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Question
Posted by: Cal | 2012/03/09

Thickening Middle

I''m a 48 year old women - 6"  tall - 84kg - wear a size 12 and train 3 - 4 times a week. Cardio / circuit training / free weights and a bit of pilates. I have fair to good muscle tone and don''t carry too much weight but I seem to have suddenly picked up a bit around the middle that I can''t seem to shake. I have been pushing my abs routine quite hard - is there any chance that I''m doing a particular exercise too much and somehow this is causing the " block"  like appearance of my stomach area.

My abs are fairly strong and I try to do a variety of different exercises to cover all the areas - is there anything in particular I should avoid or be doing more of ?

Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Cal

It's a problem as we get older - unfortunately, father time and our physiology make it harder to keep weight off, and then different people tend to gain in different areas - the stomach is common.

I think the key is diet, not exercise. There's no exercise that you're doing that's wrong. I think the focus on ab exercise is less effective than most would wish it was, because the problem is that we can't really spot reduce, or target a specific area with specific exercises. The problem is that the body stores fat because energy intake is a little too high compared to energy use, and so I believe diet makes a bigger impact on this than exercise or any training.

Having said this, I have seen and experienced that people tend to neglect certain types of stomach exercise which help more with posture than with muscle tone, but that's part of the "package". And I think that if you can focus more on activating your TA muscle, by pulling your belly button in, then it can make a difference. It's small though, more important is just addressing the energy balance, maybe with dietary changes - small things can make a big difference.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Bobbo | 2012/05/01

Thanks for sharing. Always good to find a real eepxrt.

Reply to Bobbo
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2012/03/17

Hi Cal

It's a problem as we get older - unfortunately, father time and our physiology make it harder to keep weight off, and then different people tend to gain in different areas - the stomach is common.

I think the key is diet, not exercise. There's no exercise that you're doing that's wrong. I think the focus on ab exercise is less effective than most would wish it was, because the problem is that we can't really spot reduce, or target a specific area with specific exercises. The problem is that the body stores fat because energy intake is a little too high compared to energy use, and so I believe diet makes a bigger impact on this than exercise or any training.

Having said this, I have seen and experienced that people tend to neglect certain types of stomach exercise which help more with posture than with muscle tone, but that's part of the "package". And I think that if you can focus more on activating your TA muscle, by pulling your belly button in, then it can make a difference. It's small though, more important is just addressing the energy balance, maybe with dietary changes - small things can make a big difference.

Reply to fitnessdoc

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