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    I hope that one of you can answer a question for me that my trainer and "doctor" cannot. I have been primal now for about 2 years. I am down to 8-10% bodyfat, which is pretty low for a chick. In fact, I primaled myself into losing my menstrual cycle (relax kids, my doctor says it's fine, like most excelled athletes, it's "normal" for the amount of exercise that I do). I mention this because of the question I am going to pose.

    My abs are driving me crazy, literally at times, I feel. I have a visible 6 pack, but my lower abdominal muscles (below my belly button), stick out like a little pot belly. It is a source of frustration for me. So, what the hell is that? It can't be lingering fat, can it? Hard as a rock too. Have I just built my abs up too much? What will take care of this? I do ab exercises about 10-15 minutes most days of the week. My trainer says that it's "just the way I am built", but I don't want to accept that!


  • #2
    1



    Sounds like your lower abs are built up more than your upper abs, you should try doing exercises focused more on your upper abs to balance them.


    Something about the losing your period worries me. That has happened to me before for 9 months, and according to my doctor it means you are too nutritionally deficit to bear a child, the child would die if you were to try. Granted you probably don't want to have a child, as I didn't at the time but a regular period is a sign of health. Also, 8-10% body fat for a female...not sure if that's very healthy or not...Your entire post her just really worries me...You are deficient in some major things to be missing your period, if you really don't want to eat more then I suggest you get on Mark's "Damage Control Formula" or something, which should ensure you get your proper nutrients at the very least.

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    • #3
      1



      Try Googling "female athlete triad" Or read this: http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitn...rts/triad.html

      I'm worried for you with regards to osteoporosis.

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      • #4
        1



        Yes, low estrogen is very aging.

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        • #5
          1



          Thank you for your replies. I am aware of the female athlete triad, and I take extra calcium supplements to guard against osteoporosis. I also do my fair share of plyo to build up my bones (thank you Tony Horton!)

          I will also look into getting some Damage Control.

          I eat a lot. But, I also work out intensely. I haven't been sick for over 2 years, not even a sniffle. I am never tired, my concentration is great. I don't think there is cause for worry. I am just striving for perfection which at times, I know, causes me to obsess. But if you aren't reaching for that next summit, there's no where to go!

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          • #6
            1



            I'm not trying to be insensitive or anything, but maybe that really is "just how you're built".


            Perhaps you don't want to accept it, but maybe you should.

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            • #7
              1



              Ask Usher what he did to get his abs... and then tell him to put on a damn shirt.

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              • #8
                1



                You say you do ab exercises about 10-15 minutes most days of the week...


                This is way too much. Your abs are just like any other muscle group in your body, so you should only work them as much as you do everything else.


                Try cutting out the isolation ab work, and just focus on complex exercises such as deadlifts, clean and jerk, and standing barbell presses which will all work your abs in the process.


                If you still feel the need to do some direct ab work, try to keep it to stability exercises such as plank variations. These will build strong abs without building the bulk of crunching movements.


                If this doesn't work, then who knows, maybe that's "just how you're built"

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                • #9
                  1



                  I usually spend very little time at the gym doing ab training. My reason for that is that most ab excercises works on contracting your abs, while your abs primary function is to stabilize and actually do the opposite of crunching, ie keep your ribcage and hips separarated.

                  My ab work is therefore based on complex movements that forces the abs to work stabilizing. my favourite is the zercher squat(check it on youtube) wich really forces your whole mid section to be as a brickwall.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    Osteoporosis - get a DEXA scan as soon as possible or you won't know what you're protecting.


                    Calcium WILL NOT HELP. You need only adequate calcium but more importantly, Vitamin D3, magnesium, and sunlight. Weights will not necessarily help.


                    What will help? Make your own hormones by eating enough. So get that DEXA and find out where you really are, to begin with.


                    I speak from experience.... past and current. Take care of yourself.

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                    • #11
                      1



                      Just to add to the calcium piece- if you have eliminated grains and legumes, you can get plenty of calcium from the vegetables you eat without having to worry about supplementation. The grains and legumes suck the calcium right out of your body. As for the "lower abs" (hopefully people realize the "upper" and lower" are all the same muscular sheath) I think that the cortisol release from obsessing about it might be what's keeping you from being where you want to be! (That was a joke- but seriously, it sounds like it's nothing you need to fret over).

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                      • #12
                        1



                        This is a possibility you might want to look into. Anterior pelvic tilt is common and might be what's going on.


                        http://www.mindandmuscle.net/articles/marc_mcdougal/pelvic_tilt


                        bruce b.

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                        • #13
                          1



                          Girl, don't be so focused on your body's appearance, especially the little things! Whenever I get finicky over how a certain part of my body isn't built to exactly how I want it, it doesn't make training or being healthy FUN anymore. It becomes too much of a vanity thing, not a STRENGTH thing. Like Nate said, quit the crunching. Lift heavy things and SQUAT instead, provided your abs stay tight and WORK to stabilize (that's there job, right? Not to lift yourself up fifty times from the floor..) I used to do ab isolation exercises too, but personally, I think they're boring. I'd rather work on my pull-ups. You'd be surprised at how much your abs endure when you're doing functional, primal movements instead...


                          If you can't give up your ab exercises, I've read that a Hollow Hold is pretty effective. Lay down on your back and raise your feet and arms, while pushing your lower back into the ground as much as possible. Maintain until you scream mercy.


                          And enjoy your body! Look at where it's gotten you! And was it your "mission" to be such a low body fat percentage? Why was this your goal?

                          On a mission to help others master movement, build unbreakable strength, & eat MORE food (can't beat that.) Weekly fitness, health & nutrition articles at indulgentfitness.com.

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                          • #14
                            1



                            Sounds like your psoas are a little tight (which is common enough, especially if you have a desk job). Pilates helps a lot.

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                            • #15
                              1



                              Forget all abs exercises

                              Use planks only

                              That way your abs won't stick out

                              And read www.Fitnessblackbook.com that's great source of knowledge about muscle appearance

                              I will be normal. I will be NORMAL again
                              Yeah!

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