Best AB exercises?

Hello all
does anyone know what that safest and most effective AB exercises are for those w/ osteo of the spine who have suffered a past fracture ? So, for those of us that can no longer do curls, crunches, etc etc -- Would love to hear some tips and some favorite ab exercises .. thanks so much ! ..

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I'm into yoga and I read an article that said the "plank" pose is more effective than anything else for strengthening your abs.

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yes ! you know what? i DID just hear that? then, i am also assuming its "back safe"??? thanks so much !

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Yes to the plank! (There a several versions, one on forearms and one in push up position.) WAY better than crunches!

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how long do you try and hold ... for beginners, and then what do you work up to ?? - i have done yoga, but not a lot
i used to do A LOT of pilates .. but now since i hurt my back, i do modified - my back is all healed now, but now i just have to be careful and not go too crazy

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I had gotten into doing the plank exercise for abs and started having severe back pain. I quit doing the plank and my back stopped hurting. A friend suggested that I have a bone density test and that is when I found out I had osteo in the spine. I have not tried the plank again or any of the other ab workouts to see if my back would hurt again. Since you said it is good for the spine then I might give it another try just to test.

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I don't know if it is good for the spine. If you have pain, I don't think I would do it.

If you are beginning, I would hold the pose for as long as it is comfortable and work up. Just do a few at a time. Yoga shouldn't be painful. You want to feel good, strong. I've always heard if you want a strong back, you need strong a strong front (abs).

I had major abdominal surgery in April and it was just killing me not to do anything after my surgery. I asked my yoga teacher and she couldn't really come up with anything good for me (other than the usual stretching type exercises).

Around that time I received a Yoga Journal magazine (I think it was the June issue) and it had an article on strengthening your abs. The article mentioned the plank pose, side plank, table (forgive me for not knowing the sanskrit names for these positions!) and several other things that I started to do when I started feeling better (about 4 weeks after my surgery) and have continued. I do feel stronger.

I would suggest going to their website and looking up poses for ab strengthening.

The article mentioned another interesting thing to do - it's sort of a isometric thing. Lying on your back on the floor, you tighten your abs, and pull back, and down - they describe it as when you are lying on your bed trying to zip up tight jeans (we've all been there!) The article did a far better job of describing how to do it than I have, but I like doing it - I like when I can actually feel my muslces doing something.

Good Luck
Jan

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I found a good book Exercises for Osteoporosis by Dianne Daniels on Amazon copyright 2005. I usually get into a routine and stay with it, but exercises should be varied. This book shows many different exercises for all body parts that can be changed around.

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thanks everyone! and i do do the sucking in your stomach onthe floor -- the pelvic thing - its good, but so boring, so i was just looking for some more options ! !

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I took a yoga-lates class at the YMCA and that was VERY effective for overall conditioning/strengthening. However, a lot of it depends on having an experienced instructor who gives appropriate exercise modifications for beginners.

Also, if you take a class with a good instructor, it's more likely you will learn to do the exercises or poses correctly - even doing poses or exercises in front of a mirror, you're not always able to check that you are doing it properly and an instructor who goes around to correct alignment or positioning is hard to find!

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~Plank is a good ab exercise, and the only exercise I can do after 7 back surgeries due to fraxs!

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Being new to this site, I look forward to learning from all of you. I have had OP for 15 years and treatment with Actonel and now Reclast has helped very little. In fact, my spine is slightly worse this year (-2.9). Most doctors seem to just shake their heads when I ask for additional help and information.

I love yoga but have had to stop doing much because of other issues. Had to give up any forward bends due to a hiatial hernia and the OP of spine and am limited in many other asanas because of arthritis in my toe. Does anyone know a modification that will assist me in doing the plank pose?

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There is WEB site that shows an excellent "sit up" that does not involve actually sitting up. As he explains in the video - it is critical that no one actually bends the spine up - If you work around this site - you can see the video - it is below the shoveling snow and into the exercise video: http://www.fitnesscontrarian.com/snow-shoveling-tips-avoid-back-and-elbow-p ain/

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My excellent physical therapist has trained me to "engage" my sets of core muscles and engage them whenever I make movements during the day. I call them "my team". The one set is between the hip bones, add the pelvic floor and then the muscles in the back on either side of the back bone. If you can get these three (I am sorry I can't name them - but they do not involve our big muscle that we normally did doing the old situps) then we can keep them strong just by using them during the day. After working on this for the last couple of months - "the team" is pretty impressive and helps a lot on keeping my bad back going. I do some ball work to help also. Most yoga will not work for me.

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A really good exercise book for osteoporosis is Walk Tall ! by Sara Meeks. A lot of simple stretching and muscle strengthening exercises, many of them lying on your back on the floor and using a thera-band. I do these every day.
There is also a good web site here :
http://www.sciatica.org/yoga/12poses.html
which gives yoga exercises that are okay to do even with osteo, and which have been shown to strengthen bone.

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Thank you for this information. I have reviewed the site you recommended and it is extremely helpful. I will be glad to get back to my yoga and doing it safely. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Thanks for this site on osteo and yoga. I have been doing yoga regularly for about 5 years. Lets hope my next dexa scan is more positive than the last. It is encouraging to know that I am doing the best thing for my body. After skiing for 5 hours today I have to day it feels great and I don't think I am damaging it further - hopefully preventing further detoriation. Still better the rust out than fade out.

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