You felt muscles you didn’t know you had when you pushed that tiny human out of your body. Now, it’s time to coax those abs out of hiding with a post-pregnancy ab workout. The key to inviting your abs and the rest of your core out to play means working both the underlying and overlying muscles. You want to work those muscles from the inside out. Here are seven post-pregnancy ab workouts that will change your life!
The pelvic tilt improves your stamina and strengthens your abdomen. For a vaginal delivery, you can start this exercise one week after you give birth. But for a caesarian delivery, you may need to wait six to eight weeks, depending on how long your doctor thinks you should rest. Here’s how to do it:
Place a pillow underneath your hips and one between those achy knees. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your feet flat and place your arms at your side. Breathe in slowly.
As you exhale, pull your abs inward and tuck your pelvis underneath slightly. Squeeze your glutes as you do a Kegel. Hold this position for five seconds and release. Do ten reps.
Go deeper with this post-pregnancy ab workout. Abdominal bracing helps you connect to your deeper ab muscles, and you can do them between three to eight weeks post-pregnancy. Always check with your doctor just in case. If you’re doing it right, you should feel your ab area just below your belly button pull inward as your pelvic floor lifts.
Get into your starting position by lying down face-up on the floor. Contract your whole abdomen like you’re anticipating a sucker punch. Now, involve your arms and legs, such as raising one or more arms above you or stretching out your legs as you keep your back against the floor.
It’s like a standard plank, but an exercise ball adds a test of core strength and stability and balance. Make dolphin noises if you like. Start by placing your elbows on the ball, extending your leg behind you. Brace your core and hips, elongate your back and hold this position for 30 seconds or longer.
Yoga Boat Pose
Sit down on the floor with your knees bent. Contract your abdomen and lean your torso slightly backward as you lift your feet from the floor. Lift until your shins become parallel to the floor, keeping your back straight. Your hips should flex now at 90 degrees. Extend your arms outward to help stay balanced. Hold this position for 30 seconds or more.
Lie down on one side with your elbow underneath your shoulder. Stack your feet and hips, stabilizing your core, and push your hips from the floor until your body makes a straight line. Hold the position for a minimum of 30 seconds. Do the same on the alternate side. Switch sides with 10 to 30 leg lifts to also increase the strength of your hips.
Heel slides help strengthen your back muscles to support your core, so you can make it even stronger! Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Draw in your abdomen. Press your left heel to the floor.
Keeping your pelvis still, breathe in and then breathe out as you push your left heel from your body. Relax the knee. Use your deeper abdomen, below the navel, to push the heel outward. Return to the beginning position. Switch sides as you work up to ten reps.
Start with lying on your back with your knees bent. Hold a towel at both ends and wrap it around your upper shins. Pull on the towel and squeeze your thighs together. Inhale.
Exhale as you pull in your abs, lifting your shoulders off of the floor. Hold, clench and release the ab muscles at least ten times. Soon, you’ll work up to 20 reps.
Why a Post-Pregnancy Ab Workout Routine Is Great
You have to return to basics and build your core back up before you move on to weights. Your core consists of more than your ab muscles, including your hips, back and whole midsection. Pregnancy messes with your core, stretching out your abdomen and overworking your back muscles. Your hips feel like they went for a tumble down a long and rocky mountain.
Your strength didn’t disappear forever, but your body significantly exerted itself when you brought your beautiful baby into the world. Return to the basics and build up your core with this post-pregnancy ab workout, and wearing your increasing-in-size-everyday kiddo won’t feel like carrying around a bowling ball!
Plus, it means the ability to lug even more ice cream and wine into the house. Just saying.