I've started using free weights at home, and I'm getting addicted. I scoff at most exercise, but lifting weights I like. And I like the fact that having free weights at home means I can use them whenever I want and not have to schedule time and effort to go to a gym. I'm not a gym kind of person. I'm not a schedule kind of person.
But while my arms are getting all hard and buff, the rest of me is languishing in untonedness. My specific area of concern is my belly. I'm skinny, so there's nothing there to lose, but I like feeling how hard my biceps are getting, and I want to be able to feel my hard abs too.
The only problem is that ab exercises seem like just about the worst idea for me right now. If coughing and laughing hurt my coochie, a few dozen crunches sounds like a really big NO WAY. There are even some dumbbell exercises I don't do because of the pain they give me down there.
So how does one tone one's abs without igniting one's netherly pyre? Pelvic Pain Matters posted about this question just the other day. That blog's owner had a physical therapist comment on how regular ab exercises are really bad for someone with pelvic floor dysfunction (malfunctioning (often overly tense) pelvic-floor muscles). I don't know if I have PFD or if it's just all the northern stuff pushing south when I cough/laugh/crunch, but her advice seems like a good starting place: don't exercise abdominal muscles in isolation, and don't do anything that pushes the abdomen forward and the pelvic floor downward.
The physical therapist lists safe abdominal exercises in that post, but I, being not interested in exercise, don't know what they are. I tried Googling them, but they seem to require equipment and/or tapes. I, being not interested in exercise and also thrifty, am not going to go buy exercise equipment or tapes. I just want something quick and easy to remember that I can do with my body alone. Like crunches, but not crunches.
So I searched the web and found nothing. Then I found pregnancy abdominal exercises. Then I thought -- again; time number 10,524 -- if I got pregnant, would my pain go away? Then I gave up on the abdominal-exercise search. I think I'll just try a few ideas and see which ones hurt the least. May my inner Jane Fonda guide me to an ab-toning solution.