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Strength Training for Women

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MEMBER QUESTION: I had a C-section and I am having a hard time getting rid of that bulge. Any suggestions?

MEMBER QUESTION: As I am getting older my stomach area is getting flabby. I do sit-ups, but what else could I do to flatten my stomach?

LINGUVIC: Ah, the elusive abs. First of all, make sure you're totally healed from your C-section and you have your doctor's approval before working out.

Again, sit-ups alone aren't much for the abs. You want to hit your abdominal muscles from a couple of different angles. I would recommend starting off with Swiss ball crunches. You lie on the ball doing a crunch, bringing your ribs closer to your hips. Another great exercise is the plank, where you're actually lay face down in a push-up position.

Spending hours on sit-ups are not the best way to tighten up your abs. Spending a few minutes on some really good exercises, such as Swiss ball crunches and the plank, combined with strength training for your whole body, a sensible diet and some aerobics will help you lose the flab and tighten your abdominals.

MEMBER QUESTION: When I try to do sit-ups, there is an area in my tummy where skin bulges out like a balloon and then sucks inward like a cave. I'm four months postpartum. Is this diastasis?

LINGUVIC: I can't tell you without seeing you. Your doctor will be able to tell if your muscle has separated.

MEMBER QUESTION: Do you address diet in your book?

LINGUVIC: I think most diets are too strict, and if you make something too strict you're bound to go off. I have a full section of what I call sensible, commonsense strategies, where each week you add one more strategy into your lifestyle.

Some commonsense strategies are increasing your water intake, logging your food and something called "closer to the source." What I mean by that is when you're deciding what to eat and what to feed your family, ask yourself "Where did this come from?" We know where an apple came from, we know where an egg came from, but I'm not too sure where cheese doodles come from. You want to try to eat closer to the source. For instance, cheese is better than cheese doodles. There are lots of good commonsense strategies like that in Lean, Long & Strong .

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