Best exercises for postpartum belly

Best exercises for postpartum belly

First of all, well done! You've just done something absolutly incredible, brought a child into a world! Start with recognizing how remarkable that really is. Only another mum will understand this unique mix of pain and joy that comes with it. You've sacrificed a lot and now it's time to get some of it back. Great!
Before we are gonna talk about the excercises themselves we'd like to throw in a few words of introduction. It takes quite some time for your body to fully recover from the pregnancy. Don't be fooled by celebrity mums who'll show you their perfect bodies they got in no time soon after delivery.
While this comes as a surprise to many, it's completely normal to still look pregnant after giving birth. Your post-baby belly will still be rounder and squishier than you might like for a few weeks after giving birth. It's also important to understand that primary motivation behind the exercises should 
be muscle strengthening in the name of health.

Doing thousands of crunches to get back in shape is undoubtedly off-putting and frankly near impossible having just given birth. So, what are the options? Well, here are some of the best exercises for a postpartum belly.

1. Pelvic tilt

Pelvic tilts are quite simple to pull off. All you have to do is lie on your back with your knees bent, then tuck two pillows under you; one under your hips and the other between your legs. Place your feet flat on the floor with your arms stretched at your sides. In this position, inhale and exhale to draw your abs in as you pull your pelvis in and squeeze your butt muscles at the same time. Hold this position for about 5 seconds before releasing. Do this for 10 reps. 

Pelvic tilts are recommended only after the first week if you had a vaginal delivery. If you had a C-section, consider doing them only after at least 8-10 weeks. 

 Click on the picture to see the video 

 2. Heel slides

For heel slides, your starting position will be similar to pelvic tilts. To do them, you first have to draw your abs in before flexing your left heel into the floor. Draw your pelvis in and hold as you inhale and exhale, keeping your knees bent and using your abdominal muscles to push your heel away from your body. Do this for 5 reps then switch to the right heel. 

 

Click on the picture to see the video

3. Pelvic bridge

Get in position by lying on your back and placing your feet hip-width apart, with knees bent and arms at your side.  Inhale, then exhale, remembering to draw your abs up and in towards your spine as you do this. Gently tilt your pelvis up, gradually lifting your hips from the floor. Be sure to use your arms for support as you do this. Hold this position for about 3 seconds. Repeat for 10 reps. 

Click on the picture to see the video

4. Single stretch with band or towel

The starting position for this should be on your back with your knees above your hips. Make sure your shins are parallel to the floor. Place a small towel on the top part of your right thigh, hold the towel’s ends, and push against your thigh to create resistance. Make sure your left leg is slightly suspended off the ground and stretched out. As you do this, try to lift your shoulders, exhaling at the same time. Then start alternating your legs for ten reps. As this is a slightly more intense exercise, give yourself 12 to 14 weeks after birth before attempting it. 

Click on the picture to see the video

5. Wall sit

To wall sit, stand with your back against a wall. Slowly sit until your legs are at a 90-degree angle. Draw in your abs for the whole exercise. Repeat this motion 20 times. If it feels too easy, use a Pilates ball by placing it between your knees squeeze the ball as tightly as you can, and draw in your abs.

Click on the picture to see the video

6. Towel pulse

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place a towel across your upper shins and grab each end. As you squeeze your thighs together, pull the ends of the towel, inhale and then exhale, remembering to draw your abs in. Lift your shoulders off the floor and while holding this position, contract and release your stomach muscles 10-12 times.

7. Flat-belly fly

For this exercise, lie on your back and place your feet hip-width apart. Put one arm on your belly and the other by your side, with both palms facing down. Lift your legs off the floor and bend them at the knee. Flex your calves at 90-degrees, breathing in and pulling your abs in slowly as you do so. Hold this position for a bit, then open and close your legs. Repeat 10-12 times.

Final thoughts

Consult physiotherapist if you only have a chance, you might have a condition, that you may not know about.
Don't over do it, try to find your own pace at which you'll feel comfortable it's not a sprint but rather a marathon where consistency is more imortant than speed. 
Keep in mind that it will take more than doing exercises to snap back in shape. Remember to hydrate regularly, and also go easy on high-sugar and high-fat foods. Good luck!

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