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Thread: crunches / core / what exercises?

  1. #1

    crunches / core / what exercises?

    I'm a c2 incomplete, long time. I'm 34 and still know I have potential physically. I use a power chair, walk once a day with a walker, left side is weaker. I work 5 days a week so struggle to find the time I need to exercise. So lately I've started adding simple exercises that I can do throughout the day and hope to find other good exercises to add to my routine.

    When I lay down at night I do crunches, 5 sets of 12. Will crunches improve my balance? If I sit on the edge of the bed without using my arms I tend to lose my balance and fall / lean to the right (so left abs or whatever muscles are weak and need work)

    When doing crunches I can't sit up, or ever for that matter. Would crunches be the exercise to work the muscles that it takes to sit? (from laying on back and sitting up to sitting position)

    I'm looking for other good exercises that I can do to improve my core / balance. The only other one I do at the moment is my right arm holding on to a bar (me siting t the side, not facing forward) and while holding on I try to pull with my left abs / obliqes to the left. I don't know if that will help or not but trying it.

    So any exercises that I could do in my chair would be good, even at work I have time to do a set and then another. So please all ideas are greatly appreciated.

    For core, what is a must do exercise to strengthen the major core muscles?

    Thank you,
    Ian

  2. #2
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    I think you should focus more on strengthening your trunk rather than just your abs. Lots of muscles in the trunk work to hold us up, and since you have limited muscle function you don't want to narrow your focus too much.

    Can you do these? http://www.fitnessandfreebies.com/ex...cises/yti.html

    Also, trunk rotation exercises. I do one where I hold a small medicine ball, and sit on a surface that is fairly firm. Rotate to one side, touch medicine ball to surface, rotate back to the other side and touch ball again. Don't use momentum, it's just cheating.

    Another version is to touch low on one side, and then raise medicine ball up and to the other side. Switch to next side. Again, don't use momentum. If I medicine ball is too heavy, try these w/out weights, and go up from there. Use good posture, if you slump back too far you won't be using the right muscles.

    The Vita Glide is also great for strengthening the trunk, but I heard that they're discontinuing the machine, plus it's more expensive! You might try meeting with a sports trainer to get a good routine - if you have a physical therapist you work with, you could ask them for a routine or to refer you to a sports trainer who could employ some safely creative thinking (I lucked out and got two in one!).

  3. #3
    Thank you for the response, yes I need to work and strengthen my trunk. I do get overwhelmed because there's so many muscles to work and I want to find ones I don't need others to rely on to help me exercise. So I started with crunches just to start. I like the trunk / medicine ball exercise - what will this exercise improve / strengthen?

    I will post again and be more detailed in my ideas, thank you so much.

  4. #4
    A great trunk control excercise is balancing on a large ball. At first make sure somone is nearby just in case and as you get better,try sitting on it while watching TV.
    Be sure to use your pelvic muscles, abs and feet. It helped me learn how to balance my self while sitting and not holding on to anything. It will translate to better balance while standing and walking. Crunches alone will not do it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelrod View Post
    A great trunk control excercise is balancing on a large ball. At first make sure somone is nearby just in case and as you get better,try sitting on it while watching TV.
    Be sure to use your pelvic muscles, abs and feet. It helped me learn how to balance my self while sitting and not holding on to anything. It will translate to better balance while standing and walking. Crunches alone will not do it.
    I find working on a ball to be difficult (abacoian and I do have different types of injuries) and requires me to have someone else around. In order to make my trunk exercises (and various exercises that I do, actually) more effective I've started doing them on a balance disc. If you Google "balance disc" you'll come up with a variety of results. They vary quite a bit in thickness, thicker is more difficult because you wobble around more. Trying to maintain good form & keep balanced can be quite challenging! I find it most effective if I set the disc on a hard surface (like my dining room chairs), sitting on it in my chair, or on the couch, allows cheating. Also nice to do it in front of a mirror to watch form.

    I could definitely see this as a bridge to use before using a ball! Abacoin might be fine with just using the ball, but I thought I'd throw this info out there for anyone else who might be reading this thread.

    - a word of caution, though, this could be hard on your skin (since we're all so different). My PT advised me to check my skin after every use to see if it bothered me, and I think that's a good rule of thumb!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by abacoian View Post
    Thank you for the response, yes I need to work and strengthen my trunk. I do get overwhelmed because there's so many muscles to work and I want to find ones I don't need others to rely on to help me exercise. So I started with crunches just to start. I like the trunk / medicine ball exercise - what will this exercise improve / strengthen?

    I will post again and be more detailed in my ideas, thank you so much.
    I believe this works the obliques, or at least it does when I'm doing it! I also notice that my lats are involved, and my hips to some degree.

    I also like tossing the medicine ball back & forth with someone, but it does require a partner, so not always handy! Fun to do during commercial breaks when we're watching TV. I like to throw in "micro-workouts" when I can! =)

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