The core of the body is an area that carries out the main load during pregnancy. Limited physical activity and natural body changes make core muscles stretched and weakened in the postpartum period. As a result, new mothers often experience back pain, discomfort in pelvic area and wobbly mummy tummy.
However, exercises to strengthen your core muscles are crucial as they provide many benefits to the body after pregnancy:
- It strengthens your back muscles and so prevents pain in your lower back and improves your posture
- It strengthens your abdominal muscles and helps you get back into shape, get rid of mummy tummy and return your slimmer waistline
- It makes your body stronger, which is crucial as this area connects the upper and lower body, and furthermore, gives you balance and stability
Apart from the abdominal muscles, which come to mind first when talking about mummy tummy, it is important to engage the whole core area of the body as a full house of muscles of the lower spine, sacrum, waist, pelvis and even hips that contribute to the strength of the midsection of the body and therefore to a slimmer waistline.
However, you should consult your physician before beginning a new nutrition or yoga/fitness regimen, especially if you’ve just had a baby. Some workouts might be of contraindication to postnatal exercises for women with certain conditions.
These exercises from FitMama App cover the middle section of your body from the front, the sides and back. They are specially adapted for the postpartum body to provide you with a soft and safe way of exercising. To take an advantage of visual and audio instructions, rights and wrongs of exercises download the Lite version of the app. It also tracks your activity to make sure you don’t forget to train other parts of your body.
Step 1. Lie on your back and clasp your hands behind your head. Draw your knees up towards your body so that your shins and thighs make a right angle; keep your ankles and knees together and your shins parallel to the ceiling.
Step 2. Breathe out and press your lower back into the floor, keeping your legs in the same position.
If you’re doing this right, you’ll feel the workout in your lower abdomen. Repeat these movements 15 times.
Step 1. Stand up straight with your right side touching the wall, and legs shoulder-width apart. Lift your arms straight above your head.
Step 2. Now, breathe in and slowly lean to the left, stretching your upper body and keeping your head right in the middle of your outstretched arms. Your hip can rest against the wall. Stop when you feel the maximum stretch.
Breathe out slowly and bring your body and arms back to the starting position. In total we’ll do 3 sets of 15 stretches on each side.
Step 1. Lie on the floor, bend your arms and clasp your hands together to form a triangle with your arms . Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders.
Step 2. Tuck your toes under, press your forearms in to the floor and lift your thighs and abdomen.
Pull your belly button in towards your spine and breathe.
Stay in the position for 10 – 20 normal breaths and slowly release down.
Step 1. Sit on the floor, bend your knees and hold your thighs with your hands, behind your knees. Bring your thighs in towards your chest. Lean backwards and hold your thighs together.
Step 2. Pull your stomach muscles in and lift your shins up so that they’re parallel to the floor.
Breathe. Keep pulling in your stomach muscles and holding your thighs up. To maximise the effect, repeat this pose 3 times with a rest of 30 seconds between each attempt.
Step 1. Lie face down and stretch your body. Put a small rolled towel under your ribs to decrease the pressure on your breasts, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Put your arms by your sides.
Step 2. Breathe out and raise your arms as if they’re wings, with your palms facing upwards. Squeeze your shoulder-blades together, keep your arms tucked in and lift up your upper body.
Breathe out and return to the starting position. Repeat this lift 15 times.