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Thread: Help Ab Workout!

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Kouts, IN
    Posts
    13

    Help Ab Workout!

    Hello all, got a question for you. I'm a T-6 and been that way for 10 years. I was wondering if there is anyway I can Excersise my abs..(electric stim?) Or any other way anyone has found? Thankyou for all who respond.

  2. #2
    Hey JJay, I am moving your post over to the Care Forum where I will answer your question and locking it here, see you over at the Care forum.

    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  3. #3
    JJay, I am a T-4 Paraplegic and have done a lot of experimentation with Electric Stimulation to the Abdominal Muscles and my findings have been that it does not work very well in getting rid of a Para/Quad Belly. The reason for this is that you are not able to apply resistance against these Muscles (even though you are able to get good contractions) in this area while you are Stimulating them, also once the Stimulation is gone, the Muscles go back to as they were, in a relaxed condition since you have no voluntary control over them.

    The FES Bike on the other hand works on a different principal, there is Resistance applied against the legs as they are doing work rotating the Crank. This produces noticable changes in the legs and is both good for ones health and also body image as you can get your legs looking practically pre injury using a FES Bike. I have no body Image problems now wearing a swim suit after doing FES for the last two years.

    The way I have been successful in decreasing the size of my Belly is through diet. When I go out to dinner (or at home) I eat smaller portions than I use to and try and stay away from high calorie foods such as Desserts and Soda Etc. I have been trying to eat more Vegtables and Salads. Drinking lots of Water is important too.

    Also, all the Exercise I get between my FES bike for one hour every other day and my 30 mile every other day Handcycle rides seems to be helping out too.

    I wish I could say I noticed a big differnce when I was doing E stim to my Abs every other day, but I really did not. For a while I thought it was helping, but at least to me, it is really not worth the discomfort and time sucking in my Abdominal muscles for an hour every other day with E Stim.

    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  4. #4
    Hi JJay,
    I'm a quad and I think that most people with a high enough SCI are kinda in the same boat. I try hard to eat right and not take in too many calories to keep my self relatively lean. Since the abs are below the injury, it's very difficult to keep them toned which inevitably, gives the appearance of a gut.

    The Abs are a thin wide are of muscle, and I don't know how FES would work. Anyone out there have any ideas? That's my 2 cents.

    http://homepage.mac.com/bradd/Menu9.html

    Brad

  5. #5
    JJay,

    I've been in the chair for twenty years and have lamented the dreaded quad belly with a passion during all of those years.

    For the past four weeks I have now been an a pretty intensive exercise program that has significantly reduced the quad belly. How??? Well its a multiple choice approach.

    First, improved diet. Vegetables and protien (lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs). Reduce the carbs (yes, even pasta). No starchy foods like potatos, rice and processed breads (stick with whole wheat bread if you are like me and just can't do without your bread).

    Second, eliminate the carbonated drinks and simple sugars. Not good for the bladder anyway.

    Third, get on a hand crank bike and do at least thirty minutes a day. I use a Schwinn Windjammer.

    Fourth, this is the hard part:

    1) Other than the hand crank you need to apply isometrics. This can be done in a number of ways. I change up my routine every other day. First I sit on a raised mat with my legs hanging over the side. I then place a wedge behind me. At first the wedge was at about a 30% incline and I was doing 1/4 situp motion. Over the past four weeks I have begun to move the wedge further back givng me less of an incline.

    Second, with the assistance of a spotter I get into a push up position and raise myself up onto my knees with my hands in front like a push up. I then suck in my stomach as I arch my back. In wresting and football these are called camels.

    Third, to develop your stomach you also need to work on improving your paraspinals (back support). Do push ups. And alsao lay on your stoache with a pillow about just below the middle of your chest and practice raising your torso upwards.

    Fourth, although this is not part of my workout regime, Dr. Young and others have suggested that swimming is also an excellent way to improve abdominals.

    E-stim:

    I'm not doing this as much as I would like (I've been focusing o my hands instead), but I am also stimming my abs and paraspinals. The day after I do this I am able to hold the tone throughout the day.

    Results:

    In four weeks I have dropped an inch off of my waist. My tone has vastly improved and is lasting longer throughout the day. My goal is that by the end of the year I have a flat stomach and can where t-shirts and polos with pride again. Who knows . . . maybe I'll put together an ABS OF STEELE video for quads heh, heh.

    There is more than this that I can tell you about that I am doing that is also contributing to my abs. I am involved in a total body workout regime to max out my physical capability. And I'm loving it. Two hours a night . . . 5 nights a week.

    You can check out the Neuro Institute thread that I started to get more of my feedback on where I'm working out. The NI thread is on the Cure Forum with NI's contact information if you are interested. I'm sure Arnie would be glad to talk with you in more detail than I have here.

    Good luck!!!!

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Kouts, IN
    Posts
    13
    Thanks alot for your info Curtis,Larwatson,and Brad! I have changed my diet and I do have a handcrank bike that I use everyday. (just got it a month ago) I have read lots about this FES bike..can one of you or anyone explain what exactly it is and how it works? Thanks again for your time in answering my questions.

  7. #7
    Unless you are pretty incomplete, or have an injury at or below T10 or so, exercise (of any type) will not tone the abdominal muscles or reduce "quad belly". Weight control and the use of an abdominal binder will help, but it is the paralysis of the abdominal muscles that causes it in the first place. Some have tried FES and this has been discussed extensively here in the past. You may want to do a search under "quad belly" for some of the previous posts.

    (KLD)

  8. #8
    Hey JJay I can vouch for Larwatson. He has come to the clinic every night and works as hard as I've ever worked. He's determined and we are all noticing the difference. I also notice your from Chandler, we're right around the corner. Come by for a peek, or better yet take in a workout!

    Hope to seeya

    Derek

  9. #9
    Originally posted by SCI-Nurse:

    Unless you are pretty incomplete, or have an injury at or below T10 or so, exercise (of any type) will not tone the abdominal muscles or reduce "quad belly". (KLD)
    KLD,

    I'm about as complete as one can get a c6-7 and for 20 years I bought into the fact that I couldn't get tone back in my abs. If it wasn't happening for me now through the workout I'm doing I wouldn't have beleived it either.

    But the fact is, is that it is working. In fact, interestingly enough I wasn't able to work out my abs on Sunday or Monday because of my schedule at work. And by Tuesday morning the dreaded quad belly was beginning to increase again. I worked the hard last night and guess what? The tone bounced back this morning and is sustaining through now (approximately 11:00 am.).

    And the workout I did wasn't on e-stium. It as isometrics. I'm not saying that it will work for everybody . . . but it is working for me 20 years post injury. Hey, you never know until you try.

    JJay, you're one of the lucky ones. You are local to NI. The Neuro Institute is in Tempe on Warner between Hardy and Preist. You owe it to yourself to check it out. I guarantee that you won't be disappointed.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Kouts, IN
    Posts
    13
    I'll be sure to check the NI out! Can you tell me an address and what times i can go? I didnt even know a place like that was around here, I just moved here 6 months ago. Derek and Lar Once again thanks!!!

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