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Exercise & Fitness Message Board

Exercise & Fitness Board Index

Hello again Taihawk:

Just figured I would give you my 2-cents again.

First of all, as everyone will tell you, you cannot spot reduce. What this means is that you might see the weight coming off your arms, face, buttocks, or what have you before you notice a tremendous difference in the size of your gut despite doing a gazillion crunches a day. Oddly, some say that the first place you put on wieght is often the last place you lose it.

What you need to do is get your diet in check to help lose your body fat so eventually what you want is coming off where you want. The other thing is consistency. Your abs don't need to be worked as hard or as long as your other body parts... they just need to be worked until fatigue (and they can be fatigued in a matter 10 mins or less as opposed to your chest or bi's) consistantly whether it be 3,5, or 7 times a week.

As far as frequency and reps go, most people say that if you exercise your abs 5-7 times a day (therefore not allowing them rest) you get a tone flat stomach without bulk or definition. On the other hand, if you work them 3 times a week and allow the longer recovery period, you get the more masculine, harder, more defined abs. However, this is really mostly true only for those who do weighted ab work. Otherwise, abs technically need only a short recover period anyways. IMO neither way is better/worse for you in terms of your weight-loss goal.

What I would recommend for you is to go easy on your abdominal work and focus more of your time and energy spend doing cardio such as running, cycling, stairs and other stuff. Remember, when you are doing most any other exercise, your abdominal muscles are engaged and getting a workout just from that. Concentrate on keeping your navel pulled in towards your back (i.e. "sucking it in" w/o holding your breathe) when doing these other activities and even when you're not. This alone, without dropping much body fat will give you better posture and an overall slimmer appearance. So eat right and burn the most calories you can... what follows is not as important just yet.

As far as your actual abdominal exercises:

I would say try shooting for 3 days a week and sticking to about 12 - 15 repetitions per set and 3 sets per exercise. To get your abdominal region prepped, make sure to incorporate at least one exercise per section of your abs (i.e - upper/lower abdominals, obliques, etc). It might be hard for you to do 10, 5, or even 1... but don't despair and slowly build your way up to doing the full amount of repitions. It is important to do only what you can without compromising your form, especially with your back problem. The stability ball should help support your lumbar region in order not to injury yourself. However, the minute you feel your abs are spent... push yourself to do 1-3 more to make sure they are being worked and that will be the appropriate # of reps for you to shoot for.

I have confidence that you will be able to accomplish anything you aspire for yourself... just keep asking questions and working at it... you'll get it, even the six pack one of these days!

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