You don't need fancy gym equipment to tone up after pregnancy. Follow along with certified personal trainer Jessica Smith's 10-minute ab workout in your living room for maximum results, with a minimal time commitment. What to Expect: Warm up your abs with a move called the "dead bug" (the results are more appealing than the name, we swear), then progress to different variations of a traditional crunch, coupled with some no-fail planks. Start with one circuit, then add another (and another) once you become stronger. Ready? Grab your mat, and let's go.
Ready to start working out again after pregnancy? Follow along with certified personal trainer Jessica Smith as she takes you through an insanely effective 10-minute circuit workout. What to Expect: You'll warm up with modified pushups, then incorporate some standing full-body combo moves that make use of bicep curls, and other arm-sculpting moves—all while activating your core! Do one circuit to start, and build up to three as you get stronger. All you need are dumbbells and a mat.
When you're pregnant, the payoffs for developing strong abdominal and pelvic-floor muscles are plentiful. “These muscles are a pregnant woman’s best friend,” says Julie Tupler, R.N., creator of Diastasis Rehab in New York City and author of Maternal Fitness: Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy, an Easier Labor, and a Quick Recovery (Fireside).
Gaining weight while expecting was the easy part. Now that your baby has arrived—and you’ve finally gotten used to the endless diaper changes and lack of sleep—it’s time to tackle the remaining baby weight. If you’re not sure how to begin, here are seven steps and four of the most effective abdominal moves for working your way back to your prepregnancy body.
What Causes It?
The skin stretches with your expanding belly but may not shrink back to its prepregnancy state, explains OB-GYN Sean Daneshmand, M.D., a maternal-fetal specialist at San Diego Perinatal Center. Excessive weight gain can make it worse, as can a twin-or-more pregnancy; previous pregnancies and sun damage can contribute as well.
I guess it’s no small coincidence that I’ve chosen the day after our nation’s biggest food holiday to size up my post-baby body. And let me tell you: It’s not pretty.
The photo you see here is where I’m starting from. Five weeks ago, my belly was in the stratosphere. I wish I were brave enough to post a photo of what it looks like now. Because there really are no words.