Whether you’ve recently had a c-section or are 5+ years postpartum, you may be looking to strengthen your deep core and abs. I have 5 ab exercises that are perfect for after a c-section, no matter how long it’s been. If you’re tired of numbness in your lower abdomen or are just looking to wake up the pelvic floor, strengthening the deep core is key. Here are 5 moves to try!
Ab Exercises After a C-Section
Move 1: Pelvic Tilt
Pelvic tilts are a great way to start waking up the pelvic floor. When I do pelvic tilts, I put my hand on my lower belly to help with the mind-body connection. When you’re doing this move, it’s not just about rocking your pelvis back and forth, but about using your breath to be able to stimulate the pelvic floor and lower belly activation.
Move 2: Hip Roll
Once you’ve practiced the pelvic tilt (see a video below for a more in-depth how-to) you can move on to a hip roll. A pelvic tilt is the first move of a hip roll. But, if you find you can’t move very far, do not worry! Start where you are today and slowly progress forward. When your hips are elevated in a hip roll, it’s so good for the pelvic floor because those muscles get a little break.
Move 3: Mermaid Stretch
All of my clients from pregnant mama’s to newly postpartum to years postpartum love the mermaid stretch because it feels so good on their hips. When you have a scar post-c-section, the tightness of the scar can cause tightness in surrounding areas. This is due in part to the lack of mobility that occurs shortly after a c-section as you’re body is trying to heal.
Mermaids are great because they help to open up the front of the hips as well as help you wake up the deep core muscles. You might not feel the strengthening right away, but trust in your body and the connections you’re making.
Move 4: Swan Press
This move is a little more technical, and I highly advise you to watch my example before trying it on your own! Swan presses are great for after any birth because pregnancy can shift your posture forward, and postpartum we need to pull in the lower back – this means it’s really important to strengthen the lower back.
When you’re performing a swan press move the key is to keep the range of motion really small. You want to relax your head and focus on drawing your shoulder blades together. Back extensions help post-c-section because it activates the deep core. When we get tension out of the lower back, we’re actually helping to strengthen the abdomen and pelvic floor, which are all part of the deep core.
Move 5: Arch and Rounds
This move is similar to a cat cow move, with some elements of child’s pose. I like to do this move after a swan press, to go from extending the back to rounding it. It’s a great exercise to finish out some ab moves because it helps lengthen and activate the pelvic floor.
Arch and rounds are all about reaching out long and feeling the spreading between the sits bones. I really want you to focus on activating and releasing the pelvic floor in this move.
All four of these are great ab exercises after a c-section. Whether you’re 6 weeks postpartum or 20 years, doing these moves on the regular are incredible for your pelvic floor.
More Pelvic Floor Help
If you’re looking for a deep dive into strengthening your entire body, starting with your core, I recommend my Core Rehab program. I walk you through move by move and really help you learn how to wake up that deep core in in-depth videos and coaching calls. It may be exactly what you need for your postpartum healing journey.