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    Para belly exercises

    I'm T6 complete with zero core muscles, balance, etc. I'm trying to find ways to burn fat from my stomach without being able to use/exercise those muscles. It seems like cardio is my best option and if I burn calories in general, they would have to come from my stomach because I'm pretty skinny everywhere else, even upper body. I assume my hand cycle would be best to burn calories, instead of doing something stationary or with weights. For anyone with no core/trunk control that has had success in this area, what kind of exercises did you do that helped? Is my logic on the right track?

    #2
    Originally posted by Brad09 View Post
    I'm T6 complete with zero core muscles, balance, etc. I'm trying to find ways to burn fat from my stomach without being able to use/exercise those muscles. It seems like cardio is my best option and if I burn calories in general, they would have to come from my stomach because I'm pretty skinny everywhere else, even upper body. I assume my hand cycle would be best to burn calories, instead of doing something stationary or with weights. For anyone with no core/trunk control that has had success in this area, what kind of exercises did you do that helped? Is my logic on the right track?
    Before you set out on an exercise/diet regimen, have you determined that you truly have excess abdominal fat? When laying flat on your back with one arm stretched upward to make your abdominal area as taut as possible, how much fat (versus skin) can you grab with your other hand? I think that for many of us with mid-thoracic and higher level injuries, what appears as abdominal fat is an artifact of at least 2 things: compromised posture: not being able to sit up straight, which exacerbates abdominal protrusion; and continual atrophying of our abdominal muscles which allows are internal organs to fill in the inner sag.
    Last edited by stephen212; 28 Apr 2019, 4:42 PM.
    stephen@bike-on.com

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      #3
      As a C7 complete, mine is muscle atrophy rather than fat. I have found what is at least a partial solution. For two reasons, it will most likely be of little use to you. Reason one is that it's not very pleasant. Reason two is, though it works for me, I don't know how to instigate it. My belly was getting pretty big at seven and a half years post. Over the past year I've developed some pretty aggressive abdominal spasms, possibly related to advanced hip arthritis. When I go from sitting to supine, I'll get 3 to 5 minutes of big spasms, before I fatigue, enough that I can do most of a sit-up. During the night, anytime I've laid still for more than 30 minutes or so, my first motion of any sort triggers another round of spasm. So overnight, I'll get 6 to 8 abdominal workouts. My quad belly is noticeably smaller than a year ago, even though I've gained weight (intentionally).
      Last edited by endo_aftermath; 28 Apr 2019, 2:41 PM.

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        #4
        Lets suppose your quad belly has significant body fat rather than being the result stephen212 describes. Thinking about it as burning calories will lead you to burn up more muscle instead. When the body lacks blood sugar the first thing it breaks down in order to continue functioning is muscle tissue. muscle has the protein needed for good, quick, function. This is why weight lifters concentrate hard on eating a lot of protein and very little carbohydrates. They want muscle mass without fat.

        Anyone wanting to lose fat will need to study nutrition in more detail. For people who only have use of their arms exercise programs must be tailored to involve all working muscles not just those, for instance, involved in using a hand-cycle. it is crucial to your long-term health to protect your shoulders from injury, including repetitive motion injuries. There is nothing difficult in this, you just have to exercise in every direction you can manage, so some free weight work and work with exercise bands would be good to include. The basic key to cardio is to work hard at it. I do that while weight lifting by keeping at it harder and longer than I want to. Once i get to panting, I keep it at that level for 5 minutes before quickly changing to another exercise. If you can join a gym there might be a trainer who can help you figure it all out.

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          #5
          Tens/EMS machine or Slendertone focus just on abs. I started using one a while ago combined with dieting, waist is down from 115cm to 92cm and costing me a fortune in new jeans every 3 months. C3 complete so can't really burn calories other than my FES bike but that is about 30 calories an hour.

