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toning problem areas

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Old 04-27-2011, 12:44 PM   #1
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So I have never been happy with my stomach, but it seems since I have dropped nearly 80 pounds it is even more noticeable. Two children and 100ish pounds of extra weight have resulted in a flabby stomach that hangs down. I feel that no matter how much weight I lose I will never lose the flap.

Anyway, the point I am getting at(sorry for rambling) is that I am trying to find exercises I can do to tone/work on my stomach(lower especially) and also my arms. They are getting flabby with my weight loss as well, my upper arms.

I have been doing crunches and sit ups but the only problem is I have lower back issues and laying flat on the floor to do the crunches hurts my back so bad I can't do them.

I am looking for other exercises I can do without having to lay flat on my back for both my stomach and arms.

Any tips/help is appreciated.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:27 AM   #2
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Have you looked into some yoga dvds for back issues? I own one from Yoga Zone. There are even specialty dvds out there...rehabilitation exercise dvds specifically for bad backs, bad knees, etc. It will strengthen both the back, and the abs, and by strengthening the abs, it will provide the back more support...lessening back pain.

Other exercises you might consider:

~Planks: This strengthens the entire core, both the abs and back areas, and also provides some upper body and arm strengthening. The beginner position would be to do the planks on your knees, the advanced position would be to do them on your toes. (Much like the beginner and advanced knee/toe positions for pushups.)

~Pilates moves such as "swimming" (if your back issues allow) will strengthen the lower back area, making it possible for you to do more ab work in the future.

~Another good core move for your back AND abs is to get onto all fours, and then straighten out and really reach with the LEFT HAND and RIGHT LEG. Really reach and stretch like you are trying to touch opposite walls, and hold! Then, bring those limbs back to the starting position, and then do again with the other arm/leg.

These moves strengthen both the abs and back...so over time with some more strength in your core, you might be able to slowly add on some more traditional lying on the floor abdominal work.

Hope this helps some!
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:50 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for the tips and info aphil! I will look into all of those. I have been wanting to try some Yoga anyway, now might be a great time.

It's my lower back, like right over my spine. I have two children and with both I had epi's and every since my back has never been the same. I can't even stand someone to touch the spot where the EPI was with pressure because it's very tender and sensitive. So laying on my back can be uncomfortable after a few mins of doing the exercise. I am going to try to strengthen my whole core like you said and who knows, maybe it will help.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aphil View Post

~Planks: This strengthens the entire core, both the abs and back areas, and also provides some upper body and arm strengthening. The beginner position would be to do the planks on your knees, the advanced position would be to do them on your toes. (Much like the beginner and advanced knee/toe positions for pushups.)


Also, once you get the hang of the planks, another great exercise is to incoorperate the yoga ball into it. This is what I do for my ab/core work out..

First I start with a regular old plank. I do planks on my arms rather than my hands because it bothers my wrist. This is what it looks like..


And then switch to a side plank...

Once and alternate one side to the other.. I usually hold each one for about 30seconds to a minute, and do each of them three times.. Once you feel comfortable you can dip your hips up and down in the side plank position for a really awesome oblique workout!!

Then, I incoorperate the yoga ball...

When you feel stable on the yoga ball, you can rotate your arms so that you are making a "circle" with the yoga ball. The further from your body you can get the circles to go(and the bigger) the better the ab workout.

I am tellin ya, I thought my stomach would never get tighter, I thought it would always be flabby (like you, child baring as done some damage). But it is getting firmer and flatter. I do these excersies 5 days a week after my cardio and strength training.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
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I would strongly recommend avoiding crunches and situps. They are not healthy for the back and fairly ineffective; for more read articles like this one. You've gotten some great advice- planks are wonderful and hopefully they'll give you the tone you're looking for.

Pushups are also great for abs. It's a dynamic plank that requires the engaging of stomach muscles during the up-down movement. Plus it tones your arms at the same time- great added bonus!
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:48 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the help! I am going to start trying planks today. I am horrible at push ups. lol My little weak arms don't like doing them. But I am going to push through and do them anyway. If it will tone both areas for the price of one I am all for it.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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This one is good for anyone who has had babies. It helps strengthen the pelvic floor.

Lay down flat on your back and notice the natural arch of the spine. Press the spine down so there is no space in between your bod and the mat. You hips will rotate up causing the socket to push the femur up and your knees will slightly rise.

Hold for 30 sec and build up to any amount of time you like, just like with a plank.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:39 PM   #8
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I am horrible at push ups. lol My little weak arms don't like doing them. But I am going to push through and do them anyway. If it will tone both areas for the price of one I am all for it.
You can start with modified pushups, with your knees on the ground, if that makes more sense for you. Make sure you get the form right though- too many times I've been in the gym and seen people with their knees on the ground lowering their chest and keeping their rear high in the air. Obviously this doesn't do much in terms of exercise . I always search for various YouTube videos to watch proper form before I start a new exercise.

Your attitude is great- if you suck at an exercise then all the more reason to start doing it- it means it's a good way to fatigue those muscles quickly and start toning. We should all be doing exercises that are very difficult for us good luck!
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