As a new mom, you know how difficult it is to get back into the shape you were before your baby. You’ve gone through the pregnancy and delivery and are now wondering how you can get rid of the paunch you have leftover from those long months of carrying your child. It’s likely you’re incredibly busy, exhausted, and feeling discouraged about accomplishing the goal of improving your abdominal muscles, but it’s certainly possible! There are hundreds, probably thousands, of resources online. I’ll give you a list of simple exercises that are proven to help you improve your core strength, which is the vital first step to dropping the weight and toning your body!
- Pelvic Tilt
This exercise is fairly basic and referenced on various lists about getting back into shape after a pregnancy. Just lay flat on the floor with your feet hip-width apart and straighten your arms out at your sides. Align your spine with the floor and make sure it’s straight, then inhale and exhale as you raise your hips up off the ground. Tilt your pelvis and squeeze your abs, then hold for a couple breaths before lowering back to the ground. Do 10 reps.
There are nearly endless variations on the plank, but the two classic ones you should use are the ball plank and a side plank. For the ball plank, assume a typical plank position, but rest your arms on top of an exercise ball. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds, repeat 5 times. For the side plank, lay on your side and place your forearm underneath your shoulder to support your body. Straighten the rest of your body, stack your feet, and stabilize your core. Hold for at least 30 seconds and then switch to the other side. You can add leg lifts if you feel comfortable.
- Plank Vinyasa
This exercise is a yoga pose which puts an interesting twist on the typical plank. Get into the normal plank position, lowering onto your forearms if necessary. Once your body is straight, inhale, then exhale as you pull a leg into your chest area while contracting your abdominal muscles. Return to typical plank position and then switch legs. Alternate for 10 to 20 reps, whatever you feel most comfortable doing.
- Alternating Twist
To do this exercise, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Interlace your fingers behind your head, but make sure not to strain your neck. Inhale, and as you exhale contract your abs and lift your head off of the floor. Move your right elbow toward your left knee as you pull your knee toward you. Hold for a couple of breaths, then return to your starting position. Do the same on the opposite side and continue alternating knees until you reach a rep of 10.