When we are losing baby weight or following a weight loss plan the stomach fat area is one of the key areas that mums want to focus on. But it is important to lose all over body fat when focusing on the stomach fat area and although we can’t spot fat removal if you focus on your diet, cardio and the below exercises you will regain the strength in your stomach and core as well as lose stomach fat
Many people make the mistake of thinking that just doing sit-ups will tone and sculpt their abs, whereas to get the perfect abs, you need to move them in three distinct ways.
Your stomach muscles serve three very useful purposes – they help you to flex your spine, they twist to enable you to move comfortably and they brace you to prevent injury and to control your posture. Your workout routine should therefore include a mix of these three movements; flexing, twisting and bracing.
And as we mentioned before, to really make sure these exercises work for you, make sure you’re performing the exercise correctly and that your form is correct – and don’t forget to take a look at your diet.
Diet and exercise is the key to getting the body you’ve always dreamed of and this routine in particular will give you sculpted, toned abs – and we recommend that if you are breastfeeding you follow our 28 Day Breastfeeding Friendly Diet & Exercise Plan which has a gentle exercise routine for you to follow as well as a daily food plan with recipes.
To follow the below workout, do one set of one exercise, then do one set of each of the rest of the exercises. Do all five exercises at least 3 times, more if you are able. And do not attempt any of these exercises until you are completely healed after the birth of your baby and we recommend around the 3 month mark – or when you have your Doctor’s or Physio’s clearancr
1) Kick-Outs (With or Without Medicine Ball)
If you’re new to exercise, you might not be able to lift using a medicine ball, so if not, get the form of this exercise right first without using the ball. Lie flat on your back on an exercise mat with your hands by your sides. Lift your head and shoulders up off the floor and then raise your feet up off the floor too, so that your thighs are vertical and your knees are at a 90 degree angle. This is your starting point. Brace your abs and ‘kick’ your legs out until straight, keeping your legs vertical, until your ankles are nearly but not quite touching the floor. Do this 6-15 times. Once you get the form right, try adding a light medicine ball for extra resistance.
2) Swiss Crossovers
This clever move targets your obliques and your six-pack and the control you need to perform the move also helps to strengthen your core. Sit on a Swiss ball, leaning backwards until the bottom half of your back is on the ball, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your fingers up to your temples then curl your left elbow towards your right knee until you’re nearly sitting upright, crunching and twisting at the same time. Slowly lean back until the bottom half of your back is touching the ball again and then repeat on the opposite side, 12-30 times
3) Sit-ups with an AbMat
The AbMat works to increase the range of your sit-ups so that they are more effective. Sit on the floor with the flat edge of the AbMat up against your bottom. Slowly lower yourself down so that your lower back is on the mat; your abs will feel stretched. Lower yourself back until the back of your head touches the floor and then flex and squeeze your abs, using them to sit ¾ of the way upright. Lower yourself back down again, carefully, until the back of your head touches the floor and then repeat 10-30 times.
4) Jack Knives
Jack Knives are a difficult exercise but they are very effective. Crouch on the floor with a Swiss ball behind you, then place both shins on the ball, making sure you’ve got one shin carefully on the ball before putting your other shin onto the ball. Keep your body straight and engage your core, then roll the ball in so that your knees come towards your chest. Keep the ball where it is for a few seconds, then roll the ball back out until you’re back in your starting position. Make this exercise more challenging by placing the ball lower down your shins towards your ankles, or even place just your feet on the ball. Repeat this exercise 8-20 times.
5) Reverse Crunches
In this exercise, you lift your legs, making it more challenging than traditional crunches. Lie flat on your back on an exercise mat. Put your arms palm down onto the floor next to you to give you a little support, then lift your legs up off the ground. Raise your head and shoulders up off the floor, engage your abs and then lift your tailbone up off the floor. Raise your feet up, with your tailbone and head and shoulders off the floor, until your feet are above your chest. Your feet shouldn’t be vertical to your body; they should stop just short of being vertical. Lower your tailbone back into your starting position, keep it there for a few seconds, then repeat the movement 10-20 times.