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Exercise and Fitness

Dealing with extreme weight loss

04/04/2006

Question:

A client had gastric bypass surgery and has dropped 100 lbs. He claims that his 43" waist is extra skin and not subcutaeneous fat as I claim. Our goal is to firm up the belly and get it down to 37". any thoughts on who is correct and the best approach? my suggestion was to work on building his abs and obliques and filling the extra skin with muscle to replace the fat that he lost. (assuming it was all `extra skin`).

Answer:

Congratulations on a successful surgery.  It is true that if you lose 100 pounds from an elastic organ such as skin, you are going to have saggy skin.  Patients typically undergo body contouring surgeries in order to bring the body back into shape.  The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that of the 106,000 body contouring surgeries performed in 2004, close to 56,000 were a result of massive weight loss.

In order to strengthen the abdominal area, the following exercises will help.  If you are just beginning an exercise program, always receive medical clearance from your personal physician.   

Ab Lab:  Everyone wants nice looking abdominal muscles, not to mention how important they are in everyday life. Our abdominals assist our backs in holding us upright, help us bend at the waist and to the side, and hold our internal organs in place.

Let's get started!

Here are three abdominal exercises to strengthen your rectus abdominus and oblique muscles.  As with any exercise, remember to perform the exercise in a slow, controlled manner.

BASIC CRUNCH - lie on your back with feet flat on the floor and your knees toward the ceiling. Place your hands, fingers barely touching, behind your head to support it. With eyes, nose and chin facing the ceiling, slowly lift your upper body until your shoulder blades clear the floor. Avoid pulling head or straining neck during the exercise. Keep your abdominal muscles contracted throughout the exercise by pressing your navel to your spine.

OBLIQUE CRUNCH - lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees toward the ceiling. Place your hands, fingers barely touching, behind your head to support it. Leading with the shoulder, rotate the torso to the opposite knee.

REVERSE CRUNCH - lie on the floor on your back. Place your legs in a 45 or 90-degree angle with your hands and arms at either side of your body. Slowly lift and lower your hips from the floor. Try to lift your shins toward the ceiling and avoid using your hands to press off of the ground.

 

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Response by:

Carolyn   Nickol, RD, MEd Carolyn Nickol, RD, MEd
Director
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati