Every woman that has ever been pregnant – and had their abs stretched beyond what they thought was possible – dreams of getting their pre baby abs back. Unfortunately the expectation has been created by mainstream media that this can be achieved overnight, which is tough. It took 9 months to slowly grow and create a beautiful bump, so it will take time to regain its tight, taut flat appearance (or a close as possible!).
Strengthening those abs!
Before commencing any abdominal strengthening work postpartum, it is essential to wait at least 6 weeks after birth, obtain clearance from your doctor that you are ok to return to exercise, plus ensure you do not have diastasis recti (abdominal separation) greater than the width of two fingers.
Once these 3 boxes have been ticked you are good to go with my top 3 ab exercises for mums:
- Pelvic tilts – lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor about a foot away from your bum. Take a breath in and actively suck your belly button in towards your spine and then gently tip the pelvis up so that the back of your hips roll into floor and then roll back to start position. This exercise is great for ensuring correct core activation and should be performed slowly.
- Single leg lowers – Lay flat on the back again with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise one leg so that the knee is directly over the hip and the knee is also bent at a right angle. Engage the core muscles by sucking the belly button in and ensure the lower back remains in touch with the floor. Gently lower the leg so that the foot taps the floor and then bring it back to the start position. Do this 10 to 12 times before switching legs.
- Basic plank – either lying face down flat on the floor and actively engaging abs so you feel the belly button being lifted away from the floor or on knees and elbows ensuring that hips are aligned with shoulders and the back is flat with spine correctly aligned. This is a great exercise for strength and stability.
As with any exercise program if you are unsure of how to perform the exercises correctly and safely it is recommend that you seek professional advice on a face to face basis.
Author CJ’s Fitbumps – CJ is a pre and postnatal holistic health coach, group exercise instructor, personal trainer, nutrition expert and author of The Winning Physique. She provides specialist pre and post natal fitness classes and coaching at Riverside Ice and Leisure as well as offers one to one personalised health coaching programs lifestyle consultations and personal training. Find me at www.cjsfitbumps.com, email me via [email protected] or call me 07557683770.