holding the plank is an excellent core exercise (and then side ones for the obliques). What I know as yoga abs are also good - lifting feet to 90 degrees and then very slowly lowering them to the floor and up again just before hit for (do it to count of 7 then up it). One of the pilates teachers I sometimes go to at the gym also has us gripping one of those foam rollers between our knees and then writing the alphabet without ever bending knees ... The back muscles are part of the core and do get sore while strengthening but always should be careful. Good idea to do some back strengtheners as well...
Does anyone have good core exercises that are not crunches? I've tried many times to do crunches and all I do is end up with back pain. I've tried to lay on the floor, sit on the ball, lay on the floor with my feet on a ball and nothing seems to work. Maybe i'm sucking in my stomach too much and it's affecting my form, but i'd thought since this is an ab discussion, I could ask. Thanks!
Fitness Minutes: (9,861)
517 12/4/12 12:26 P
Core exercises will not reduce fat but they will tone the area better. You can not pick where to loose weight but if you keep loosing weight eventually your belly will go, it just may be the last thing to go!
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,690 12/3/12 4:28 P
While I agree that pilates and core strengthening moves are the bomb, SCHEALTHNUTT, they will not reduce belly fat. ;)
GReat abs are made in the kitchen... not in the gym.
Heather Writer, mother, wife, and breadwinner. I love to run, but running doesn't love me, so I'm switching to my low-impact bike.
Fitness Minutes: (24,245)
12/1/12 7:14 P
Pilates and general core strengthening exercises are the bomb!!!!!
11/27/12 11:22 P
sounds interesting.... very similar to a doctor in South Africa, Tim Noakes, who is the expert on sports medicine and has recently written about how he has improved his health by cutting all carbs as he says some of us (including him) are carb-resistant and carbohydrates lead in such cases to diabetes etc. He is very careful to state that this is because of his genetic make up and that he has changed his life by eating high fat (all full-fat dairy etc etc) and cutting out all sweet things and processed carbohydrates. He has written a lot about it so you can find stuff out from the internet.
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 11/27/12 11:14 P
When I get through the Q&A if he says anything, I'll let ya know. It is really fascinating info and it's based on science....one thing I love that he says is "there is no certainty in diets"--in other words our genetic make-up accounts for why some people can't eat a lot of carbs and others can eat them with all abandon and not have a weight issue. We also need to educate people that cutting calories too much can lead to fat storage...
11/27/12 11:09 P
Thanks! I am vegetarian so the fruit veg etc etc is easy... But I have heard that soya and tofu cause imbalances in hormones (think they contain estrogen which is why soya is used as one of the things to help manage peri-menopause) and wonder if it is bad to eat too much of these...Not sure if he deals with it?
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 11/27/12 11:00 P
I am almost done with the presentation (it is well over 2 hours long and fairly indepth with info), but according to Jade Teta there are no magic fat burning foods...however, foods that control our hunger, cravings and give us energy are also the ones that help control our insulin and cortisol hormones as well as some of the other lesser known hormones. The foods should contain fiber, protein and water--you know foods like lean meats, fruits and veggies--avoiding the stuff we all know to avoid--processed foods.
When it comes to exercise, interval training is mentioned, however, it must be done in moderation--as too much high intensity exercise can increase cortisol levels which can lead to fat storage. He also recommends adding in some leisure walks which torch fat and not be too concerned about caloric burn. Add in some relaxation yoga (not power yoga) and tai chi and that helps with the hormone control.
I will share what else I learn when I listen to the Q&A
11/27/12 10:47 P
very interested in this coach Nancy - and in what to eat to try and control hormones..
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 11/27/12 3:13 P
Haven't quite gotten to the exercise discussion just yet, BUT, I will say this...I think he is leaning in that direction with his explanation regarding the hormones role in weight loss.
Exercise reduces and increases stress (in different ways) I suppose. It reduces "emotional" stress but increases physical stress. Not sure how that works out hormone-wise.
High intensity definitely seems to be the favorite among the latest generation of fitness/nutrition professionals! I don't do cardio so I'm not too up on it but it's an interesting discussion for sure!
Fitness Minutes: (1,285)
11/27/12 12:33 P
interested in this Nancy.. some research is indicating more intense/shorter is better... what's IDEA got to say about intensity?
Edited by: BOB240 at: 11/27/2012 (12:34)
Finished P90x, Insanity? - full training program here:
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 11/27/12 8:49 A
I am currently watching a video seminar via IDEA (the largest association for wellness and fitness professionals) regarding belly fat and the research is quite revealing as to the role our hormones play when it comes to belly fat. We're talking insulin, cortisol, HGH, ghrelin, leptin etc. I am still early into the discussion, but the presenter, Jade Teta presents a wise argument as to why working out longer and eating fewer calories is not the answer for many of us when it comes to belly fat. Anytime the body is stressed this raises and lowers certain hormones in our body which may actually promote fat storage. While cortisol has been labeled as a fat holder, in some situation it is and in others it isn't. I am anxious to finish out this 2 hour conference as belly fat is a huge issues for many of us.
For now, make sure you are eating well and enough to support your activity, get plenty of sleep, get in some cardio and strength activity, but do so in moderation.
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
11/27/12 2:27 A
I second the good advice from NAUSIKAA and M@L.
Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 11/27/2012 (02:27)
``Don't break the chain." -Jerry Seinfeld ``Moments of silence are part of the music." -Anonymous
M@L is absolutely correct. It is impossible to target belly fat without liposuction or other plastic surgery. Your body loses fat everywhere - face, legs, butt, belly, back, breasts - at its own pace in its own order, whether it's the order you'd have selected or not, unfortunately! We all deal with frustration because of this, I assure you! I would choose to zap it off my inner thighs if there were a way to do it, but there isn't.
So here's what you need to do:
1. Revisit your diet and make sure that you are eating in your calorie range for weight loss every day, and your macros are where they should be.
2. Do overall full body strength training workouts several times/week. Certainly include the abs in these workouts - no reason not to - but no need to do more than 2 or 3 different exercises, and I'd say to do 2-3 sets of 4-10 reps of each of the exercises. If you start doing a ton of reps like 100 crunches it just counts as cardio which defeats the purpose.
3. Do cardio within in reason (don't need to do 3 hours/day) to burn off yet more calories.
Burning fat is an all-body process, and unfortunately you can't target where you lose weight from. Energy is delivered to the muscles via the bloodstream, NOT from being absorbed from surrounding fat stores. Specific abdominal exercises will build up the abdominal muscles, but will do absolutely nothing abou the overlying layer of fat.
What you can do is to continue to reduce your overall body fat through a combination of cardio, all-body strength training and watching your intake, and some of it will naturally come off the abs.
Also, it is quite normal for weight loss to slow down as you approach your goal weight. Stay focussed, and you WILL get there.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Fitness Minutes: (7,482)
34 11/26/12 11:47 P
So I have been doing well at losing weight, but I still cant seem to get rid of the belly that hangs after being prego! What are some good work outs to tone this area as I am losing the weight? I am not losing as fast as I was when I 1st join so I know that my last 15 pounds are going to take a lot of work but I want to start toning as I go! Any ideas or tips would really help!
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