Don’t get me wrong. Having a baby is one of the greatest, if not *the* greatest, miracles humanly possible.
But one of the major consequences of having a baby is the abuse to your abs and core! Not only are your muscles stretched out, but your strength seems to have completely disappeared as well. Pregnancy will take a toll on your back muscles, create instability in the hips, and weaken your ability to engage in core activities (especially exercises that involve the transverse abdominis).
Ways to Strengthen Your Core After Pregnancy
An obvious sign of a weakened core is a back that aches after doing simple chores around the house or even a few minutes of nursing. And don’t expect to be able to keep up with your gym friends as they perform core exercises in your workout class.
Another common pregnancy issue is diastasis recti, in which the connective tissue between the abdominal muscles thins and the muscles separate. (If you’ve experienced this condition, it would be wise to seek help from a physician or physical therapist prior to starting a workout program.)
Despite all these obstacles, you can get your abs back after having a baby! While you should forget the idea of spot reducing and instead aim to strengthen your entire body and eat a balanced diet, there are some ways to get your abs back and build a stronger core to aid your recovery!
- When focusing on getting your abs back, it’s crucial to think of your entire core musculature and add in exercises that work the whole trunk.
- Learning how to belly breathe and brace your abdominals as well as perform pelvic tilts should be a foundation for any postpartum mom. These are typically safe to be done on a daily basis.
- Once you’ve mastered the foundational movements suggested above, you can include plank variations, especially the side plank and stability ball forearm plank. Other comprehensive core-building exercises include boat poses, hollow rocks, reverse crunches and bicycle crunches. Focus on proper form first and gradually build the time/sets/reps to maximize strength and stability gains.
- Finally, as you build a solid base of core strength, you can start adding in weights to help get your abs back and boost your metabolism.
Slowly but surely, I promise that you can get your abs back after having a baby. I can relate to the frustration and fear that your stomach will never look like it did pre-baby. But with patience and some hard work, you can build an exceptional midsection that will not only impress yourself one day but also that precious child you delivered.