Mommy Tummy Workout – 10 Safe Moves That Will Melt that Postpartum Belly

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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.

So When Can You Start Working out After Giving Birth?

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.

Very Important: Check for Rec!

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):

  • Lie on your back
  • Contract your abs
  • Gently feel with your fingers into your belly above and below your navel
  • If you feel a soft sport, or even gap, then you have Rec.
  • If this gap is wider than three fingers, contact a physical therapist

Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles After Birth

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:

10 Exercises to Flatten Your Stomach After Delivery

Any of these 15 moves will give you toned and flat abs again in no time, so here we GO:

1. Belly Breathing

  • Lie on your back
  • Put your hands on your belly
  • Breathe in slowly and deeply, expanding your stomach as much as possible
  • Breathe out slowly, contracting your bellly.
  • Repeat this 10 times - stop if you get dizzy or nauseous

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:

2. Yoga Boat

  • Sit on the floor, bend your knees up
  • Breathe in, focus on your abdomen
  • Breathe out, and lean back, lift your feet up and extend your arms forward for balance
  • Lower your back and lift your feet until your hips and abdomen for a ninety degree angle
  • Make sure to keep your neck and shoulders relaxed, and your back straight
  • Breathe slowly, hold position for 5 seconds, and build this up to 30 

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):

3. Scissor Kicks

  • Lie on your back, legs straight
  • Bring one knee towards you, while the other leg lifts off the floor
  • Straigthen that leg again, while you bring the other knee up

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:

4. Hip Exercises

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:

5. Burpees

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:

  • Squat
  • Kick your feet back while getting into a push-up
  • Return to squat
  • Stand upright
  • End with a jumping jack

Here's a great example by lovely Florina, how to a burpee AND enjoy a post-pregnancy workout with your baby right there: 

6. Planking

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:

7. Side Plank

  • Lie down on your side with your legs straight, prop yourself up on your elbow
  • Make sure your elbow is directly under your shoulder, and your elbow is in a straight line with your wrist
  • Focus on your core, breathe in 
  • Breathe out, lifting your hips so your body becomes a straight line
  • Breathe slowly, and hold for 5-30 seconds

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)

8. Swimming Abs Workout

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:

9. The Bridge

  • Lie on your back, lie your hands by your side, roll your shoulder blades back
  • lift your butt in two counts, and squeeze
  • Go back down in two counts
  • Breathe out when you come up, breathe in when you lie down
  • Repeat this 20 times

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:

10. The Ab Workout with Your Baby

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:

Move at your own pace, and get that flat belly in no time!

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!​

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