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Slowin it up.
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I have to watch it. I'm trying to lose weight and to many sit-can cause back pain. Small crunches are easier but I don't feel like I'm working nearly as much.
 

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I have heard that if you do them you should just do half crunches and dont put your hands behind your head. they should remain flat on your chest.
 

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'Traditional sit-ups' are bad for you if you do them wrong, as in any exercise. Doing crunches on a stability ball is a great core work out. When you do crunches you need to keep your abdominals engaged the entire time. Do not put your hands behind your neck, as you may want to pull yourself up, and that is not good for your neck. Keep your fingertips behind your ears and elbows out, or cross them on your chest. Or reach them straight up and reach to the ceiling-this is a small movement, but you get great results.

Strengthening your core is very important in cycling. It is good for everyday life as a strong core protects your back.
 

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What do you mean by downside? A strong core is important for any physical activity. Yoga is a great for the core, as are exercises on the ball. A good way for abs to stay strong is ALWAYS keep them in engaged. While sitting, walking, standing, always keep them tight. I know when I sneeze I have to bend over and tighten my abs, or I risk hurting my back. (I have back issues) I am assuming you are referring to back pain/injury by doing sit ups or crunches.
 

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What do you mean by downside? A strong core is important for any physical activity. Yoga is a great for the core, as are exercises on the ball. A good way for abs to stay strong is ALWAYS keep them in engaged. While sitting, walking, standing, always keep them tight. I know when I sneeze I have to bend over and tighten my abs, or I risk hurting my back. (I have back issues) I am assuming you are referring to back pain/injury by doing sit ups or crunches.
My back is fubar too. Just started doing yoga this month to loosen it up and strengthen my core. No downside so far except that it's freakin' hard! Oh well, nothing worthwhile is easy, right?
 

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Yoga IS hard! It's amazing how much flexibility you can gain from those 'simple looking' exercises! I really need to find time to do Yoga again. Can you tell the difference yet Hophead?
 

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Would you say that doing spot workouts can help you lose weight in that particular area or do you have to combine massive amounts of aerobic exercise to increase your metabolism combined with that?
 

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Improving core strength is essential in just about any sport, as well as everyday life, also does help back problems. I guess I've been pretty lucky so far, no significant back problems, but I don't do situps, crunches are better, situps cause compression of the lower back which isn't good. Ab strength is only a part of the core strength, you also need to strengthen other muscles in the core, like the lats and back muscle groups.

When you do core strengthening, you need to find out where you need to get stronger, seen some pretty good articles in the bike mags lately. Basically if the exercise causes muscle pain, you probably need to work that area. A lot of core strength is about balance, so if you improve your core, you will help your overall balance, as well as your endurance.

This is the Mayo clinic slides of basic core strengthening exercises:

Slide show: Core exercises: Multimedia - MayoClinic.com

DrB
 

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Would you say that doing spot workouts can help you lose weight in that particular area or do you have to combine massive amounts of aerobic exercise to increase your metabolism combined with that?
To lose weight you just need to burn more calories than you consume. I don't think you can lose weight in one specific area. It doesn't matter how many crunches you do, you will not lose belly fat unless you are burning more calories than you consume.
 

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To strengthen muscles. If you want to lose weight burn more than you consume, and build muscle mass to burn more calories. Exercising certain muscles-like the abs, helps stabilize the back. You also need to stregthen your back as well. You don't do one without the other.
 

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The thighs and glutes are the main calorie burners, they burn fat at the fastest rate because they are the biggest muscles in the body.

DrB
 

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The thighs and glutes are the main calorie burners, they burn fat at the fastest rate because they are the biggest muscles in the body.
Hmmm... dang, no WONDER I can drink all that good beer and not gain too much weight. My GLUTES are working HARD to burn it off!:D
 

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They get me by! :D

They were pretty sore over the weekend, as I did a LOT of lunges last week in class. Thank goodness that didn't last long since today was one of my squat days. Anyone do squats with a pulley machine? I was wondering how that differs than squating with just barbells.
 
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