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I've do about 50 crunches a day but I still have rolls of skin from pregnancy.

If you have any tips on getting your stomach back to what it was, please let me know. TIA.

Wed. Aug 10, 6:57am

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is it flab or loose skin?

If it is indeed loose skin leftover from pregnancy, crunches won't help you at all. You will basically have to wait for the skin to "un-stretch" and return to it's pre-pregnancy size. This can take a while and, although rare, doesn't always happen 100%. Not to freak you out but one of my friends ended up having plastic surgery because her skin just did not shrink all the way back down after her pregnancy despite the fact that underneath the skin, she had perfect abs (yeah...I hate her a bit for that). The doc said it had something to do with her skin's elasticity being different than most people's.

It's basically the same thing for some really obese people who lose dramatic amounts of weight. They end up with a lot of excess skin and sometimes need surgery to correct that.

You didn't say how long it's been since the pregnancy but I'm sure if you just give it some time, your skin will firm right back up. Maybe just try keeping it moisturized so it stays elastic???

Sunday, August 14, 2005, 9:12 AM

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Make sure you are doing effective crunches. If the muscle you are working doesn't change length, you're not strengthening it. Try to get a full contraction - roll all the way up (with out throwing your weight forward or straining your neck), or lift your bent legs and then your hips off the ground, again without throwing your weight around. Check out these two sites:

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Monday, August 15, 2005, 7:01 AM

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CORE workout

I've always been told that traditional crunches firm the top layer of abdominal muscle (the muscles you see that form the "6-pack") but in order to see the best ab results you also have to work your core (think Pilates) because your core muscles are the deeper abdominal muscles that hold your front and your back together - when your core ab muscles are strong they hold your front and your back more tightly together creating a thinner side view. Many people who just do crunches don't see the results they want because they are only ever working the first layer or two of muscle.

Also, make sure you are doing crunches that work different parts of your abs - I do 20 crunches in each of these positions - legs bent with feet on the ground (traditional crunch), legs up with knees bent so your thighs are straight up in the air and your knees form a 90 degree angle with your thighs, legs straight up in the air, legs straight out in front of you on the ground, legs on the ground bent first to one side, then to the other (to work obloquies), and last, legs on the ground forming a diamond shape (soles of your feet are touching) - I learned this routine of crunches from my old crew coach...they work the ab muscles starting at the top and going down to your lower abs and also the sides of your abs...the workout kills but you definitely see results.

(Sorry I don't have pictures to go with my descriptions - I hope you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.)

Monday, August 15, 2005, 8:28 AM

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It's been a year and a 1/2.

And I'm kind of depressed reading if it's just skin, it's basically there. How do you tell if it's skin or fat?

Monday, August 15, 2005, 11:07 AM

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Skin vs. Fat

I'm not sure if this is the same for after pregnancy skin but my boyfriend lost a lot of weight and now has excess skin on his stomach...you can tell his is just skin...like, you can feel that there is nothing between it and it kind of just sags...the fact that you are asking leads me to believe that it is not all excess skin; however, I'm not sure if loose skin looks different on men and women.

Monday, August 15, 2005, 12:29 PM

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If it is fat, and not skin, you're going to have to lose fat over all - fat works like blood, not muscle. That is, your body has a given amount of fat, and you can't decrease the amount located in one area of your body. (Just like you can't decrease the amount of blood in your hand.) So you could have the most amazing abs in the world by doing a million ab exercises a day, but if your % body fat is high, no one will ever be able to see them.

Monday, August 15, 2005, 1:07 PM

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I am the OP.

I just ordered a resistance band. I'm sick of not fitting into my pp clothes. Any tips are appreciated.

Monday, September 19, 2005, 7:03 PM

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Try exercising in sets. If 50 crunches gives you a good burn, then do 50 crunches, then rest for a minute, then do 50 more, then rest for a minute, and then do crunches to failure - until your muscles won't pick you up again. Failure should be somewhere around 50 or less if you're starting with 50. If it's way higher, pick a number higher than 50 for the number of crunches in the first two sets; if it's way lower or you can't finish the second set either, then lower then initial number.

Once your muscles get stronger, do the same routine (though definitely less reps!) of V-ups, which is pretty much just what it sounds like - you pick up your top half and your legs, so your body looks like a V, and then roll back down. These work your abs very hardcore. It may be best to get a trainer or someone who's done them before to show you, really, so you don't strain your neck or anything.

You can do this same train-to-failure with free weights for arm exercises to do overall toning as well - but with weights, you can increase them, so try to pick the weight that you can do 2 sets of 12, and then fail on the third set around 12. 12 is the magic number where you are toning, but not gaining bulk. If you tone your muscles, and have more lean mass, you will burn more calories when you are resting than you do if you have less lean mass - muscle burns more calories than fat. So, if your muscles are more toned, it should be easier to lose the excess fat because your metabolism will speed up.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005, 8:03 AM

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50 crunches

I wish I was accountable to do 5 crunches a day. Way to go.

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