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Flat Abs without Crunches?

Q. I have read the article "How to get Flat Abs" and have a problem.

I will be 73 in a few weeks and have been advised against doing crunches in the regular sense because of disc deterioration in my cervical spine. How can I modify this exercise or with what could I replace it?

I am 5' 2" and weigh 120 lbs. My problem is a pot tummy which makes clothes fit badly. I am very active and have little problem with most exercises. I would certainly appreciate your advice.

A. You're not alone with this type of problem. There are several different types of abdominal strengthening activities that can be used to avoid aggravating your neck.

The most basic abdominal strengthening exercise is the pelvic tilt (lay on your back, knees bent, tighten your belly, hold 6 seconds, and don't hold your breath).

A more advanced one you might try is while in the same position, perform a pelvic tilt, slowly lift one foot 6 inches off of the ground, and slowly lower it back down, repeat with the other side.

Do one set of as many as you can without causing any pain to your body.

It is also a good idea to engage in aerobic activity at least 3 times per week. Talk with your doctor before engaging in an aerobic exercise program.


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