Developing muscle tone in specific areas


So I've been dieting and exercising religiously for the past 4 months, and have just about reached my target weight goal of 112 pounds (two more pounds to go!). It's within the ideal weight range for my height, leaning a little towards the lower end. My doctor doesn't want me to lose anymore weight as she thinks it would be unhealthy. So I'm stopping once I reach my target.

Problem is, I still have some unsightly bulges that I'm really not very happy about. Specifically:

1) My tummy, right below my belly button. I seem to be storing a layer of fat there -- I know, women of child bearing age just do that. I've been doing sit ups and crunches like a crazy woman to try to get rid of some of it, but I don't seem to be getting anywhere.

2) The outsides of my thighs. I call them my "saddlebags". My hips are fine -- but go down a couple of inches, and I suddenly just have cellulite bulging out. I'd really like to tone this area somehow.

We're not talking a LOT of fat here, obviously. Just a small amount that needs to be toned down a bit.

Problem is, I'm not sure what exercises to do to improve these two areas. I have an exercise bike (what I've been using to lose weight), but that seems to work the inner and top thighs more than the outside. And again, my situps and crunches seem to do more for the upper abs -- not so much for the lower ab area.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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Congratulations for your success. First question is how are you losing the weight? Are you following a specific diet and exercise plan? The reason I ask is that losing weight (lbs) could come at the cost muscle tone and good health. Muscle weighs more then fat, so just using a scale for weight will not give you the whole story and may actually be doing more harm then good.

A stationary bike is okay for aerobic, however it can get boring and as you've discovered, it tones certain muscle groups and not others. You will have to diversify your routine to target those other areas. Try alternating days of bike, power walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, team sport (whichever is appealing to you) with a resistance training routine. You will find by bringing in other forms or cardio into your workout this will work muscles you never knew you had and will make exercise less monotonous and perhaps even fun.

Don't be too concerned with what the scale says, instead focus on what your body tells you when you look in the mirror and how you feel. Good health to you!

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Congrats on your success! Must feel pretty good to be so close to your goals.

An abduct exercise will help tone those outer thighs. Something as easy as side leg lifts may help, or try it with bands or ankle weights.

For the lower abs, try reverse crunches. You lay in the same position as regular crunches, legs bent, but instead of lifting your upper body, raise your legs towards your head. Trust me, you'll feel THAT burn!

Good luck!

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I live and breathe exercise, and study fitness constantly. I say this because I know what I'm talking about when I say that you can't lose belly flab without losing more weight. Your abs may be very tone under the flab, but if fat is covering it, the abs will never show through. Crunches tone muscle but don't get rid of fat--only dieting and cardio does that. The fat below your hips may be a genetic issue. You can't spot reduce fat. You may always be a little bigger there.
You can't just go by what the scale says and neither can your doctor. Do you have a bunch of muscle, or do you have a bunch of fat? Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you have a lot of muscle, the scale will make you seem heavier than it would if you had a lot of fat. My advice is to do cardio, work out with weights to build muscle, and accept the genetics of your body if you can't get rid of something. Read fitness magazines--you'll be amazed at how fantastic women with 5 or 6 kids can look!!

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Unfortunately when you lose weight you loose all over, not in spots. All you can do it build up specific areas. Maybe lipo?
Good luck, Salena

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