Finally, after being pregnant for over nine months, your baby angel has come to the real world. The hard part is over now, but the big fatty belly seems to be a nightmare that you cannot say bye in minutes. About two-thirds of women have a postpartum condition known as diastasis recti. Diastasis recti occur when the vertical gap between your right and left abdominal muscles widens causing you to have a rounded belly pooch. The abdominal muscles and tissue get so stretched out too much during pregnancy, so they don’t go back to their regular shape. It’s time to get back to your nice and firm abs with only 5 simple exercises. However, always remember to work closely with your doctor to make sure everything is safe and determine a proper exercise plan for you.
The floor bridge is a simple, yet very effective exercise for working the core, glutes, and hamstrings. Bridge pose focuses on balancing and strengthening the muscles in your legs, hips, and lower back while opening the shoulders and heart. This gentle backbend will open up your chest, helping to keep your spine flexible.
START: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor—hip-width apart and directly under your knees. Keep your arms straight along the sides of your body, and shuffle your shoulder blades slightly underneath the body.
FINISH: Press the palms of your hands into the floor and engage your quadriceps and stomach muscles. Draw-in your navel and contract your glutes. Slowly lift your hips and spine, and continue to draw your shoulders under your body, possibly even interlacing your hands below your hips. Hold for 30 seconds, and then slowly release, starting to lower from the shoulders until your back and hips are flat on the floor.
The plank is one of the best core conditioning for a good reason it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, as well as works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance. Go to develop your abs and increase its overall core power, which does not only make you look nice on the beach but also prevent you from the lower back pain.
START: Begin on your hands and knees. Align your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Lower your elbows to the floor directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your forearms parallel to each other and to the side edges of your mat.
FINISH: Tuck your toes and step back with your feet, bringing your body and head into one straight line. Align your heels over your toes. Keep your thighs lifted and take care not to let your hips sink too low. If your butt sticks up in the air, realign your body so your shoulders are directly above your elbows. Contract your abdominals and draw your pelvic floor muscles toward your spine. Keep your head in line with your spine. Hold for 30 seconds, and then slowly release.
Boat Pose is a challenging position that forces you to pull in your lower abdominals to keep your legs lifted. Don’t worry if your legs aren’t perfectly straight! Just extend your legs as long as you can and do your best to let your hip flexors relax to keep the focus on the abs.
START: Sit on the floor with legs bent and toes resting on the floor. Grip your hands behind your thighs, close to your knees and hug the thighs into the hips whilst lifting the chest forward and up. Lean back a little to balance on your sit bones and keep this length in the torso throughout the pose.
FINISH: Exhale and lift your feet off the floor, so that the thighs are at right angle to the floor and your shins up to parallel to the floor. Press your belly gently towards the spine. Hold here for 5 breaths, or for a stronger action straighten both legs and if you can maintain a straight back extend the arms parallel to the floor. Keep the shoulders hugging back into their sockets.
Side Plank works your core to a huge extent. You have to really use your belly muscles to stay upright, so you’ll definitely be feeling the core work the day after. Side Plank also requires you to balance on one arm, so this is a great pose for strengthening your shoulders, wrists, and arms.
START: Begin on your hands and knees. Align your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Lower your elbows to the floor directly beneath your shoulders. Turn onto your right side with your legs extended and your feet and hips resting on the ground and stacked on top of each other.
FINISH: Place your right elbow directly under your shoulder to prop up your torso, and align your head with your spine. Gently contract your core and lift your hips and knees off the floor; this strengthens your sides and deep ab muscles. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, gradually working up to a minute, and return to the starting position. Roll onto the other side and repeat.
Crunch exercise is a simple, space-saving, and effective workout that can be done anywhere. If you incorporate this exercise into your other fitness-maintaining activities, it will give you tons of benefits such as toning and strengthening your abdominal muscles, as well as stabilize your core. Another advantage is that it will give you less stress than other challenging abdominal exercises.
START: Lie on the floor on your back with knees bent. Then cross your arms over your chest or place them in under your head. Straighten your lower back against the floor and pull your belly button towards your spine.
FINISH: Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your shoulders about 2 to 3 inches off the floor. Exhale as you work your way up keeping your neck straight, chin up. Hold in this position for a few seconds while breathing continuously. Slowly lower back down to the starting position keeping your core contracted and not relaxed. Repeat the steps between 15-20 times keeping the perfect form on each repetition. If you want a challenge, you can add variations by bringing your knees in as you lift your upper body off the floor.