Fit Mom Post-Baby Workout: Rebuilding Those Abs!

Lifestyle

I’m so thrilled to bring this ‘fit mom’ work out series to you with my dear friend and personal trainer Rachel Doell from Daily Routine Fitness.  I’ve known Rachel for a few years now, and clearly remember the first day we met (she did a personal training session for Jillian and I).  Her beautiful positive energy is so contagious, and this girl knows how to whip a gal into shape! This ab post is particularly special to me given that I had abdominal separation post-baby (aka diastasis recti – how appropriate), so strengthening my core was a big priority to me.  I’ll let Rachel take it from here and stay tuned for the next two posts!

Hi it’s Rachel from Daily Routine Fitness here!

Regaining your strength after carrying a little one in your belly can seem like a overwhelming task after the high of a sweet-smelling newborn wears off.  Your days and nights are filled with constant feedings, your schedule completely revolves around the little one, and sleep (along with spare time) seems like something of the distant past . How in the world could someone ever add a workout into this mix? The crazy thing is…you can!

When Tori asked me to team up with her on some fitness posts, I was thrilled because, like Tori, I live life in the fast lane of motherhood and work. Although I try to bring as much balance to my life as possible, the reality is that life with little people is busy and making sure we make time for our personal health is such an important part of motherhood. By adding just 10 minutes of movement a day, we reduce stress, increase strength, and help our bodies produce the healthy hormones we need to fight off conditions like anxiety.

So let’s start with the belly! Toning and tightening up the core after baby is possible, and crazy ab movements aren’t necessary! These movements are simple, can be done while your baby plays next to you, and protect the belly if you have had abdominal separation (diastasis recti).

For each exercise below:

  • Hold each movement for 45-90 seconds, depending on your fitness level.
  • Repeat each movement 3 times.

Things to be aware of:

  • If you are feeling pain in the lower back, make sure you are engaging the core and not allowing the lower back to sway (or drop) in positions like the plank.
  • When in positions such as those used with leg lifts or arm pumps, make sure the muscles in your belly stay flatted “across” your abdominal wall. It is so important that we avoid bulging of the muscles, which puts pressure on the lower spine!
  • Breathe!!  Breathe in through the nose, and exhale through the mouth as you perform each movement. Try to do it so loudly that you can hear yourself! This way, you know you’re not holding your breath. Muscles need oxygen.
  • Consult your healthcare provider before starting any of these exercises.  Some women heal quicker than others and you don’t want to start the exercises before your body is ready!

 

Post-Baby Ab Workout Routine!

 

1. Plank (or modified plank on knees)

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Form reminder:

Hands under shoulders, hips in-line with shoulders, core tight (don’t let your lower back sway)

Action:

Keep hands under shoulders, core tight, breathe and hold

 

2. Arm Pumps (with ball between knees)

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Form reminder:

Ribs pressing down towards navel, belly flat, shoulders relaxed

Action:

Pump arms slowly to the floor

 

3. Oblique twist (arm crosses under opposite leg)

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Form reminder:

Ribs pressing down towards navel, belly flat, shoulders relaxed

Action:

Lift one heel off the floor at a time (both if your advanced). Twist through your obliques and slide your hand under the opposite leg lifted.

4. Plank into Pike (with sliders or little cloths)

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Form reminder:

Hands under shoulders, hips in-line with shoulders, core tight (don’t let your lower back sway)

Action:

Keep hands under shoulders, core tight and slowly bring hips up towards shoulders. Slowly lower your hips back down to starting plank position and repeat.

 

5. Knee to elbow (with sliders or little cloths)

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Form reminder:

Hands under shoulders, hips in-line with shoulders, core tight (don’t let your lower back sway)

Action:

Slowly bring one knee at a time towards the elbow. With control and a tight core, go back to starting position and repeat.

 

6. Isometric ab hold (with hands around ankles)

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Form reminder:

Shoulders relaxed, belly flat (no bulging), legs straight

Action:

Bring your upper back off the floor to hold a crunch position. Breathing is super important here, so as your press your legs out into the resistance of the band (splits action) breathe out of your nose and in through your nose as you bring the legs back with control.

 

Thank you to Stephanie Schultz for the photography, The BARREROOM for the gorgeous and inspiring venue and RYU Apparel for the amazing workout clothes!

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16 Comments on “Fit Mom Post-Baby Workout: Rebuilding Those Abs!”

  1. Zara

    Thank you SO much for this Tori, I haven’t been able to manage any kind of regular workout since I had my second 8m ago. This is just what I needed to get back my core strength. You ladies are amazing, thanks for helping us out.

  2. Flavia

    Is the arm pump safe when you have abs separation? What are the modifications for someone who has the same problem. My physio said no for plank unless knees are on the floor.

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Flavia,thanks for the question. There are some modifications in the post such as knees on the floor with the plank. I understand that form is paramount when performing these exercises including the arm pump.

  3. Sherry

    Yay! I am so afraid of this! Pregnant with my first and due in July so I will be bookmarking this for later! There are so many conflicting workouts for abs pre and post baby that it’s hard to know what to follow. How soon should you start these exercises after baby? Any 3rd trimester ab exercise recommendations?

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Sherry! Great question! It really depends on your body and how quickly you heal, I would consult your physician to make sure that your body is ready before starting any exercise regime. I didn’t exercise my abs during my third trimester, but I’ll see if Rachel has any recommendations. Congrats on your pregnancy!

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Payal. The exercises, when done correctly, are safe for DR according to Rachel who has worked with specialists after having all of her babies to repair her DR. All the best and thanks for the sweet comment!

  4. Kiran

    Hi Tori! Great post. I was wondering, when you said that your abs split – is that diastatis recti? I had his happen to me and was exercising and realized that doing crunches were not the right exercise to align my ab muscles back together again. So that post has been helpful in other exercises to do. I was wondering if for your next post, you guys could talk a bit more about it and what types of exercises to avoid? There is too much confusing information out there!

    Thanks!

    Kiran

  5. Steph

    Awesome – I’ve been looking for something I can do at home. My babe and 3 yo don’t leave me much “me time” these days

  6. Stephanie

    Love love love! Will be doing these workouts along with the upper body routine! Thank you so much for sharing with your readers 🙂

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