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Thread: How do I tone the middle bits?!

  1. #1

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    Default How do I tone the middle bits?!

    Hi all,

    Hoping that all you exercise experts out there can help.

    I have been sing an exercise bike for the past 3 weeks and am loving it. And it is making a big difference to the shape and tone of my legs.

    And I am eating a very sensible diet, and as such I am noticing that I am losing weight from my face, neck and shoulders.

    Generally I never lose any weight from my boobs....they are average-ish sized and never seem to change regardless of my body weight. This doesn't bother me.



    So, the bit that I am thinking that will need the most work is the middle region.......abs, baby belly, hips and bum.

    Is there a good bit of exercise equipment that works out all middle bits?

    I need to lose the weight from those areas, as well as tone and strengthen.

    Or am I looking at just sit ups etc?

    (I need to be able to do the exercise at home........my walking opportunities are restricted to weekends only, so I need exercise that can be easily done at home!)

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2

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    Lucy pilates is really really good for finding middle bits that you didn't know were buried in there. I remember I could hardly walk the first week I started lol. Maybe you could have a look for a DVD?

  3. #3

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    Kim, you know, I am kicking myself, I used to have a Pilates video that I used way before I was pg the first time, and I have searched for it.......it may have gone the way of most of our videos & been Ebay'd, LOL!

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    oh buggar.

  5. #5

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    pilates or core exercises (eg fitball) - when I'm in fitness vogue I love my fitball it was one peace of equipment I could use to do anything and didn't cost a fortune.

    when i did physio exercises once i used something alot like the total gym (has been on tv and you can get at big w and it was great for legs and butt) - i have found though that you can do a similar exercise on the ball and just by changing the angle of you on the ball get differing resistance and does a similar job
    Last edited by jaspen; February 8th, 2008 at 12:57 PM.

  6. #6

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    Belly dancing is a pretty good workout for all those areas and it's also good for cardio.

  7. #7

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    I don't want to be the sad sack in the bunch, but I just wanted to say that you can't "spot" train I mean that if you want to have a nice firm belly, you first need to lose the weight to SHOW how hard you worked for it. It's not going to help that you have this rock hard abs, but there are a layer of fat over them, kwim.

    Personally, I LOVE ab work. It was the hardest when I started, but atm it's my fav thing to exercise. Fav piece of equipment - EXERCISE BALL!!!!!!!!!!! You can combine pillates and/or yoga with it and it really helps to firm up all that "little" mucels. Even if you start by just sitting on it when you are on the phone (or online BB'ing :P ) that would help. By strengthing your core, you instantly look slimmer, because your posture is better.

    I think a good one for the baby belly would be this:
    Lay on your back with your arms at your side. Place the exerciseball between your feet. Lift your legs straight in the air. You toes should be parallel to the floor and legs 90 deg to the floor and STRAIGHT. Suck in your tummy - navel to spine, while keeping your lower back pressed to the floor. Gently squeeze the ball with your feet (I do this, then I work that stubborn little inner-thigh-fat at the same time, but for a start you could only hold it) Now CONSENTRATE ON YOUR BURNING ABS while you breath steady in and out. Keep position for 30 counts, repeat 3 times. It works the "pouch" area in the abs. If the ball throws you off, you can do it without the ball. Just keep your legs straight and feet toghter and CONSENTRATE.

    Also laying on the floor with your arms straight out above your head and your legs straight and ball inbetween your feet. Nice and long. Lift your legs up in the air while breathing out (yes the ball too) and when they are 90 deg angle (breath in), bring your head, arms and shoulder up (breath out) and take the ball from your feet (breath in). Slowly lower your legs (breath out) (breath in) and lower your arms, head and shoulders (breath out)
    HECTIC exercise - I still have trouble doing it, only because it works SOOOOO good on your abs.

    For your butt - I have yet to find a better exercise than the donkey kick-up and it's various other forms.
    On all fours, fore-arms on the floor. Lift one leg up till in line with your bottom, bend knie (90deg angle) NOW, while consentrating on your butt and not letting your hips fall to one side, try keeping your hips steady, kick (by kick I mean squeeze your butt and lift your leg up, not just kicking and using the momentum) up to the sky. I think you can start with 3 reps of 15 each leg. YES your leg that is on the ground will cramp up, but that is GOOD, then the exercise is working.
    Any form or this exercise will shape your bottom. Keeping your leg straight and lifting it upwards, is also good, lifting it up to the side (like a dog doing it's bussines on a tree) is FAB for those love handles. You can kick up (leg straight) in a 45 deg angle, also great for the bottom and love handles.
    You can drape yourself over the ball, your navel in the centre of the ball, your arms under your shoulders, in a push-up position,. and your toes only lightly touching the floor. Squeeze buttocks, feet flexed, toes down to ground and lift legs up. Keep in that position.

