6 Core Exercises New Moms May Need After Pregnancy
If you want to get back your flat, pre-baby torso, don’t do crunches. Yes, it’s true that doctors recommend at least 150 minutes of exercise per week after delivery, but crunches may only emphasize your postpartum body. What you may want to do instead is focus on fighting the factors that made your core bigger so that you can go back to looking like your old self again. There are many exercises you can do at home that fit your new mommy schedule and we’d love to share some of them with you.
We at Bright Side have researched some of the most effective post-delivery exercises that can help you get back that perfect core.
1. Bridges will help bring your core muscles back together.
This movement helps to readjust your abdomen muscles and join them back together after being displaced during pregnancy to make room for your baby. The condition is called diastasis recti and you can fix it by practicing bridges consistently. It also helps to tighten your pelvic floor which is the muscle below your uterus that debilitates after carrying the weight of a fetus.
- Lie down on your back on a comfortable but firm surface. You can use a yoga mat.
- Keep your arms straight to your sides and bend your knees.
- Elevate your hips, keeping your back straight.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds and return to the starting pose.
- Do 3 sets of 10 bridges each.
2. Side planks will reduce a prominent belly.
Practicing side planks is a good way to recover the disposition of your core’s internal organs. Your uterus has grown fully to accommodate the baby and it will reduce its size naturally, but you can help to lock it back where it belongs by closing the gap between your core muscles faster.
- Lie down on your right side.
- Place your right elbow on the floor to serve as your support.
- Elevate your whole body with your back straight, leaving only your right elbow and knee touching the floor.
- Wait 5 seconds and return to the starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 10, resting on each side of your body.
3. Pelvic tilt in a sitting position will reduce the size of your abdomen and keep it fit.
This exercise is very easy to do and can help reduce the size of your belly by strengthening your core muscles which have been displaced and left flaccid because of your pregnancy. Plus, it gives you the chance to tighten your back muscles as well.
- Sit on a comfortable but firm surface with your legs crossed, placing your hands on your thighs.
- Leaving your back straight, make sure your lower back is touching the floor.
- Push your core upward and facing forward so that your coccyx elevates slightly off the floor.
- Repeat step 2.
- Do 50 repetitions.
4. Mountain climbers will help you achieve a flatter belly.
This movement demands enough effort to count as cardio activity. It will allow you to burn calories and reduce the amount of fat concentrated on your stomach area after delivery. Plus, the mountain climber exercise engages most of your muscles, helping you to tone them, including your core.
- Facing the floor, place your hands and the tips of your toes on the floor. They should support your whole body.
- Move your right knee forward, right below your chest.
- Return your leg to the starting position and this time, bring your left leg forward. Remember that only your hands and toes should be your support.
- Keep switching legs as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Rest for another 30 seconds.
- Repeat 15 times.
5. Squat punches are ideal for burning fat around your waist.
Squat punches are an easy and effective way to burn fat concentrated around your waist. Add a bit of weight by punching downward. The exercise engages your whole core and makes your heart run faster so that you burn more calories. Also, they demand your abs to be tightened, helping you tone them.
- Stand up straight with your legs separated and your feet pointing out.
- Bend your knees at 90°. Your hips should be parallel to the floor and your tummy should be tightened.
- Lower your back and give a good punch down, then toward the right and to the left. You can use weights if you want.
- Keep punching for 1 minute. Stop, stand up straight, and rest for 30 seconds.
- Repeat 10 times.
6. Sets of lunges and jumping jacks will help you to continue burning fat in your core.
The combination of lunges and jumping jacks force your core to work and engage your heart which will beat faster and burn extra weight around your belly that you put on during the 9 months of pregnancy.
- Stand up straight with your hands on your waist.
- Bring your right leg forward. Lower your whole body by bending both knees but be sure your left knee doesn’t touch the floor.
- Keep your back straight the whole time. Return to the starting point and immediately do the same thing after switching legs.
- After returning again to the first position, jump while opening your arms and legs as wide as you can.
- Repeat the set 30 times, resting when necessary.
What to expect
These exercises tackle the reasons behind your changed belly: the separation of abdominal muscles, fat accumulation in the tummy area, and the expansion of the uterus. This is an example of how your body can change after committing to exercise.
Do you practice any exercises that mothers in the Bright Side community would be grateful to know? Do you think that accepting your mommy body goes hand in hand with trying to take care of it as well? Leave your opinion below!