HealthFitnessPostpartum Fitness: 10 Exercises To Strengthen & Tone Your Abdomen

Postpartum Fitness: 10 Exercises To Strengthen & Tone Your Abdomen

Being a new mom comes with a lot of perks but is bound to have its own challenges. While it is completely natural to gain weight during this period; it is also a common myth that shedding it is difficult. With the right exercises and a healthy diet, you can lose pregnancy weight! Working out after delivery has other benefits too like reducing the risk of postpartum depression and regaining your confidence. Don’t forget to check in with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen as each pregnancy is different and requires a unique approach. Also, try some natural remedies to ease the post-pregnancy phase, here’s a guide to help you.

10 Best Post-Natal Exercises For Your Core

The primary goal after delivery is to get moving and regain your core strength. These exercises mentioned below are a must-add to your workout routine for maximum gain. 

1. Walking 

Walking is one of the easiest and most effective workouts one can do after pregnancy. This is a low-intensity cardio workout that strengthens the entire body. Start with 15 minutes of walking daily and gradually increase your time. You can walk at a leisurely pace and even take your baby along in a stroller. The best times to walk are either in the morning or evening to get some Vitamin D. Also, you can walk after a meal for better digestion too.

2. Kegels 

Kegels or pelvic exercises are recommended in addition to postnatal care. These exercises strengthen the abs and tone the belly area. Pelvic muscle exercises heal the pelvic muscles, help bladder control, and support loose ligaments after childbirth.

How To Do It:

  1. Start with an empty bladder and tighten the pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds.
  2. Attempt to do 10 to 20 repetitions on the first day.
  3. Work up to 10 seconds at a time.
  4. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps daily.

3. Deep Breathing (Pranayama)

This exercise is so easy, one can do it anytime. It helps in the deep relaxation of muscles and tones your stomach. There are many variations possible in this exercise, but one should start with a simple version and work their way up.

How To Do It:

  1. Sit upright and breathe deeply, drawing air from the diaphragm upward.
  2. Contract and hold your stomach tight while inhaling and relax while exhaling. 
  3. Gradually increase the amount of time you can contract and hold your breath. 

4. Planks 

While planks are considered a core strengthening exercise it is also a useful tool for losing excess fat from the belly region. You can build your endurance slowly by starting at 15 seconds and gradually increasing it to about 1 minute. 

How To Do It:

  1. Start with your arms straight towards the floor and your legs outstretched. 
  2. Lift and hold your body as straight as possible on your elbows.
  3. Hold this position for 15-60 seconds then rest.
  4. Perform this hold 3 times in total.

5. Glute Bridges

An easy home workout for reducing postpartum weight includes bridges that target the glutes and lower back muscles to keep them strong.

How To Do It:

  1. Lie on the ground with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, and hands by your sides.
  2. Slowly lift your glutes off the ground until your body is in one straight line. Keep your feet and shoulders on the floor.
  3. Lower down to the starting position. Rest for 1 minute.
  4. Repeat 15 times for 3 sets.

6. Side Planks

There are many variations to the side plank that can help in losing the belly and can target love handles. Begin with a simple side plank and advance to different variations as you progress. 

How To Do It:

  1. Begin with lying on your side with the elbow under the shoulder, and feet and knees straight.
  2. Lift your hips up into a side plank, stretching your free arm towards the ceiling.
  3. Then bring the free arm down and thread it through the space underneath the body while you rotate the shoulder and hips to the floor.
  4. Repeat 10-12 times on each side.

7. Flutter Kicks

Flutter kick is an exercise that works the muscles of your core, specifically the lower abdominal muscles.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie down on your back with both hands underneath your buttocks.
  2. Keep your lower back on the ground as you lift both legs up, at a 45-degree angle, keeping your core engaged the entire time.
  3. Criss-cross your legs over one another, and keep your legs off the ground the entire time.
  4. Repeat this motion for up to 30 seconds.

8. Wall Sit

This workout is so simple and only requires a wall. It is one of the most effective full-body exercises that has a large impact on your health and tones the entire body. 

How to Do It:

  1. Slide your back down a wall until your hips are at the same level as your knees and your knees are together at 90-degree angles.
  2. Maintain the position for 30 to 60 seconds, then release.

9. Reverse Crunches

Strong abdominal muscles play a crucial role in supporting the spine. Core strengthening exercises will directly tone the stomach and can help prevent injury and pain.

How To Do It:

  1. Lie on the floor and bend the knees and hold them horizontally to the floor and hands supporting the head.
  2. Gently raise the head and shoulders 2 inches off the ground while keeping the neck in line with the spine and hold the position before returning to the starting position.
  3. Repeat the exercise 20 times for 3 sets.

10. Cat-Cow Pose

This exercise will help you cool down after performing the above exercises and help prevent any injuries to your body. It’s important to properly cool down after any workout and this exercise will help in stretching all the core muscles. 

How To Do It:

  1. Position yourself on a mat with your hands and knees on the floor.
  2. Lift your head up while inhaling slowly. At the same time, arch your back in a concave shape.
  3. Exhale slowly, contract your abs, bring your head down, and round your back.
  4. Perform one set of 15 reps.

Tips And Takeaways

  • It is very important to maintain a healthy and nutritional diet both for you and the baby
  • Always stretch and warm up before and after your workout to avoid soreness
  • If possible, breastfeeding your baby will help in burning calories
  • It is crucial to rest frequently and not overwork yourself
  • In case of any pain or discomfort, immediately consult a doctor
  • Keep yourself hydrated at all times

Despite a busy schedule, it is necessary to take care of your health as much as of the baby. By finding time to exercise, new mothers can use it as a self-care tool and keep themselves fit. Don’t worry if it takes time to reduce belly fat, as each body is unique and requires its own time. Try yoga to address belly fat and know how to use each asana effectively here. Be patient, eat healthily and exercise regularly for definite results. 

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