Let’s Build That New Mom Bod
Are you ready to get back in the game (after being cleared by your doctor of course) and work on that new mom bod? Our expert breaks down some seriously great exercises that will help you rebuild your core and build your strength!
New Mom Bod – Time to rebuild your core!
Toward the end of her pregnancy, every woman has the intention to feel her best as a new mom.
Be it to start exercising after a few weeks or simply not pee when she laughs.
Without proper guidance, many women are in the dark when it comes to proper postpartum rehabilitation and it leads to a ridiculous amount of unnecessary injuries. Don’t get injured. Or pee when you laugh.
The beautiful thing about working towards a strong, injury-free mom-bod is the following movements can be done anytime, anywhere, as much as you desire.
These movements are meant to be applicable for women rebuilding the deepest core muscle, the transversus, no matter their birth or core situation.
That means if you’ve had a natural delivery, c-section, tearing or currently have diastasis recti (separation of the two halves of your abdominals), these movements will safely help you re-strengthen.
1. Belly Breathing + Belly Bracing
Sitting, laying or standing in a comfortable position, preferably with good posture (shoulders pressed away from ears, neutral spine, squeeze shoulder blades slightly together), inhale and expand your belly filling your lungs and SLOWLY exhale all the air in your lungs. Feel your entire ‘corset’ tighten to get every last drop of air out? From your abdominals to your lower back? Good. Keep practicing nice and slow for 10 breaths.
To perform belly bracing, imagine your bracing your core for impact like from a rogue toddler or playful puppy. You pull your bellybutton to spine, flexing your abdominals (show off that 6 pack!) but you’re still able to breathe. This isn’t sucking in, in order to get into skinny jeans. You should be wearing spandex anyways. Brace hard for 5 seconds, relax and repeat.
2. Opposite Reach (aka Bird/Dog)
Staying in quadruped, extend right hand out in front and left foot behind, squeezing glute cheek. Hold for 2 seconds, return. Extend left hand, right foot, hold for 2 seconds. Focus on staying stable, no wobbling. Continue to perform 10-12 sets.
3. Pelvic Tilts (aka Cat/Cow)
In quadruped (or all 4’s) with shoulders stacked over wrists and pelvis stacked over knees, exhale slowly and tilt pelvis posteriorly or tuck tailbone while pushing shoulder blades apart. You’ll feel your abdominals tighten as well in this cat pose.
On your inhale, raise head slightly, tilt tailbone to the sky (anterior tilt) and squeeze shoulder blades together for cow pose. Repeat for 5-8 slow breaths. Feel the end ranges of motion while connecting to your breath and body.
4. Glute Bridges
Staying on your back, knees bent, put pressure into your feet to lift hips toward the ceiling and squeeze glutes at top. Slowly return to ground, tap and lift again. Perform 10-15 reps.
5. Laying Heel Drag
Lay on your back, knees bent and core braced ‘gluing down’ your lower back. Extend right leg straight out along the floor and slowly drag heel back to bent knee start. Next, extend left leg and drag back. Perform 10-12 sets. The challenge of this movement is to keep the lower back flat on the ground through the entire movement.
Words of Warning
One of the most important things I tell my clients about rebuilding their core is how easily they can ruin progress.
DO NOT SIT UP. For the love of your precious core, avoid sitting up (out of bed, off the floor). Roll to your side and push yourself up with your hands. Also, avoid sneezing, jumping, running without bracing. The reason is pressure. When you sit up, sneeze or jump, internal pressure is moving outward which will literally ‘blow out’ the reconstruction you’ve done. Bracing ensures the pressure is dispersed evenly and effectively, not out.
There you go – get started slowly rehabilitating your core! Just have patience and you will get there!
Do you have questions on pregnancy or new mom exercise safety and guidelines (aka getting that new mom bod)? Submit them below for Colleen to answer!
Colleen Flaherty, CSCS believes every woman deserves the opportunity to harness her fierceness through appropriate movement, raw openness and an evolutionary mindset. Keeping pregnant women safe at the intensity they crave and building a pack of trainers to teach them appropriately is Colleen’s passion as a strength and conditioning coach and co-creator of the first Pregnancy Functional Strength Guide. Colleen owns Baby Bump Academy in Rochester, NY.
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