Having loose skin is an undesirable byproduct of weight-loss success. Your skin is an organ, and it can adapt to your weight change due to pregnancy or weight gain. However, if you've carried excess weight for a long time, the skin becomes overstretched and loses its elasticity, so that when you lose a lot of weight very quickly, the skin stays loose until you tighten it with exercise. Exercises such as situps are vital in sculpting your body and improving your appearance. The effectiveness of situps for reducing loose skin depends on various factors, such as how much weight you have lost and your age.
1. Understanding Loose Skin
The skin has to stretch frequently as we grow in height and size, so it is a very elastic organ. Like every other organ in the body, the skin is composed of numerous cells. The upper layer of skin, called the epidermis, divides, multiplies and sheds, then is replaced with new skin cells. For instance, when you lose your baby weight, the elasticity of your skin, which stretches over your belly during pregnancy, does not always "snap back" immediately after childbirth. The skin's ability to adapt to a reduced size depends in part on your age. Younger women's skin is more elastic than that of older women.
2. Exercise Effectiveness
Exercise helps tone and build your muscles, which can improve your loose skin's appearance by filling it out. However, there is only so much the skin can contract. According to the “The Practical Guide to Weight Management,” people who have lost more than 100 pounds of weight may need plastic surgery to remove excess skin. Those who have lost between 75 to 100 pounds may have excess skin that is not too noticeable. Therefore, situps will be effective for these people to tighten the excess skin in the abdominal region.
Sit on the floor and hook your feet under a foot brace. Bend your hips and place your hands behind your head or across your chest. From the supine position on the floor, raise your torso by bending your waist and hips. Go up as far as you can and return until your shoulders contact the floor; repeat. Perform 20 to 30 reps in two or three sets.
4. Abdominal Exercises
Situps only help develop your rectus abdominis. If you want to tighten up your whole torso region, you will need to incorporate more abdominal workouts. A fully toned abdomen can help improve the appearance of loose skin. Work out your obliques with dumbbell side bends and the bicycle maneuver. Perform the front plank and side plank for a full abs workout. Exercise your core muscles no more than three times per week with a 48-hour recovery period between workouts.
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