Whether your birth experience including a C-section or not, it is going to take some time and attention to get your abdominal muscles re-engaged after nine months of pregnancy and giving birth. Are you having trouble finding the right balance of strength training and allowing your body time and space to heal? Here are some tips to strengthening your postpartum abs while allowing your body adequate time to heal:
After birth, wait at least six weeks before beginning strength training exercises. After your six-week postpartum visit and you receive clearance from your doctor or midwife, you can begin to slowly re-engage an exercise routine. This exercise routine should include some targeted exercises to strengthen your abs, which have been through a lot over through the course of pregnancy and birth. In the rush to get rid of that mommy pooch, remember to listen to your body and allow yourself time and space to rest as you heal as well.
As you start to work on re-engaging your abdominal muscles, you may only be able to lift your head and shoulders slightly off the ground. This is a great starting point. Try to do fifteen repetitions of this exercise. If you aren’t feeling any tugs or pulling after trying lifting your shoulders and head off the ground, try a crunch or curl up. If that feels good after fifteen repetitions, then add try a sit up bring your torso all the way up to your bent knees.
It may seem that once you have the crunches or situps down and you start seeing results that you have settled on a postpartum ab routine, but don’t forget to make sure you are strengthening the other muscles that pregnancy took a toll on. Including exercises like the pelvic tilt and heel slides slides in order to workout your lower back and pelvic muscles. Your entire core has been stretched and changed, so strengthening all of the muscles in your core is important if you are trying to rebuild your abdominal muscles.
Trying to help your body get back to normal after pregnancy is a tough job, especially while caring for your new baby, so don’t give up! If you encounter pain as you begin to target your abs, remember you can always contact a physical therapist to make sure you are re-engaging your abs and core in a healthy way.
Keep working and sooner than you think you’ll have those post-baby abs back in shape.