I don't need to lose weight - I need to put it on if anything - but my stomach is so loose and flabby since I had DS (5 years ago ) that I look pregnant all the time and I'm constantly pulling it in because I feel self conscious about it and worry people will think I am pregnant when I'm not. Also DS has taken to poking it and calling it "Your fat tummy" and it gives me a sort of lopsided muffin top which is ridiculous because my jeans are always falling down due to being too loose!
It's especially bad if I'm bloated but it's never as flat as it used to be! I'm sure that itself isn't achievable but it would be nice if it wasn't trying to compete with my boobs for profile.
I recommend pilates. Excellent for your core and your posture, so if you're not overweight it'll help improve your silhouette. I've found it great for all those 'after childbirth' muscles. I run too, you use your tummy muscles much more than people think just keeping yourself upright
Hmm interesting. I always thought pilates was all about relaxation rather than being exercise related. Yoga too. Can you recommend any resources (videos, websites etc - preferably free!) I could look into a class maybe but I'm working 3 evenings a week at the moment so not much time.
Pilates works on strengthening your core body - and is fantastic for your pelvic floor too. It is calm movements, and can be relaxing but has other benefits too. And is a little more gentle than yoga. A good instructor will be able to work with you on the areas you want.
Pilates is definitely about exercise, yoga is slightly more of a mix. If you have any way of going to a good class or even an individual session the first time it is REALLY worth it - a lot of Pilates exercises depends on very small adjustments, so if you are slightly off, you can totally miss the exercise or even hurt yourself.
I started out using a DVD and thought it was a bit easy, then went to a one on one session and was horrified that the same exercises were really hard when I had to engage my back, pelvic floor and abs all at once! It really worked well though - even after a long labour, I'm not only flatter tummied, but able to sneeze and laugh and do star jumps without a second thought, thanks to it's great pelvic floor effects.
Problem with classes is that I'm in Germany and my German is not that good. I think I could go and just copy everyone else but from reading what you are saying that might be no better than just using a DVD. We don't have the money for one on one sessions at the moment.
A class with a good teacher is still great - they will usually go around and help adjust postures, especially if you tell them it's your first time. But a DVD is still not bad, especially if you're careful about following exactly! There are good reviews on amazon and they're usually very affordable (or even - whisper it - downloadable if very broke).
Pilates and other core work will strengthen the muscles but if there's fat on the top you won't be able to see them. You can't choose where to lose fat; eat fewer calories than you need and you'll start losing it from all over your body. Quite possibly the belly will be last.
My muscles were really poor - I couldn't even lie on my side without feeling like my organs were spilling out. I fixed it with a hula hoop, some online yoga and Pilates tutorials, and now bodyweight exercises and weights training. I'm still looking to shed some bodyfat, though. The muscles are rock hard but hidden under about an inch!