Finding time to exercise with a small baby is challenging, and requires support, planning and commitment. The results however are well worth the commitment so, next time dad/friend/grandparent takes baby out for an hour have a go at our postnatal workout and get those abs back into shape !
Having a baby stretches the muscles of your tummy (up to 60cm) to their limit, so in order to get your shape back you need to draw back these muscles using specially targeted exercises. First work on toning your deepest abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis. Then slowly build and strengthen the obliques. Finish by shortening and toning the top layer of abdominal muscles known as the rectus abdominis.
The following exercises should only be done once you have had your 6 week check up and the doctor has given you the go ahead to start exercising again. Warm up then perform the exercises for one minute each.
1) Tummy Toner
Lie on an exercise mat facing up, with your knees bent. Draw your belly button in to your spine and hold for a second. Relax and repeat.
2) Pelvic Toner
Lie on an exercise mat facing up, with your knees bent. Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for ten-second bursts. Relax and repeat.
3) The Squeeze
Lie on an exercise mat facing up, knees bent with a cushion in between your knees. Squeeze the cushion in between your knees as hard as you can for ten seconds, relax and repeat.
4) Super Woman
Kneel on all fours, simultaneously lift and straighten left arm and right leg holding a super Woman pose for 5 seconds, relax and repeat with other arm and leg.
5) Ballet Move
Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart, hands on hips. Lower slowly into a wide squat position. Keep heals on floor and hold for a couple of seconds before repeating.
6) Hand press
From a standing position arms out in front of you chest height, elbows out, push palm of hands together for 5 seconds relax and repeat.
Good Luck Mums!