Facilitator:  Barb Cashman, PT

Bariatric Center of Kansas City Physical Therapist, Barb Cashman, came to support group to talk about excess skin and ways to decrease the amount of excess skin that hangs from the underarm after weight loss.  The elasticity plays a large part in how much you can decrease that, including genetics, how long the skin has been stretched, how much weight is lost, and how well hydrated the skin is.  By building muscle in the upper arm, you can fill in a lot of that space not only giving you a large lean muscle mass to increase your metabolism, but also making the underarm “jiggles” less prominent.  Everyone brought 2 cans to use as weights, and then donated them to Harvesters.  Chris took 4 grocery bags of cans to   the Harvesters barrel at Hen House on 87th Street.  Thank you for all the donations!

The exercises centered on both the biceps and the triceps muscles in the upper body.  You can do them with weights (or cans, or bags of beans), but you want to start with light weights and work up to heavier.  You can modify any of the exercises to start at the level you are currently able to do.  Many can be done sitting down.  She emphasized that if it hurts, STOP.  These should not hurt.  You may feel the muscle getting fatigued, but it shouldn’t be painful.  If you need any help with these, please come see the physical therapists and they can assist you in modifying them.  For example, the push-ups can be done against a wall, or using the kitchen counter.  You can do the ones shown on the floor on your bed.  There is always a way to modify it to your level of comfort. Start with 5 repetitions and work your way up to the given amount. You can expect to see some results within a couple of months if you do them consistently 3 – 4 times a week.  Say goodbye to those jiggly underarms!!





HOW TO DO IT: Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Raise straightened arms to shoulder height with your palms facing the ceiling. Curl your arms so the forearms are perpendicular to the floor and hands are directly over the elbows. Keep the elbows lifted and in line with the shoulders. Do three sets of 15 reps






HOW TO DO IT: Hold a weight in each hand. Bring them behind the back of your head, palms facing the base of the skull and elbows out. Raise the weights until arms are straight (hands together at the top), and then lower back down. Keep your neck and spine aligned, maintain a strong core don’t arch your back. Do three sets of 15 reps.





HOW TO DO IT: Stand with feet hip-distance apart and knees bent. Tilt your torso 45 degrees forward, keeping your spine long. Hold a weight in each hand bend at the elbows to bring your hands toward the shoulders in front of you, and then straighten your arms back behind you. Do three sets of 15.






HOW TO DO IT: Squat down and place your palms on a chair or bench with the fingers pointing toward the edge. With feet hip-distance apart and ankles right below or slightly out in front of the knees (harder), begin to dip the body down and up. Try to keep the elbows going straight back (in line with the shoulders and wrists) as opposed to opening out to the sides. Do three sets of 15.






HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your stomach on the floor. Bring your hands under your shoulders and bend at the knees to bring your feet off the floor. Without letting the pelvis sag — keep the core engaged — press yourself up to a modified push-up, balancing on your hands and knees. Lower your chest back to the ground. Do three sets of 15.






HOW TO DO IT: Lie on the floor with your legs extended. Keep your upper back pressing into the floor and your shoulder blades down. With a weight in each hand (or a single, heavier weight in both hands), bring your hands together straight above your chest. Keeping the elbows pointed straight up toward the ceiling, bend the arms and bring the hands toward the face. Then extend the arms back up. Do three sets of 15.






HOW TO DO IT: Start in a side plank on your forearm, keeping the line of your body straight. Stack your feet or knees. If on your knees, thighs should be back and flush with your trunk, so your body forms a straight line from head to knees. With a weight in your top hand, raise the arm straight up toward the ceiling with the palm facing forward. Bend at the elbow and bring your hand toward your head, and then straighten your arm,






HOW TO DO IT: Come into a push-up position (on your knees if you need to modify) with the hands turned in toward each other and the forefingers and thumbs touching, forming the shape of a triangle (or diamond). Position your hands so that, as you perform a push-up, your chest is directly on top of your hands. Do three sets of 10.


The next support group is July 3 at 5:30 and Chris and Laura are taking feedback at that meeting.  We want to know what you want to know more about, and what changes you may want to see in the support group program. Please come and give us your feedback!