Exercise! - Toning my stomach

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09-02-2006, 02:07 PM
I've already lost 60lbs and i still have 20lbs to go before my goal (goal is 140lb), The whole time ive been walking daily, and now im running 1.6 miles daily, what exercises can i do to tone my stomach??? Do the normal crunchs work? and how many should i do daily to see results? thanks for your help

09-03-2006, 02:30 AM
Congrats on your weight loss :high:

In this thread Top Ten Exercise Myths (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1165748&postcount=1) You will see that #1 says that you cannot spot reduce :( ... But there are many exercises that will stregthen your core and abs and will make you stand up straigter and make you look slimmer...Here are some examples Exercises for Your Abs (http://exercise.about.com/cs/exerciseworkouts/l/aa121200b.htm)

Misti in Seattle
09-03-2006, 04:32 AM
Well I too have seen all the articles saying you cannot spot reduce. However, I chose not to believe them as I think you CAN... so not to argue but you can make your own choice and I will just share my story.

I have been really busting it to tone up my stomach and doing water aerobics all summer, with a lot of focus on stomach, abdomen, upper chest, etc. I am thrilled with the results. While I still have far too much stomach, the upper part of the "sagging stomach" has tightened dramatically and I can feel muscle where piles of fat used to be. Also, even when I was 40 pounds lighter before I could not wear zip up pants because of my huge stomach... NOW I can actually wear them.

I have dropped 4 bra band sizes (8 inches) which is a LOT for my 60 pound weight loss... because of tightening the chest and back muscles. Before the "new" style of bra straps would not go over my shoulders as they were too short... now I can not only wear them but have to tighten them up (not fully extended).

My doctor was amazed when she saw how much I have accomplished. Yes, I saw all the articles... and posts here... saying it could not be done; to me that is kind of like saying "sic 'em" to a dog. :)

Soooooo.... for those who wish to believe it can't be done, fine... I have no intention of trying to convince anyone... but for those like Nadine who asked this question... I would encourage you to go for it! And I highly recommend water aerobics. It is working for me!! :dance:

09-03-2006, 01:13 PM
Congrats on your weightloss Misti, you're a great example of what exercise and clean eating can do for a person, and the reason you have lost so much and "toned" up IS because you have been extremely careful 90% or more of the time ... and therefore your hard work exercising and eating healthy has paid off, BIG TIME :carrot: ... Therefore it's NOT the myth of "spot reducing" that has worked for you, it's the clean eatin, cardio, weight training and EVERYTHING you are doing combined that is working....

Misti in Seattle
09-03-2006, 03:09 PM
Thanks Ilene. You are certainly right in that I have been working hard at it and sticking to my plan without fail. So I guess if the "myth" is that it can be done easily, then I would certainly have to agree it probably can't be done. Perhaps I didn't understand the "myth" if it is supposed to be a few simple exercises that do it.

The original question here was whether there are exercises to tone up your stomach. LOL in my case it has been 77 gazillion back flips, jumps and every other type of move there is with water weights that did it. It DOES take more than a few and for an extended period of time. I still have a LONG way to go!!!

So I guess I would rephrase my response to yes... it can be done but be prepared to work VERY hard for it over an extended period of time! :) It won't be easy! :dance: But there ARE exercises that target specific parts of the body... I have lost at least 3" around my upper arm... from water weights and Danskin workout balls.

But I agree in that you can't be "hit and miss" and accomplish it. You have to eat right no matter what the temptation, and work out whether or not you feel like it.

09-03-2006, 03:55 PM
Congratulations on all your hard work and the progress you've made! You really are a testament to the idea that you can transform your body through better nutrition and exercise. But I think you are a perfect counter-example to the argument that you are trying to make.

The original poster asked about specifically toning her stomach. You replied that spot reducing and toning is possible. Yet you've told us that your chest, back, arms, and stomach are all smaller and tighter due to exercise. I bet if you have some detailed measurements or pictures, you'd find that your rear end and legs are also in better shape. The exercises you've described are wonderful, whole body exercises which is why many parts of your body are changing and not just your stomach.

Nadine: I'd suggest focusing on exercises which target your entire core and whole body. Running and walking are both cardiovascular exercises. Yes, you use leg muscles and core muscles to stay upright and balanced, but to change the composition of your body from jiggly in the middle to sleek, you need to do some resistance training. Take a look at some of the threads on stability ball training, google BOSU balls. Pilates targets core muscle strength- you might want to give that a try.


Misti in Seattle
09-03-2006, 08:32 PM
LOL Mel... after that last post I did start thinking... and you are right... I am FAR more toned ALL OVER and have lost inches all over the place! I didn't measure until I had been at this for two months and had already lost 26 pounds so undoubtedly already some inches. But since then I have lost 4" off my hips and 2" off each THIGH and 3" off my waist. I can feel bones in my shoulders and you can see from my avatar how skinny they are looking (they used to be very broad). And I can flex my legs and arms and SEE and FEEL the new muscles there.

Also I "test" my butt area because I have a small stepstool with small sides on it and I could not sit on it before as I could not fit between the sides. Now I can, and easily so.

So I would have to say you are right. :) But that's okay as this one time I am HAPPY to be wrong!! :dance: Except I am still carrying huge amounts of weight between shoulders and thighs... but it will go; I just have to keep working on it.

09-08-2006, 09:45 PM
I lift weighst and I think the lower my bodyfat becomes the more defined my abs become I work my ab muscles but not harder than any other muscle group.

09-09-2006, 10:08 AM
Nadine, pilates is very good. I do situps, ab work, and when I introduced pilates, it was as if I had never done anything. So I would check out a good pilates tape (Ana Caban is one good choice or any of the Gaiam ones that Target sells) and see if that gives you something to feel going on down there.

Misti, I think I have that same stepstool! Is it white plastic with a bumpy surface on the top and one step? I don't fit in there YET....but soon!

09-09-2006, 07:58 PM
has anyone ever done the crunch fitness burn and firm pilaties? That is byfar the HARDEST MOST DIFFICULT WORST workout I ever will endure. I hate it . Its basically 40 minutes of squats ! Omg its murder!

09-09-2006, 09:39 PM
Hi Nadine,

Great job with your 60lb weightloss!!! While your original interest in core exercises was to firm up or "spot reduce" there is another great reason for doing these exercises. You have added running to your routine. A strong core is essential to prevent injuries while running.

As a new runner I had injured myself and one of the first things my physical therapist did was coach me with exercises to work on my core strength. I really can't give you exact detail because after about five minutes of her explanation/lecture of how and why, my eyes began to glaze over. :dizzy: But in the end she convinced me that the stablization techniques used during my weight training were not enough. I needed target them specifically. So, now I do them... lessons learned.;)

09-10-2006, 07:46 AM
im a new runner too so this thread is wondava!

09-10-2006, 08:56 PM
I do full on sit-ups. I like them better than crunches and i feel like they work better than crunches. I would start at 50 and move up from there. If you do them daily i am sure in a few weeks you will start to see results. Good luck and i hope that helps.

09-10-2006, 10:54 PM
im a new runner too so this thread is wondava!We have a Cool Runners thread, please join us anytime!

09-11-2006, 08:19 AM
I will....later ..gtg! :-)

09-13-2006, 11:59 PM
I have read that you need to be 18-22% body fat in order to see any of the work you do on your abs. I think this is right, your belly can look good without being in that range but in order to see the definition you must be very small. When I was ideal weight and I was toned everywhere but my belly was just soft it was because I wasnt in that percentile. I think alot of it has to do with your body type also, genes. Some people carry more weight in the abs that would be me and so even slim still no definition. Just work your abs off and see what your made of;)