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Toning up stomach, 6 yrs plus post baby!(5 Posts)
First time post so apologies if in wrong place! I’ve got 3 children, youngest 6. I exercise 3x week- swimming, running and eat fairly well. But I’ve still got an overhang from c-section / pregnancy. General exercise doesn’t shift it - can anyone suggest v targeted stomach exercise / program I can follow ? Thanks soo much !
Hi, I don't have experience of pregnancy or c-sections so I think more knowledgeable people than me will be able to reply.
In the meantime, I'll comment on the generalities of tummies from what I understand from the research.
We cannot reduce fat from specific areas. Each of our bodies has preferences for where fat is stored first and lost last. All we can do is lose weight in general.
We can build muscle in specific areas (this is generally referred to as "toned" when addressing women and "bulking" when addressing men ). So you want to google exercises for the core, but planks and dead lifts are generally considered the best exercises for your core. It's amazing after a couple of weeks how you start to feel in your body just doing things like standing up or going downstairs. It's as though you become aware of certain muscles for the first time.
Other things to consider with your midriff is stress and the effects of cortisol (which encourages fat storage around your middle). Also, some of what you may think of as fat could be the affect that pregnancy and surgery has had such as excess skin, torn connective tissues etc. No amount of exercise or dieting is going to address that.
I know this is a weights section but I was having a browse as while I don't do weights, I am muscle building and repairing a pregnancy damaged stomach is of interest to me. I'm a small woman with a monster baby who lay to one side and was born by EMCS, so my stomach still bears a lot of that damage. I've become an extremely skater this year and it's probably one of the best things I've ever done for my body (the other is improving my diet). Skating is all about having a tight core and after 6 months of skating, I've toned up my stomach massively (and my calves, glutes, quads, biceps, etc). I still have loose stomach skin and muscle damage to the lower right side. But I've developed an incredibly strong core, which I first noticed when I went to demonstrate to my DS how to do a monkey bars and I just zipped right across them. I haven't had the strength to do monkey bars in decades and now they are just a bit of fun, even the ones that swing and go 'up hill' are just a mild challenge and it's almost all in the core.
And I've now started to have visible upper abs, which has changed how I feel about my stomach completely. I had accepted having a stomach that at best, only looked good in clothes, but now I've started to have hope that the damage will eventually be the least noticeable part of it, if that makes sense. My goal is that by the end of the year-ish I'll lose a bit more of the excess body fat on my lower tummy while building the abs some more. I'm not sure if there is much I can do about the excess skin. But somehow that has actually improved in appearance since I lost weight, which I wasn't expecting.
@alittleprivacy I'd love to start skating again. I loved it as a kid. Where do you go to skate? I'd feel a little bit odd skating on the street as a almost 40 year old woman lol
Ugh sorry for the late reply, I don't know why I never saw your question. I am a 40 year old woman and there honestly is nothing odd about me skating. Tbh, I'm one of the younger skaters in my group. My mum even comes with me a lot of the time! I skate everywhere. I started going to sessions at my local roller rink. Then I got some rollerblades to skate outside. A few other regular skaters from the roller rink started doing that too, so we have regular outside skates together. My son wanted to try the skate park so I took him and had a go and now I do that too.
At the rink I do dance skating and artistic skating, which is figure skating on wheels. The better I get at jumps and dance moves the more I feel my lower core being engaged which is finally tightening up where the worst of the damage is. Outside I do long distance and am currently aiming to bring my marathon distance to sub 2hrs. Skating outside is great exercise anyway but, it's when I'm tired and really, really working that the lower core comes into play. At the skatepark, I'm not excessively adventurous yet but I can jump over ramps and have finally mastered pumping a half pipe which is an UNBELIEVABLE core exercise and I feel it in the lower core immediately.
I really, really recommend it. The lower part of my tummy has improved quite a bit since I posted here a month ago. It still sticks out a little on one side where the worst of the damage is but the droop is completely gone. It's not at all visible through tight clothing anymore which it definitely used to be. Even in just last month I could feel it through my jeans, now that's gone.
And the best part is that I'm just having fun. There actually isn't really any work to it. Maybe for the last 10km of a marathon distance I'm doing what you'd call work. Or if I'm really trying to learn a new dance move or jump in the rink, there is an element of 'working' rather than playing (and then the move clicks and it's just a high). But I honestly feel like a kid going out to play nearly all the time and the fitness and toned body is just a really great bonus.
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