I've lost a lot of weight and my only exercise has been walking. most of the weight lost has come from the areas involved in walking- thighs, calves buttocks and belly. from the abdo down things are looking pretty good. Not much weight gone from the ribs up tho- back,shoulders,arms and boobs and i want to change this and do more work on the abdomen flab.
I have a couple of problems though. I had a stroke several years ago and although I made an excellent recovery it left me with some left sided weakness. I noticed on my legs that I've gained more muscle on the right so made an effort to lead from the left which is helping even them out nicely.
1) But when I do sit-ups I'm very aware most of the effort is from the right sided muscles and my left side is kind of free-loading. push ups are kind of the same. I'm going to look really weird I think if I persist like this so I need advice
2) I need basic exercises for the upper body and arms and was thinking of weights but don't know where to start here. I was thinking of getting those weighted arm band things to start with so that all the time those muscles are working a bit more. I was also looking into kettlebells but I'm in unexplored territory so I need advice here too
please bear in mind I'm the athletic equivalent of a slug
Men's health has lots of good exercise regimes. You might want to have a look at their site. Just doing knee raises is quite good for building strength through the core as are planks. Something else you may want to try is yoga, I used to do it but no longer have time. It is great for all over strength and a good destresser. You may have classes nearby.
First of all, congratulations on the fantastic progress you'v made so far.
Secondly, you don't burn fat off the areas you are exercising i.e. doing 100s of sit-ups won't burn any more fat from your stomach than say press-ups. In fact, initially you will probably lose more fat from your upper body; this is because women tend to preferentially store fat in the lower body (hips, thighs, bum), so it is these areas where excess fat is lost last.
However, exercise does obviously develop the muscles being used, which will generally improve appearance, even if fat levels stay constant (which they won't, they'll go down).
It might be worth speaking to a physio about the left side weakness and how best to exercise, but I would think that exercises that allow you to target one side at a time may help.
When you go for walks, maybe start wearing a backpack (which you can make progressively heavier), this will help work your core, chest, and shoulders a bit as well as the lower body. Weighted wrist bands or just carrying something (water bottle for example) will work your arms too.
The most important thing is to just keep exercising. If you are burning enough calories you will continue to lose weight, just make sure you are eating enough protein to repair and develop muscles that will be damaged through the exercise.
[QUOTE=MaceyUK;1228675]Men's health has lots of good exercise regimes.[/QUOTE]
I would like to introduce you to my friend, Palm.
I don't know what that is supposed to mean? There are many bodyweight exercises that can be done without going to the gym which feature regularly. They are all pretty much the same with lots of squats and lunges and burpees but they are ideal for many people.
[QUOTE=MaceyUK;1228758]I don't know what that is supposed to mean? There are many bodyweight exercises that can be done without going to the gym which feature regularly. They are all pretty much the same with lots of squats and lunges and burpees but they are ideal for many people.[/QUOTE]
Mebbe start heres: [url=http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/everything-you-know-about-fitness-is-a-lie-20120504]Everything You Know About Fitness Is a Lie - MensJournal.com[/url]
What you didn't notice was that dodger is just getting started with all of this and for many people bodyweight exercise is a challenge that can lead on to resistance training with greater weights. Most people aren't able to just rock up at the gym and barge some meathead off the smith press without getting the confidence first. Doing pull ups is only useful if you can do a pullup.
[QUOTE=MaceyUK;1228766]What you didn't notice was that dodger is just getting started with all of this and for many people bodyweight exercise is a challenge that can lead on to resistance training with greater weights. Most people aren't able to just rock up at the gym and barge some meathead off the smith press without getting the confidence first. Doing pull ups is only useful if you can do a pullup.[/QUOTE]
What you didn't notice is to never take fitness advice from Men's Health. The correct advice for a novice is to follow a program that's appropriate for a novice and makes the most of the novice's unique ability to recover from and adapt to near-limit workouts in a much shorter period of time than those who are closer to their genetic potential. Did you read the article I posted, since you're such a fan of taking fitness advice from the glossy magazines in the supermarket checkout lanes?
With your history I'm gonna make a few recommendations.
1. Don't go grabbing a kettlebell. It just makes normal lifts more complicated, so if you are on the low end of the coordination scale it would be a very bad place to start.
2. Don't do crunches on the floor. Actually just don't do crunches. Do planks, or if you must do crunches do the myotatic crunch [url=http://gizmodo.com/5709916/4+hour-body-+-six-minute-abs]4-Hour Body - Six Minute Abs[/url] . Kinda like this. Just be sure you are coming from a slight hyperextension to ONLY slight flexion/neutral. Full on flexion in this position is bad on the back.
3. Given your history I'd recommend starting with either the Primal Fitness program (all bodyweight) at the appropriate level OR getting "Body by Science" and following that approach (you can use this with machined, bands, or bodyweight). Both are more appropriate than less stable workouts right now IMO.
My recommendation and not mentioning "Starting Strength" as an option is me erring on the side of caution. I don't know your current capacity for balance and coordination so don't know if barbell work is even an option.
I also suffered a stroke a while back (20 years ago to be exact when I was 17) and am left with some pretty big deficits on my left side. I myself avoid weights which only increase tightness on my affected side while making my right side more dominant. Instead I opt for body weight exercises that encourage symmetry like pushups, planks, squats, ab bicycles, situps and some balance exercises and of course lots of walking. Which decrease tightness and have added to my mobility. But I think the best change i made to my exercise routine is concentrating on my core which has produced more all around recovery in the last year than anything previously, including weights and concentrating on the affected limbs. Forget about concentrating on the vanity of how things look. Work on using your body symmetrically and the look will follow. For me function over form any day! Good luck.
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