Would you LOVE to get back in shape again after your delivery? But don't feel like doing crunches till you die? I hear ya...
I felt exactly the same way after delivery of my baby....when I got into a bit of a routine after a couple of weeks, I was ready to tackle my saggy belly. But I wasn't ready to go full beast mode.
First off: Check with your physician first if you want to workout again.
Whether you can exercise safely again, depends on your own circumstances. A postpartum workout is a great way to snap your abdomen back into shape and to recover more easily. But you really need to ask your doctor first.
Also, listen to your body and don't push yourself too hard. Your abdominal muscles are quite stretched and need some time to shrink again. Short sessions that you build up gradually are your best option.
Say what? Yep, you need to check for Diastasis Recti (Rec).
This is a condition where the connective tissue between your abdominal muscles has become thinner. This results in your muscles to separate, which is very common among pregnant women. Here's how to check (also watch the video):
Besides training your abs you should also train your pelvic floor muscles. With those exercises, you can avoid a prolapse of the uterus and incontinence. Pelvic exercises will also prep your abs for harder work.
Here is a very gentle workout to start strengthening those muscles:
Any of these 15 moves will give you toned and flat abs again in no time, so here we GO:
Belly breathing strengthens your diaphragm and belly area, and is a great way to relax and at the same time prep your abs for more core work. Watch this video for a great explanation:
This position is a great core strengthening exercise. Here is a good postnatal yoga routine which leads up to the yoga boat (around 1:30):
To make sure you do not go too hard right away, here's a video by Homeveda to demonstrate the different levels in which you can execute this exercise:
Toning your hips also strengthens your waist and abs. Learn to move those hips so you can shed those tummy fats! The Hip hover is one of the easiest hip exercises, and is specifically adjusted for post-partum mamas in this video:
When you feel ready for a bit more dynamic move, a burpee can tackle weight loss, belly fat and loose abs all at once. Start with 1 or 2, and increase this slowly to 20. All you need to do is:
Here's a great example by lovely Florina, how to a burpee AND enjoy a post-pregnancy workout with your baby right there:
Planking deserves a spot in this list, as it is a fairly simple exercise to do with maximum effect. Just make sure you focus, breathe and maintain form. As soon as you feel yourself slipping out of form, stop. Next time you will be able to hold your plank longer, I promise!
This video shows some great adjusted planking exercises to slowly work back to full planking, without any risk of injury:
Another variation of planking that helps your abs back into shape, in a healthy and controlled way. If you're not quite ready for a full side plank, you can learn an adjusted version here, as well as the somplete move (around 1:15)
Swimming is known to help shed body fat because it requires full body movements. Because of the natural resistance of water and the buoyancy of your body, the chances of hurting yourself or going too hard are small. So get on that swimsuit and head on over to the swimming pool and practice some of your moves!
Try this fun, easy-to-follow swimming pool ab workout:
Though you might know this exercise for strengthening your glutes, it is actually a good exercise for your core as well. As long as you move slowly and controlled, and engage your abs, it is very effective! Here you can see how to execute it properly:
Because it might be hard to find baby-free time to exercise, I had to include this great baby-mommy workout! Watch the video one time through, so you know what to expect and won't fumble:
Remember, don't push yourself too hard. Rather, keep a consistency in slowly building up your core strength. In this matter, your abs will tone up before you know it, safe and effective!