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MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,412
5/1/14 12:01 A

Demos of deadlifts (and many other exercises) can be found at


4/30/14 3:24 P

I'll look for that book and I have used the workout generator and Coach Nicole's 9 minute arm sculpting.

I'm at 315 down from 390. I had a back procedure done in January that has allowed me to do more physical activity. I've lost 24 lbs since procedure mainly through diet and cardio (treadmill). The procedure's results last only about 6 mos. I'm told and I want to be in better condition by then.

I truly appreciate your advice.


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4/30/14 3:11 P

You don't have to do a lot to start strength training. Wall push ups are a great place to build upper body strength.

If you're interested in learning some basics, I highly recommend that you check the library (or even Goodwill) to find a copy of this book, Body for Life by Bill Phillips. It's an excellent beginner strength training book that will teach you the basics.

You should also check out the fitness section. Coach Nicole has a bunch of short 10-15 minute workouts you can do at home. All you need are some handweights and maybe a couple of resistance bands.

4/30/14 3:08 P


I am definitely a novice. my upper body strength training includes things like wall push-ups, and other exercises with a set of 5lb dumb bells. With the dumb bells I do 2 sets of 15 reps of each exercise. I currently don't belong to a gym and I don't even know what dead lifts are. emoticon

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (191,741)
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4/30/14 2:51 P


What do you do for upper body strength training ? Planks are great, don't get me wrong. I encourage everyone to do them.

However, if your tummy is arching towards the floor, that implies a weak back. Which is why I wonder what you do for strength training. If you want to improve your planks as well as your overall core strength, you need to do include exercises like dead lifts, stiff leg deadlifts, push ups, rows, etc.

Did your doctor okay strength training ? If so, it will help.

4/30/14 1:12 P

Thanks for the advice guys! I'm trying the planks, however my form is very poor. There's a dip in my back and I struggle to stay up, but I'm going to keep trying! I have a herniated disc and pinched nerves in my lower back, my posture is bad and my stomach pulls on my back. Since you say planks work various abdominal muscles it seems like the most efficient move to strengthen my core. Thanks again!

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,412
3/23/14 6:02 P

I agree with the advice above - if crunches are causing you problems, don't do them.

Besides putting less pressure on your back, planks work a much broader range of core muscles than crunches anyway. Perhaps start out with 20-30 seconds of planks on your elbows, and move up from there.


ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (191,741)
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3/23/14 3:22 P

I'm not a doctor, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

I would say that if crunches cause your abdominal muscles to go into spasms, then don't do them. There are more efficient exercises to strengthen your ABs. What happens when you do a plank ? Do you still get those spasms ? If not, I would suggest doing plank and side plank instead of crunches or situps. Plank is a core exercise that work multiple muscles at the same time and as such is much more efficient.

I did a quick google search and came up with a handful of citations. There seems to be no definitive answer.

Do you feel any discomfort ? If you feel discomfort, stop doing the crunches and do something that doesn't cause the spasms. If you continue to get the spasms, it wouldn't hurt to call your doctor for a professional opinion.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,906)
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3/23/14 3:12 P

Skip the crunches. If they are causing you pain, I suspect either poor form, or not the right exercise for you. Something like a plank is far more effective, anyway, and puts a lot less strain on your lower back.

3/23/14 2:56 P

When I was younger I was able to do over 100 crunches a day. Now when I try to do 15 regular, reverse or even seated crunches it get these horrible spasms/cramps in my abdominal muscles. They last for about 15-20 min. I really need to strengthen core because I have back problems. I drink at least 8-10 cups of water each day and I've even tried magnesium and calcium supplements.
Does anyone else have this problem?
Does anyone know what causes this?
Does anyone know what can be done about this?

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