Response to reader

Published: Wednesday | September 12, 2012 Comments 0

I have a lazy bowel!

Hi Dr Gardner,

I've just read your article about stomach exercises. I really need them, because I have a lazy bowel. Do you know of any good video that I can watch those exercises? Thanks a lot.

- Curado

Dear Reader,

Persons who are physically fit are less likely to have lazy bowels. Strength training, flexibility activities and aerobic activities such as walking, jogging, cycling and swimming are few of the activities you could do. Also, a daily balanced diet with fruits and vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, will certainly improve your bowel movement. The following are some simple abdominal exercises that do not require any equipment.

BICYCLE EXERCISE

Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head.

Bring your knees towards your chest and lift your shoulders off the floor.

Turn to the left and move your right elbow toward your left knee as you straighten the other leg.

Switch sides and move the left elbow towards the right knee

Continue alternating sides in a pedalling motion for about 15 repetitions, and a couple sets.

VERTICAL LEG CRUNCH

Lie on your back and raise your legs straight up with your knees crossed.

Place your hands under your head for balance.

Contract your abdominals as you lift your shoulders off the floor and move your chest toward your feet.

Keep your legs in a fixed position and squeeze your belly button towards your spine at the top of the movement.

Return to the starting position and do about 15 repetitions and a couple sets.

LONG-ARM CRUNCH

Lie on your back and extend your arm straight out behind your head with your hands clasped.

Contract your abdomen and lift your shoulders off the floor.

Relax your abdomen as you lower your shoulders to the floor.

REVERSE CRUNCH

Lie on your back and place your hands on the floor or behind your head.

Keep your feet together and bring your knees towards your chest until they are bent at a 90-degree angle.

Contract your abdominals to curl your hips until your legs are pointing straight up.

Lower and repeat about 15 times and do a few sets.

CRUNCH WITH HEEL PUSH

Lie on your back with your knees bent and hands behind head.

Contract your abdominals as you lift your shoulders off the floor.

Do not pull on your neck to raise your shoulder.

At the top of the crunch, push your heels into the floor and simultaneously press your back against the floor.

Return to the starting position and do about 15 repetitions and a couple sets.

PLANK ON ELBOWS AND TOES

Lie face down resting on your forearms with your palms flat on the floor.

Push off the floor to support yourself on your toes and elbows.

Keep your back flat and straight from your head to your heels.

Tilt your hips forward and contract your abdominals to prevent sagging in the middle.

Maintain this position for up to 60 seconds if you can.

Return to the starting position and do about six repetitions.

Dr Kenneth Gardner is an exercise physiologist at Holiday Hills Research Center; email: yourhealth@gleanerjm.com.


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