Get Your Abs Back
5 great moves to help you firm up, plus tips on postnatal weight loss, sex and eating well
With your doctor’s approval, you can do the following three exercises the day after you give birth. Try to do them every day, either one a day or all together.
1. Belly Breathing With Pelvic Tilt
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on floor. Place your hands on your belly, fingers spread. Inhale, expanding your belly into your hands; then exhale, pulling your navel in toward your spine. As you exhale, tilt the lower part of your pelvis upward, lifting your buttocks slightly off the floor. Relax and repeat. Begin with 5 reps and progress to 15.
2. Ab Slide
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms out by your sides, holding them slightly off the floor. Inhale; then exhale, pulling your navel toward your spine. At the same time, squeeze your shoulder blades down and back, reaching toward your feet with your hands. Hold and repeat. Begin with 5 reps and progress to 15.
3. Basic Bridge
Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms relaxed by your sides. Contract your abdominals; then lift hips up off the floor until your body forms one straight line. Hold for 3–5 breaths. Repeat 4–6 times.
3 Pound-Shedding Tips
Eat in the a.m. A Swedish study found that women who ate breakfast and lunch were more likely to return to their prepregnancy weight than those who did not.
Think small. You don’t have to work out every day or slash thousands of calories to see results. In a study of overweight moms who were breastfeeding, researchers found that those who exercised aerobically four days a week and decreased calorie intake by 500 calories a day each shed more than 10 pounds in 10 weeks.
Get muscular. Lifting weights revs your metabolism. Buy some dumbbells and lift them twice a week.
Get On The Ball For Perfect Posture
Want great abs? Start with your posture: Standing, sitting and bending all require the support of your abdominal muscles. Wake up those lax postpartum abs by concentrating on pulling your navel in toward your spine; eventually, you’ll be able to hold the muscles in all the time. To learn how, try sitting on a stability ball, which forces the muscles to work harder to maintain control and balance. Once you’ve mastered sitting on the ball, you’ll feel it when your abs are working. — Linda Shelton
5 Great Ab Moves