In an attempt to slim down my midsection and tone up my abdominal muscles, over the last two months I’ve been gradually incorporating more and more basic core strengthening exercises into my daily workouts. The problem I’m having, is that because of my obstructive lung disease, it takes me forever to exhale at the beginning of each exercise maneuver.
How long does it take YOU to exhale a single breath? A few seconds maybe?
Well, on one of my typical breathing days, it can take me up to a half a minute !
Seriously… it takes me 15 to 30 FULL seconds to expel enough air, to allow for the proper core muscle contraction to take place. Even if I force the air out with a cough, it’s still takes upwards of 10 seconds to get most of the air out, and by the time I do get it all out and tighten the appropriate muscles , I’m too short of breath to maintain the proper breathing pattern for the recommended contraction interval.
Is there an alternate , but equally effective way of doing these types of abdominal strengthening exercises? I have no problem doing several reps of slow sit ups as long as each sit up only requires a single muscle contraction with a single exhaled breath.
A friend of mine recommended that I do less sit-ups and concentrate more on plank exercises, as they strengthen larger muscle groups . Apparently, a single plank exercise , if done correctly, will benefit you more than multiple sit ups. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I’ll give it a try.
Anyone else have any suggestions?