Home Exercise Advice Please

Discussion in 'Fitness Health and Exercise' started by Sarah-Jayne, 21 July 2009 Social URL.

  1. Sarah-Jayne

    Sarah-Jayne Gold Member

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    Morning everyone, this is my first post in this section so I guess you could call me a 'noob'!

    I am currently doing the SW diet and am looking to do some exercise at home. Recently ended my gym membership as it was too expensive.

    I appear to be looking weight in the places that I dont really want to be loosing it. So my question is, how can I tone up my stomach area, sides and thighs at home? I cant run as I have ropey knees unfortunatly.

    Any info is grately appreciated! Thanks :)
     
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  3. SarahSez

    SarahSez Silver Member

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    Do your knees hinder you doing aerobics too? I guess it does.

    I know all of the Rosemary Conley DVD's have toning sections at the end.
     
  4. Justin

    Justin Banned

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    To strengthen and firm the noted areas, you'll want to perform any exercises that involve the hips, such as squats, step ups, deadlifts, lunges.

    As for the waist, don't bother with any traditional 'side-bend' exercises or crunches / sit ups as you'll be wasting your time, not to mention setting yourself up for spinal surgery later in life.

    Instead, if you can't already, try your best to master the press up. When done correctly (with your back parallel to the floor), it is one of the best core exercises. Also use the plank and try to build up your time.

    The plank hits virtually every muscle in your core at the same time, and this means you are working the abs, lower back and sides (waist). It is also more functional as it will strengthen your lower back, helping you perform other exercises (such as press ups and squats) more easily.

    Hope this helps.


    Justin
     
  5. Angy

    Angy Full Member

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    Have you tried yoga or pilates at all? I really like the yogalates dvds by Lousise Solomon and they are quite toning. It's wonderfully relaxing too.

    Hope you find something that suits you.
     
  6. Caz

    Caz Slimming down the aisle

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    I think that's being a bit extreme there. If you don't do sit ups and crunches properly you can increase the risk of disc herniation. But you're not guaranteeing yourself spinal surgery or any problems at all as you suggest. As long as you do them properly, and don't overdo it, I don't see that there is an issue. I don't think people need to be quite as scared of them as you make it sound!
     
  7. Justin

    Justin Banned

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    Okay, maybe a slight exagerration, but possible nonetheless.

    The problem comes from excessive sit ups and crunches (some people even try doing 200 a day!) and no lower back work to balance the muscle structure.

    This leads to a weak back and often chronic back pain, which can then lead onto worse injuries and surgical procedures.


    Its in my opinion that for most people its best to just leave out crunches entirely. They do nothing to promote fat loss, and even if done in a high amounts will not necessarily make your abdominals more visible until any excess fat is removed.

    Plus you'd need to balance any crunches with lower back exercises.


    Real 'core' exercises such as the plank strengthen both the abdominals and the lower back in one go, saving you time, and as a result do a whole lot more to burn fat at the same time.

    As I said its just my opinion but I don't see any significant benefit of including sit ups or crunches in an exercise program.
     
  8. Caz

    Caz Slimming down the aisle

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    I personally think that crunches in conjunction with other exercises will make a difference. Just taking any one exercise in isolation isn't ideal really. Anyway, no point getting into this, obviously just a difference of opinion!
     
  9. The Punisher

    The Punisher Full Member

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    I'm with you on this one mate. When I was in decent shape, before an accident totally screwed up my back, I never did a crunch and my abs would have made Jamie Easons' look flabby! I did a lot of boxing though so that probably helped. But you're right, there are many alternatives to the crunch, which IMO, and it is my opinion only, is a waste of time
     
  10. Angel-xo

    Angel-xo Full Member

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    The thing with crunches is, there are so many better alternatives.
     
  11. Caz

    Caz Slimming down the aisle

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    Yes, it's possible. But it's possible that crossing the road tomorrow I might get hit by a bus or car, but that doesn't mean that I don't cross the road. I just learn the safe way to cross. Same with crunches, you learn the proper way to do it and you prevent injury.

    So the issue there isn't doing crunches and sit ups, it's only focusing on one area. The same would apply if you focused on your lower back. Basically a person needs to do a range of exercises to work on a range of areas across the body. So that they are balancing the muscle structures. Using crunches and sit ups in that balanced regime surely isn't an issue if you're then not getting that imbalance?

    I know quite a few people who physically can't cope with doing plank exercises, or push ups. They don't have the muscle strength to do them effectively at all. So something like a sit up or crunch is a lot less difficult and so a better starting place for those people. I would think anyway.

    I personally figure that any exercise is better than nothing if done properly.

    If you never did a crunch, you can't say how well or not they would have benefited you really can you? Or are you basing it on something else? Because if you're basing it on the fact that you got your great abs without ever doing a crunch, all you're showing is that other things also work, rather than crunches not helping. In my opinion, if there is any exercise that you do that you can feel afterwards in those muscles, then it's having a benefit.
     
  12. Justin

    Justin Banned

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    Sure, its possible to keep a balance. But...if it takes you twice as long, twice as many exercises, and twice as much spinal flexion then whats the point?

    All I'm advising is to save yourself time and effort by not spending time on exercises that do little compared to others.

    Then isn't that MORE of a reason to practice? If you don't have the core strength to perform a plank, even for 10 seconds, or a few full push ups then you are DEFINATELY wasting time with crunches.
     
  13. judimac

    judimac Mad old Bat with Attitude

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    If you have a stiff lumbar spine with a flattened lordosis,(forward curve) then your abs are on "the slack" and however many crunches you do you won't tighten them. Therefore you need to work the back extensors to restore the full range of movement. (even if it's passively at first) But to really support the spine the core muscles must be strong. Even lying with your knees bent up and pulling your belly button back to your spine will help! if that's all you can do! We had a wonderful back extension machine at a gym I went to once. It's the only one I've come across tho. I do wish they would stop teaching double leg raises tho. That does wack up the pressure in the discs!
     
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