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Post-baby abs | flat tummy 101

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For a long time after my 3rd pregnancy and natural birth, my back just didn't feel the same. Often I felt pain running down my legs if I picked up my baby the wrong way. It wasn't until I started strengthening my core and stretching that relief from chronic back pain was relieved.  Here are some of my favorites because you can ease into them at your own pace and do at home without a pricey gym membership.

The Side Crunch

You can definitely make this core strengthening move more challenging as you progress. The side crunch will test your balance while it tones your oblique muscles. You may even feel your hips being included in this exercise.

Do it:

    • Kneel on the floor and lean all the way over to your right side, placing your right palm on the floor.

 

    • Keeping your weight balanced, slowly extend your left leg and point your toes.

 

    • Place your left hand behind your head, pointing your elbow toward the ceiling.

 

    • Next, slowly lift your leg to hip height as you extend your arm above your leg, with your palm facing forward.

 

    • Look out over your hand while bringing the left side of your rib cage toward your hip.

 

    • Lower to your starting position and repeat 6 to 8 times.

 

  • Do two sets of 6 to 8 reps, and then switch sides.

 

Abdominal Hold

Who knew something as simple as a chair could change the way you look and feel. This simple hold is truly an ab game-changer!

Do it:

    • Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair (or step with four risers) and place your hands on the edge with your fingers pointing toward your knees.

 

    • Tighten your abs and bring your toes 2 to 4 inches off the floor. Lift your butt off the chair.

 

    • Hold this position for as long as you can — aim for 5 to 10 seconds.

 

    • Lower yourself down and repeat.

 

  • Continue this exercise for 1 minute.

The Cobra

I love doing a stretch exercise to end the rotation and after doing a series of  crunches and side planks, switching things up into cobra pose is a welcome change. 

Do it:

  • Lie facedown on the floor with your palms near your chest.
  • Lift your head, shoulders, and chest off the floor, pulling your shoulder blades down and together.
  • Hold for 2 counts and then lower back down. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
  • For a more difficult exercise, try lifting your thighs and hips off the floor.

As a reminder- always check in with your personal physician before starting any new workouts. I know from my own pregnancies and forth trimester, we heal differently and need to approach fourth trimester fitness and lifelong exercise at our own pace.  xx