Tummy toning after surgery

Q: I’ve had five lower back surgeries and two Cesarean sections in the past five years. I’ve lost 30 pounds with 10 more to go, but I’m having trouble toning up my lower abs. Help!

A: You don’t mention whether or not your surgeries are limiting the types of activities and exercise you can do. If they are, please check with your doctor before doing the exercises that follow. Along with specific exercises, here are some tips for toning your tummy:

Work those abs. The best way to flatten your tummy is by doing exercises that tone and tighten those muscles.

Get rid of the flab. Next, you need to burn off excess fat with aerobic exercise so that you’re not hiding those firm muscles. For maximum results, do some type of aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, cycling, or inline skating at least five days a week for 45 to 60 minutes. Tough to find the time? You can breakup your sessions into small bouts and do them throughout the day — 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes at lunch, and 20 minutes after work.

Go slow. To get the best results from ab exercises, do them slowly. That way your muscles have to work harder. If you do them quickly, momentum and other muscles in your legs and upper body end up helping out, so your abs don’t get as good a workout.


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