Have you recently given birth and are you worried about how your abdomen looks? Do you have doubts about the best exercises you can do to get back to looking like the one you had at the starting point of your pregnancy?
Core work is essential in the postpartum period , since a well-focused work will help you restore the strength of those muscles so affected after having your baby. But you must be careful since in this period not everything goes.
Why is core work necessary after pregnancy?
After childbirth, most women have back pain. These types of ailments generally have their origin in the lack of muscular tone of the rectus abdominis that creates more tension in the back to compensate for the lack of work that the core muscles must do.
When we talk about core we are referring not only to the abdominal part, but to all the muscles that act as a girdle in our body, trying to keep the spine aligned correctly. The core includes the muscles of the abdomen, lumbo-pelvic muscles and gluteal muscles.
It is important to be clear about this since we mistakenly think that to gain strength in the core of the body we must only work with shrinkage. Serious mistake, since this type of labor in the later phase of childbirth is not recommended as it can cause more problems than benefits.
6 exercises to strengthen the core after pregnancy
1. Belly breaths
This exercise seeks to make your stomach expand and contract as much as possible so that taking advantage of the inhalation and exhalation we strengthen the abdominal muscles.
- Lie on a mat on your back.
- The legs are bent so that the sole of the foot is in contact with the surface of the ground.
- The arms are at the waist.
- Inhale deeply as you expand your abdomen.
- Exhale fully until you contract your abs as much as possible.
2. Abdominal Contraction or Bracing
It is an exercise very similar to the one mentioned above, only that it includes more isometric tension so it presents a higher level of resistance in all the core muscles.
- Start lying on your back.
- Squeeze your entire abdomen through a voluntary contraction.
- Raise your legs to a ninety degree position.
- Place your palms on your knees, keeping your arms semi-flexed.
- Try to contract your legs by pushing into the chest position.
- Hold the tension with your arms while squeezing your abdomen.
3. Pelvic tilts
Pelvic tilts are an exercise primarily aimed at controlling the hip and pelvic floor. Focusing the work in a correct way will make the core muscles work in a demanding way.
- Lie down on a mat.
- The legs are supported by the soles of the feet and flexed in the same way as if you were doing abdominal crunches.
- Bring your hands to your waist.
- Try performing a pelvic retroversion to squeeze your glutes and pelvis against the floor.
- Go back to the starting position.
4. Yoga boat pose
It is quite a challenging exercise for the entire abdominal area, specifically for the middle rectus abdominis area, although it also works the muscles of the lower back.
- Sitting down, bring your legs and knees together.
- Stretch your legs vertically, while slightly leaning your trunk back.
- Stay in a V-shape with your torso and legs.
- Extend your arms fully extended towards the horizontal of the floor, next to the knees.
- Hold the tension.
It is an exercise that works in an isometric way all the muscles of your body, but especially the part of the abdomen and lumbar. To run it:
- Stand with your elbows on the ground.
- Legs outstretched.
- Contract and activate the abdominal muscles, keeping the spine in its neutral position.
- Hold the position for a few seconds.
6. Side plank
It is a fairly demanding exercise for the lateral muscles of the body, that is, the oblique muscles.
- Lie on your side.
- Support your forearm and stretch your legs, staying horizontal with the floor.
- Place your opposite hand on the waist.
- Hold the tension with your eyes straight ahead.
If you are worried about your abdomen and want to regain your silhouette after giving birth, you just have to start training carefully, doing the exercises that do not create discomfort and avoiding heavy weight at the beginning. You must be patient as it is not a simple job, you should ask your doctor and your monitor for an opinion so that he or she can plan a training that is tailored to your physical condition and characteristics.
- Weir, Jen. 6 Exercises For Rebuilding Your Core After Pregnancy. For Breakingmuscle. ⌊Revised January 2017⌋.