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            #6
            Thanks for all the info. Stephen made an interesting point, when I lay on my back my stomach is stretched pretty flat, there isn't much to grab but skin. It just seems like it is bigger than it used to be a year ago. I would have assumed that any atrophy in my abdominal muscles would have already maxed out being 7 years post injury, but maybe not. I also agree that a lot of it is postural, there is a big difference when I sit up straight and arch my back. I will also look more into the exercises /nutrition mentioned as well.

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              #7
              I had an EMS machine that I used exclusively on my abs -- way more powerful than a Slendertone, which I also experimented with -- which induced very strong contractions. BUT it had no effect in reducing parabelly girth. Maybe if you doing stim sessions multiple times per day, but then it sort of becomes an unsustainable, and boring, pursuit. Add parabelly to the "Suck List" of SCI.
              stephen@bike-on.com

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                #8
                Originally posted by mrb View Post
                Tens/EMS machine or Slendertone focus just on abs. I started using one a while ago combined with dieting, waist is down from 115cm to 92cm and costing me a fortune in new jeans every 3 months. C3 comp
                ete so can't really burn calories other than my FES bike but that is about 30 calories an hour.
                Wow, mrb, that is impressive. I suggest you can save lots in clothing by wearing dresses.

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                  #9
                  My doctor ran the stethoscope over my belly and pronounced me full of you-know-what (my wife concurred). But I eat healthy and dialed back on the adult drinkies, so out of frustration I do 900 crunches a day, which probably doesn't do what I want but helps with transfers and is the only thing that gets my heartrate up.
                  Hotel list: Hoyer-friendly beds, low and adjustable-height beds

                  Blog: https://thewheeledwonder.wordpress.com/

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                    #10
                    My son, c6/7 15 years post, has cut out sugar and carbs. He does 100+ crunches every day. He does not have a 6 pack and probably never will, but he looks great and has a very small gut.

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                      #11
                      I told my excellent PT doctor that I feel my crunches more when I fire my thigh muscles or raise my arms at the same time. His solution: placing an exercise ball in my lap, extending my arms over the top of the ball (and banded together to keep them in place) and crunching into the ball from three sides – my chest, my arms and my thighs. Instead of insane numbers of crunches, I do sustained five-second squeezes, easing into and out of them, very controlled. I alternate to the left side, center and right.



                      I go into it more at my blog.
                      Hotel list: Hoyer-friendly beds, low and adjustable-height beds

                      Blog: https://thewheeledwonder.wordpress.com/

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Mombo View Post
                        My son, c6/7 15 years post, has cut out sugar and carbs. He does 100+ crunches every day. He does not have a 6 pack and probably never will, but he looks great and has a very small gut.
                        I'm curious... I keep hearing about people doing crunches. How does that work? I used to do crunches prior to my accident, but can't do them anymore. Maybe I'm just doing the wrong.
                        C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by ejl10 View Post
                          I'm curious... I keep hearing about people doing crunches. How does that work? I used to do crunches prior to my accident, but can't do them anymore. Maybe I'm just doing the wrong.
                          There's some magical thinking going on here -- not referring to you specifically. If you have no use of your abs then you can't do crunches. Just like if you have no use of your leg muscles you can't do squats, even baby ones.
                          stephen@bike-on.com

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by stephen212 View Post
                            There's some magical thinking going on here -- not referring to you specifically. If you have no use of your abs then you can't do crunches. Just like if you have no use of your leg muscles you can't do squats, even baby ones.
                            Sure, that makes sense. But even if they're not real crunches, I'd love to know what people are doing. I'm clearly not doing enough right now!
                            C5/6 complete (maybe) circa June 2018

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                              #15
                              Weighted pullups. Sex (BEST), cable crunches, strap yourself to chair just enough to not fall out and reach out and touch something, couch, ball, etc. Cable machine again, grab a handle both hands and turn as much as possible (left-right). Look it up on YouTube, it'll explain better then me. Get on knees in front of couch, knees up, hold core tight as long as possible.... I've been into weight training for 3 years, down from a size 36 pants to a 30 . If ya want it you can get it. New dip machine in gym today, failure to get to chair.... Fell on the ground... Haha, got back in chair, practice makes perfect. I've got 6 abs, 2 work, to below don't

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