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newbie's abs

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Hello All,


I've only been vegan for 2 months now but am in it for life - I've always been very active but after dislocating my shoulder in January of this year and then having surgery for it in April my activity level has been almost non-existent since the beginning of the year. While I do have most of my range of motion back my shoulder strength is still very weak so I'm limited as to what I can do for upper body exercises. Normally I would be out mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking, etc. but those activities haven't been possible due to my shoulder. However, now that I'm regaining shoulder strength and mobility I've decided it's time to get cut! I want to get into the best shape of my life and what better time than now as a vegan!!


My goal for now is to get in at least 20-30 minutes of cardio a day and weight training at least twice a week. My biggest problem areas are my lower abs and my hamstings; those are the areas with the most fat, less definition. Although the pictures might say otherwise, I do have some fat hiding the definition in my lower abs. I can see it when I look down at my abs; it's not flat straight down, it's like I've got a little hill to get over at the bottom I'd like to put on some muscle weight but also get "cut" and lean; good lines, muscle definition, etc.....today I did 30 minutes on my bike, crunches, and some light bicep curls. I only have ab pics for now. Oh yeah this might be helpful....female, 5 ft. 1 inch. @ 108 lbs.


Any suggestions in particular about getting cut while gaining muscle and/or some good exercises for lower abs and hamstrings. I do have a gym membership so there is equipment available although I'm all for things that can be done at home with resistence bands, dumbells, body weight, etc.


Thanks in advance!


post-workout flex


pre-workout side


pre-workout relaxed

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I hear you about the shoulder. I had a similar problem and was sidelined for nearly a year, and I was into all the same things as you too (mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking).


Many of the best exercises for hamstrings are also the best gym exercises for abs as well, as they burn off the most fat. They say it takes something like 3,500 situps to burn a pound of fat, making direct ab work one of the most ineffective things you can do to improve your stomach, as the most important thing is just getting rid of the fat. Squatting is one of the best exercises, but front squatting would be even better as it'll involve your abdominal muscles that much more. They can be done at home, with dumbbells, kettlebells, or even just bodyweight, but I think using a barbell in the gym is best as most people outgrow the amount of weight they can comfortably grip quite quickly. Deadlifting would be excellent for that too.


The next best exercises to those might stiff leg/straight back, or good mornings. You could do lunges as well, and if you take a longer stride while doing them you'll take the emphasis off your quads and put it on those hams. Lower back extensions would also be good. I think most people are going to recommend squatting and deadlifting though, they can't be beat for what you're looking to do. Then just throw in some isolation exercises for your abs 2-3 times a week (crunches, bicycles, etc.) and keep up the cardio!

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I wouldn't recommend front squats for someone with a dislocated shoulder, seeing as you hoist the bar up onto your shoulders to do this move.


I'm not sure how bad her shoulder is at this point, but if she can do it, I would recommend them too. Same with deadlifts. I used to have the most pitiful legs before I started doing squats and deadlifts.

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Eek yeah, what was I thinking. Well, after I injured my shoulder, once I got the range of motion back I was able to do barbell squats. Front squats wouldn't have been do-able.


Bodyweight squats and lunges can still have an effect when coupled in with a cardio program, however--at least for aiding in cutting fat and toning up a bit.


So ermm, nevermind, ignore everything my other post said...*shrinks back into the corner*

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