After you’ve had a baby, I know you’re just dying to get your abs back, but before you jump back into doing 100’s of crunches and holding planks forever – be sure you read why you must AVOID crunches right after baby here.
Crunches too soon after baby could actually cause more harm then good, so here are 3 exercises that can help turn your deep core back on, plus the Hip Rolls will feel amazing on your low back! Do all 3 exercises very slow, this will help you focus on reconnection your abdominals and doing the exercises correctly. They may seem simple but if you move to quickly through them you may not feel your deep core engaging and if you progress to more advanced exercises before your middle is ready you risk creating more separation.
So what are you waiting for!? Do these 3 exercises; 3 to 5 sets everyday if you like – it’s a great way to remind your abs to fire all day long! If you have a good amount of abdominal separation (aka Diastasis Recti) stick with just the Hip Rolls to start with and gradually add in the other two exercises once you are able to start feeling your deep core muscles connecting.
*Always be sure your physician has cleared you to exercise before beginning any exercise programs*
Hip Rolls: 10 reps
1. Lye flat on your back, knees bent, and feet hip-width apart.
2. Slowly articulate, one vertebrae at a time as your roll your hips up. Pause at the top then slowly articulate rolling your back down. Think ribcage first.
· Do a kegel
· Scoop your lower belly in and up, the up part being the key
· Squeeze your butt and add 10 pulses at the top for some extra booty lifting!
Single Leg Drops: 10 reps then switch legs
1. Lye flat on your back, start with knees bent and one foot flat on the floor (to give your back more support if needed) then progress to table top legs as shown.
2. Inhale as you slowly lower your right leg down as low as you can maintain your abdominal connection.
3. Exhale to pull your right leg back to table top.
· Do a kegel
· Scoop your lower belly in and up, especially as you lower your leg.
· Relax your shoulders
· Draw your ribcage down and together – this will help you activate your upper abs too!
Roll Backs: 10 reps
1. Sitting tall, knees bent and feet flat out in front of you.
2. Exhale as you draw your ribcage down, tuck your pelvis and scoop your belly in as you roll back slightly. Only roll as far back as you can connect your abs.
3. Inhale as you sit back up tall, stacking your spine and using your abdominals to help you get there!
Practicing these key abdominal movements can help strengthen your core safely and effectively. Be sure to check out the Knocked-Up Fitness and Wellness Pregnancy and Beyond Baby Programs for more prenatal and postpartum exercises, workouts and tips!