    And an all time fav - SQUATS and LUNGES!!! Boring, but so effective it will make you sick Make sure your knees never goes past your toes and your won't hurt yourself. Do lots and do them slowly while consentrating on the mucle you are working.

    HTH - Good luck
    BTW, your weight loss is impressive!!! Congratulations. I read your blog and you are an insperation!!
    Last edited by Nadine216; February 8th, 2008 at 11:43 PM. Reason: Forgot the other middle bits :)

  8. #8

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    Thanks Nadine.....I know you can't spot train........I'm just trying to get ideas for down the track for when I HAVE lost al the weight, IYKWIM? I just had a vision of myself with lean legs, firm bum, chisled cheekbones, then a wobbly lose skinned tummy, IYKWIM? LOL!

    Thanks for those suggestions.........I am keen on the fit ball idea........I have fond memories of using them through labour, so will have to investigate.......

  9. #9

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    I am a callanetics devotee - I loved it so much I flew all the way to South Africa to train as an instructor. I think we now have 4 instructors in Australia. I also sell the DVDs so you can read more about it on my website - see my signature.

    The reasons I prefer it over other exercise forms is that you hold your muscle in contraction and make tiny pulses as opposed to big movements and this really works the muscles in a very short time. Most exercises are done in 60 seconds and the stronger you are, the shorter the workout. I really don't have time for long workouts that don't deliver quick results or guarantee their results as I do with callanetics.

    Nadine is right in that you can't lose weight from one spot but in a way, you can spot tone. We do it with body sculpting - if you have smaller calves than thighs, you work the calves more to buid them and build proportion or you stop working the thighs so hard to allow them to get a bit smaller to balance the leg.

    But this doesn't work for fat......the only way to spot reduce fat is liposuction and that is a bit extreme. With fat, it seems that you lose it from the last place you gained it - in your case, face, neck etc which is the same for most women - bum and tum is always last as we are designed to be padded there!!

    So, start doing some sort of toning exercise, build a bit of muscle which gives you a bigger body engine (muscle burns more calories than fat) and eventually your dedication will pay off!!

    Better go and do my cardio now......

  10. #10

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    Lucy I hate doing crunches but I love doing them on a fitball - it doesn't hurt my neck! I would definitely recommend getting one.

  11. #11

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    Just a bit of advice, please be very careful with doing any straight double leg raises/lowers as ab work, they demand a very high level of strength and control already and if you do not have that, you may be putting your back at risk. Start lower level and work your way up, as a physio I would never advise anyone to start with an exercise like that.

    I find pilates quite good, also many people like yoga. I did belly dancing and found it excellent for getting the tone back and also much better abs control, it was great.

  12. #12

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    You talking about that ball passes? Yeah, I can see how that one can be bit rough and hurt someone. I'm no profesional, I only knows what works for me. I don't want to hurt anyone.

    I apologise.

    Sorry Lucy!

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    the few things I'm doing are burlesque, bellydancing and pole dancing - but since you're "housebound" for your exercise, then they're probably not a good thing

  14. #14

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    *wink-wink* you can get a pole installed at your house I am sure your DH would like that a lot!!!! What do you think Lucy, you the next Demi Moore in Striptease! Hellooo Mamma!!

    BTW - not to sound totally STUPID, but what is burlesque???

  15. #15

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    LOL at the pole dancing.......Olivia does a good enough job twirling around one of the struts of our deck, LOL.....she is a little pole dancer in the making!

    Burlesque dancing originates (I think?) from the variety halls of the early 20th century.....slow controlled dance moves to unleash the vixen within........toned down strip tease moves........

    I have an hour to go on a Swiss Ball that I have just bid on, on Ebay.....I had a long chat to my cleaning lady (ages 60, l;ooks 25, is as fit as a fiddle adn is a fitness instructor...) and she recommended a fit ball as many of you have, so have taken all yoru advice on board and we try the fit ball......

    Thanks girls, for all of your suggestions........

  16. #16

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    we actually do strip & do fan dances - go to youtube and search for "Dita Von Teese"

    it is extremely physical, I'm madly trying to get into shape before I go back to classes in a week's time - I know I'm not fit enough!

  17. #17

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    Thanks girls, just googled it and learned something new

  18. #18

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    pole dancing - do you have a hills hoist?

    I agree with the pilates/core stability training, maybe santa or the birthday fairy will get you a pilates DVD?

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