10 Jun 4 Weeks to a Flat Tummy
How to Recondition Your Core After Baby
By Mums Fitness Founder, Timo Topp
Avoid Postnatal Problems
If you don’t restore the core, or if it’s done incorrectly, you can leave yourself open to all sorts of post pregnancy problems such as:
- Hip and back pain
- Leaky bladder
- Aches and pains as you lift and carry baby
- Injuries when you return to exercise
- Longer subsequent labours
- Cosmetically a ‘puffy’ looking tummy
It doesn’t have to be like this. By practising a few simple exercises you can help to flatten your tummy – but more importantly get your body working again after baby, to restore and rejuvenate healthy physiology and function. Hence the reason you should practise the 4 important core and pelvic floor exercises in this simple program.
Mums Fitness Academy is committed to educating Postnatal Mums on the importance of Core and Pelvic Floor exercise, to return the body to a healthy pre-baby condition.
The ‘Ab’solute Need to Exercise After Baby
As a busy Mum exercise may be the last thing on your mind. However after the rigours of child birth – whether natural or a caesarean – your body needs to be rejuvenated to restore its normal physiology and function – particularly the core and pelvic floor.
It is not just a nice thought, it is essential!
How to Engage the Core and Pelvic Floor
The key to doing all of the following exercises is to set up deep core muscles and the pelvic floor correctly before you start each exercise.
To do this: start by taking a deep breath, to expand your belly, then exhale from the tummy to lightly draw the belly button in towards the spine. As you do so, think about lifting the pelvic floor. This can be quite a difficult muscle to feel. The best way to relate to it is the feeling when you are bursting to the loo and you are holding yourself from going – that is the pelvic floor!
Your aim is to get some gentle – not maximal – tone in the abs below the belly button and not throughout your whole ab area.
Perform these exercises a minimum of 3 times per week, for 4 weeks. Start with 1-2 sets of 5-10 reps and progress to 3 sets of 10-20 reps.
You will notice the ‘plank’ exercise is NOT part of this program because it is not suitable for postnatal mum until you have mastered these specific low impact core exercises. Only then can you introduce it into your workout.
4 Important Exercises ALL Mums Must Do After Baby!
Take a deep breath and as you exhale lightly draw up the belly button and pelvic floor. Then slowly raise opposite arm and leg and keep the body still. Raise the arm with thumb up and fully extend the leg. Do not arch the back. mFocus on tone around the waistline as you do the exercise.
Perform: 5-10 reps each side
Take a deep breath and as you exhale drive your hips up using the gluts (bum). Keep your weight through the heel of the foot. Hold for a moment and lower slowly down and repeat.
Advance it: With the hips up and raise one leg vertically into the air – aiming to keep the hips still and parallel.
Perform: 10-20 reps
Breathe out as you slide your leg out, one at a time. As you exhale lightly draw your belly button down to get tone around your waistline. Keep the hips stable and do not allow them to tilt as you do the exercise.
Advance it: Hold the legs at 90 degrees and perform as leg lowers keeping the angle in the knee joint
Perform: 5-10 reps each side
Slide your hands up your legs to reach the knees or as high as you can. Keep chin slightly tucked in. Breathe out as you come up and try to keep the belly button toned down – do not rise as you crunch up.
Advance it: Keep the legs up in the air and aim to reach your toes
Perform: 10-15-20 rep