my fat not his!!!

I do feel a lot better for doing them, and my back does feel more supported now doing the other exercises especially legs), and I get less back pain.

Only Me
06-09-2005, 07:54 PM
Losing weight won't make ab exercises any easier. I find them incredibly difficult at 124lbs and have only recently forced myself to start doing them. It's so embarrasing to be unable to do a single sit up/roll up. The only thing that will make ab exercises easier for either one of us is to actually DO them.

06-10-2005, 12:56 AM
I can only recommend to do them! I have a tendency to "forget" working my abds too, because it's exercises that I find boring, so I try to correct this behavior and do some at least every 2-3 days in order to keep them in shape. What's sure is that they *are* hard for everyone who isn't trained. No matter the weight or the commitment to exercising, even a thin person will have a hard time pushing out a good series out of her abds if she's never worked on them (well, this is almost true, I guess - some weight-lifting exercises partially rely on your abds, too, thus doing them will strengthen them a little, even if not as much as "full" exercises).

The only thing is to make sure that you're doing them well. I've found that the traditional "sit-ups" aren't worth much, and tend to hurt the lower back more than anything else (especially if this area is already a sore point). Good abds exercises will make you feel like you're working them, and not hurt the back in any case. I found a nice exercise on Krista's site about weight-lifting for women, and I think I still have a link somewhere to an "abds FAQ" in English; I'll add it as soon as I can find it back :)

PS - Think of it this way, too: better start working them slowly and gradually, rather than wait "until I've dropped lots of weight"... because, once the tummy fat goes away, it's much more pleasant to see already-developed muscles under, rather than a bunch of flabby flesh ;)

06-10-2005, 10:47 AM
Well, I guess I'm rare because I love doing my ab exercises! :lol: I hated them at first too because they were so hard for me to do, but you can improve really rapidly if you're starting from basically nothing. I hadn't done situps or crunches for years until I took a Pilates class last fall (it was torturous because everyone else could do the roll-up exercises and I couldn't get myself off the floor!). Nowadays I do my crunches on an incline for added resistance, because I improved so much that floor work is too easy!

It really does feel great to have core muscle strength. OTOH, if the difficulty is not in your muscle strength but in having fat just get in the way, I don't see that it would hurt to wait a couple months to start strengthening your abs. Just remember that your abs are just like every other muscle in your body, so you should strengthen them the same way, and that you should strengthen the opposing muscles -- your lower back.

06-10-2005, 10:49 AM
Thank you all for responding. It seems the general consensus is "JUST DO IT!" :lol:

What I think I will have to do while doing the weight resistance and sculpting/toning segments of my workout, is just to do as many as I can. Perhaps then I can build up and it will become slightly easier.

:thanks: for all of your wonderful words of WISDOM! :)

06-10-2005, 10:52 AM
Paperclippy- You snuck in on me while I was replying. What I think I will do is not just "sit out" when that part of the routine comes, but to do as many as I can in correct form. I figure 5 are better than none, right!