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Absolutely Abs – core strength Postpartum

11 months postpartum and the Abs situation is a far cry from 5 months ago. Slowly but surely, things are falling back in place.

This wasn’t the case, after I gave birth to Luca. The first sign of complete lack of core strength comes when your back starts to ache even after carrying your 7KG baby for just a few minutes. Because your abdominal muscles are giving you no support, your back is working overtime trying to keep your torso upright. Also, you have like super sized milk-engorged boobs to deal with. Not pretty at all!

To get on the right track, include yoga boat, pelvic tilts, belly breathing, and abdominal bracing in your daily routine as soon after birth as you comfortably can.

Add arm and leg movements as you get stronger, working more of the lower Abs. Most importantly listen to your body and don’t be in a hurry to look perfect. You already have perfection in front of you. Your baby!

Yoga Boat
Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Brace your abdomen, slightly lean your torso back while lifting your feet off the floor. Lift until your shins are parallel with the floor, your back is straight and your hips are flexed to ninety degrees. Keep your arms in a comfortable position to help maintain your balance.  Try to maintain the V shape. The more straight the V, the harder it is. Hold here for at least thirty seconds. Increase to 60, 90 even 120 seconds as you get stronger. Don’t forget to inhale, exhale and keep breathing as you do this. Don’t hold your breath.

Pelvic Tilt
Do this move as early as one week after you have your baby if you had a vaginal delivery; if you had a C-section you might have to wait 8 to 10 weeks. Lie on your back with your knees bent and a pillow under your hips and another between your knees. Feet flat and your arms at your sides, inhale, then exhale and draw your abs in and tuck your pelvis under slightly, squeezing your buttocks as you do a Kegel (click here to learn how). Hold 5 seconds and release for 10 reps.

Belly Breathing
Belly breathing simply involves allowing your stomach to expand and contract as much as possible while you actively inhale and exhale as deeply as possible.

Abdominal Bracing
Begin by lying face-up on the floor. Brace your abdomen by contracting your entire abdomen as if you were preparing to get hit in the stomach. This is your starting position. From here, perform different movements such as raising one or both arms overhead or extending your legs while keeping your back flat against the floor.



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