Area-specific exercises

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-10-2014
Area-specific exercises
12
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 12:02pm

What exercises can I do for the my lower abs?  I do crunches  that have helped my mid-torso area but that doesn't do anything for that 'below the belly-button' baby fat area.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2010
Sun, 01-12-2014 - 9:40am

I was always told that you can't really spot tone and that if you work on a total body approach it will help you all over. I don't really know much about that though.

I have that lower ab thing too and a few ladies I know said that bicycle crunches will help. I've been trying to add a few into my week.

Nancy
Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Sun, 01-12-2014 - 10:12am

We just did the "canoe pose" in yoga, and the instructor said is was for the lower abs.  You start in "boat pose" which is a V body position (butt on floor, with upper body and lower body off of floor in a "V" with legs straight or bent.)  SLOWLY, lower your upper and lower body to the floor without touching the floor, and then move back to boat pose.  We did this multiple times.

Pia is right...you have to workout overall (combination of aerobic and muscle toning exercises) to reduce size of the body.  Unfortunately, as women, our bodies want to accumulate fat in specific areas.  If you want to reduce your lower ab area, I believe  you have to reduce your total body fat, everywhere.  It's good to do overall muscle toning along with cardio.  Good luck!

A google search uncoverred this article that might be helpful:  http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/lose-pooch-best-exercises-lower-abs with multiple exercises with pictures, including planks!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Sun, 01-12-2014 - 7:54pm

Pianana is right. You can spot tone/build muscle but not spot reduce fat.  As I tell people, a few years ago, the man who held the world record for most sit ups had a huge beer gut.  Added to that, there really is no "lower" ab. The rectus abdomnus (the 6 pack) is a long muscle and you can't specifically work the lower part of it.  Working the core can help you contract your abs more, having good posture and it makes you look thinner (the plank is a good one).  You can do more cardio which will burn more calories and help you lose fat but where it comes from is genetically determined.  You can watch your diet which will do the same thing.  Also, the "baby fat" in the lower belly area could very well be extra skin from pregnancy which may or may not shrink. Sorry there isn't an easy answer of an exercise that will help!






Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Sun, 01-12-2014 - 7:58pm

Ugh, those exercises aren't bad but they undermine themselves when they talk about losing the pooch with them.  I want to write an article about "The painful truth" for all these good searches/health myths like working the lower abs, spot reducing, drinking water is the key to weight loss, etc.  There's just way too much junk out there.  I see so much stuff reposted on FB that it makes me cringe.  Off my soapbox now.






Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Mon, 01-13-2014 - 7:52am

My bad.  I just saw the pictures of the exercises, and didn't read through the entire article. I think everyone wants a "quick fix" and, sometimes, people give the audience, "what they want to hear," instead of the "ugly truth."  "Just the facts m'am" is  how I like it.

Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Mon, 01-13-2014 - 1:34pm

HI Susan and welcome. I don't have much else to add to what everyone else is saying; I just wanted to say hello. 

Karla
Community Leader
WALKING
EXERCISE and HEALTHY LIVING

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Mon, 01-13-2014 - 8:11pm

Yeah, we don't hear the words, "You can't" enough. We talk about coddling our kids but we coddle adults, too. No, you can't safely lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks, no you can't have a beach bikini body in 6 weeks, no, you can't keep eating junk all the time and lose weight safely, no you can't get rid of lower belly fat in one or two exercises, etc.  It all takes effort and even then, it might not be possible to have all that.  But, that doesn't sell books. And you can't win a presidential campaign with the slogan, "No, you can't!"Laughing






iVillage Member
Registered: 01-10-2014
Tue, 01-14-2014 - 9:34am

Thanks for all the feedback.  I have changed my eating habits (low carbs), portion control, more water, etc., exercising overall, cardio along with weights and have seen results (not the overnight kind since I know that is crap).  It feels really great since I've gone down 2 sizes in my jeans...never thought I could wear a size 10...it feels amazing.  Can't seem to get past that 'jelly below the belly' so to speak but I will keep at it.   Thanks again for the info and encouragement!!!

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Tue, 01-14-2014 - 9:37pm

Hi Susan, that is AWESOME that you have reduced two sizes.  That is GREAT!  Just keep up the good work with diet and exercise, continuing your efforts.  It seems like the "last few pounds" or areas can be so troublesome to attack, but by being fit, overall, and continuing your efforts, you can do it!  Good luck, and feel free to join us in the daily journals, a couple topics lower than this one.  The journal has helped me to stay true to my daily intentions.  :)

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 7:46am

That's great, Susan!  Awesome job.  Just keep up the good work and appreciate what you've done!






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