GET BACK IN SHAPE AFTER PREGNANCY
Nine months of pregnancy stretch your tummy quite a bit and lots of moms are anxious if they will ever get back into pre-baby shape. Don’t worry, that squishy blob is going to turn into a flat tummy again. You can start with these exercises 1-2 weeks after normal birth and 4-8 weeks after a c-section. Ask your doctor if you had any complications during delivery or if you have any health problems.
Even if you have been lifting throughout the pregnancy like I did, your abdomen muscles have been abused beyond recognition. I remember that my core was flat again after two weeks but as soon as I would eat or drink something, it would raise back to a 6 months pregnancy level. It’s only after approximately two years that my skin got back to normal. So just give it a little time and be patient with your body.
It is obvious that we should train the midsection to get back in shape. But what no one told me is that I should also train my internal muscles before getting busy with heavy lifting. The Kegel exercises can help you prevent or control urinary incontinence that my occur post delivery. I couldn’t jump the rope after birth for example but with the Kegel exercises I strengthened the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum.
HOW TO DO KEGEL EXERCISES:
1. You can find the right muscles by stop urinating when you are in the bathroom.
2. Lie on a yoga mat and put a pillow under your butt and one between your knees.
3. Squeeze the Kegel muscles for 3 seconds, then release.
4. Add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze your Kegel muscles for 10 seconds each time.
5. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times 3 times a day.
6. Don’t do Kegel exercises when you urinate. Do them when you are driving your bicycle or car, are in the bus or have to wait somewhere.
Hold the tension for 3-10 seconds for 10-15 times, repeat 3 times a day
Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and press into your heels to raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause, then slowly lower back to the starting position while breathing in.
3 sets 15 repetitions
Stretch with Towel
Lie on your back with your knees above your hips and your shins parallel to the floor. Place a small towel on top of your thighs, hold on the ends and push against your thighs to create resistance. Lift your head and shoulders from the floor, your back is flat while your core muscles are engaged. Hold the stretch for a couple of seconds before you switch legs. If it is too difficult for you, put your stretched leg’s foot down on the floor.
3 sets 8 repetitions left and right side
Crunches with Towel
Lie on your back, knees bent. Place a towel across your upper shins and grasp each end. Pull the ends of the towel and squeeze the thighs together. Inhale, then exhale as you draw your abs in and lift your shoulders off the floor in a crunch movement. Hold for a couple of seconds while supporting with your arms.
3 sets 15 repetitions