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Question
Posted by: lindy | 2004/11/29

Repetitive Strain Injury on Neck vs ab exercises

Hi Doc

I'm getting married March next year and would like to work on my abs. I haven't done any exercises for abs as my neck is always tender after any exercises. I have heard that there are exercises you can do with a ball that won't strain your neck & I would appreciate any suggestions. I have tried asking the fitness consultants at my local gym, but they seem to see $$$ signs and will only make recommendations if I pay them as a personal trainer?!

I'm realistic enough to know that my abs won't look perfect at my wedding, but I would like to see a noticeable improvement (I have hardly any muscle there and the skin is quite soft & pliable) at least.

Kind regards
Lindy

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Lindy

You need to focus on two things. The first and most important is cardiovascular training. You have do this (walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling) in order to burn the fat, and I would suggest that you do these types of cardiovascular exercises as least 4 - 5 times a week for at least 30 - 45 minutes. This will help to increase the amount of calories that you use and help to decrease your body fat.

As for the ball exercises, there are certainly some, though I also would suggest that you sort out whatever is causing your neck pain. You should not have to experience pain that limits exercise in this way. Then you could do stomach crunches and situps, both of which are effective in developing the abdominal muscles.

As for the ball, here is a website where you can see pictures, (always helpful) to show you the correct technique and explain some exercises you can do.

I hope that these work. I am certain that you will find an improvement in core abdominal strength, but whether this translates into the appearance of defined, toned abs is another question - this is where the cardio comes in. you have to therefore attack the problem by firstly developing the muscle in the abs (the ball and stomach crunches), and then cardio to lose fat and create the toned, defined appearance.

Good luck

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