I haven't had children but I did lose 100+ lbs and much of that in my abdominal area. Extra/loose skin for me was mostly an issue in areas that have zero potential for muscle building, specifically, my breasts -- my pecs are under there, but like 6" down. My theory on why that's where I had most of my loose skin is because there's no muscle there to bulk the skin up. Because the other place where I had it pretty badly was my upper arms but with muscle building (primarily in my shoulders) that got much better - I THINK because with the extra bulk in my shoulders it just readjusted the existing skin and it filled out again. The skin itself didn't "snap back" or shrink. Skin can't move around - there are little bits of tissue anchoring it wherever it is - but overall increased bulk in the area does seem to help in my personal experience. I have a photo on my page where you can kind of see how my skin looks now, several years after the weight loss - 100 lbs of weight loss is a pretty severe change to put a body through and it is very rare to escape totally unscathed - I really don't know about pregnancy because I haven't done it but I imagine skin is skin so probably acts somewhat similarly in both instances.
My main method of preventing loose skin was just to do weightlifting during the entire period of my weight loss, and I still do it now, and quite intensely at that - 5 days/week for 60+ minutes at my max intensity. I think that may explain why I ended up without the loose skin that many people experience - OR it could be luck/genetics. I sure as heck didn't take supplements, use creams, or whatever other supposedly "magical cures" are out there.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is largely determined by genetics, age, and luck, but with serious weightlifting over a long period of time you MIGHT be able to improve your skin situation somewhat. But you'd have to actually add bulk I think, like I did.
Edited by: NAUSIKAA at: 6/19/2013 (05:16)
Fitness Minutes: (2,769)
6/18/13 9:58 P
I'm with Jennilacey on this one. I have had 4 kids, my youngest is 16, and I still have that wee little paunch on my abdomen....along with loose skin from the four pregnancies.
Do a little research online and look into collagen induction therapy. I haven't tried it yet, but from what I have seen, there seems to be some promise there for those of us that have been stretched to the limit (no pun intended).
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Fitness Minutes: (85,382)
6/18/13 8:01 P
Exercise has nothing to do with skin. Only time will show whether or not it will tighten up a bit. It takes about 2 years for it to reach the elasticity it will remain at.
I've also had 2 children and have reached 107 lbs and still have a pot belly and loose skin. I workout a lot with tons of emphasis on strength training. I've gotten "toned" (ie: built muscle) everywhere, including my stomach. I have abs of Babylon under my abdominal fat and loose skin. However, short of turning myself into Skeletor, I will never have a flat stomach. Even at 107 lbs I still had a pot belly leftover from my pregnancy. I apologize for being the bearer of bad news. The best advise I can give is not to overwork your abs, I found out the hard way it actually causes your belly to stick out more as the muscle pushes the fat out further.
I am trying something out right now... don't know if it will work or not but it may help a little. I went through a bit of a bulking cycle where I trained heavy, ate right but put on weight in order to gain more muscle with a calorie surplus on training days. Now I am working on cutting away the fat with a small calorie deficit (continuing to strength train to prevent lean muscle loss) in an attempt to work on my body composition. One sign of hope is that my waist is 1/2 an inch smaller than it was at the same weight the first time around.
"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.
Fitness Minutes: (565)
20 6/18/13 4:26 P
Ok so I need advice from people who are experts or someone who is tone & fit and had issues with extra skin before. I had two kids and was overweight. I have lost a lot of weight since those times. So has you can imagine the weight lost going up and down and the two pregnancies as done a lot to my body. I hate my stomach. I have extra skin on there. Not a lot but enough to wonder if I will every have abs or even a flat stomach. I weigh 127 lbs and my waist is 29ins. I want to know if any exercise will help my stomach or am I doomed forever. And surgery isn't an option being I work full time, in college, and have two kids so money is low. please do not waste my time by giving me any of that advice. If that was the case I would not be asking for suggestions anyway.
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