6 Exercises For Strengthening Your Core After Pregnancy
Pregnancy can wreak complete havoc on your abdominal muscles. The American College of Sports Medicine used electromyography (EMG) to determine which abdominal exercises most effectively activated the rectus abdominis and obliques. Researchers found the yoga boat, yoga dolphin plank on a ball, and the yoga side plank to be at the top of the list.
Incorporate two to three sets of each of these exercises, holding each one for at least thirty seconds working your way up to one to two minutes, into your workout routine
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.
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.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor or propped on a ball. Brace your abdomen and tilt your pelvis back by pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold this position for five seconds then repeat.
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. Extend your arms forward to a comfortable position to help maintain your balance. Hold here for at least thirty seconds.
Place your elbows on the top of a stability ball and extended your legs out behind. Brace your abdomen and hips, straighten your back and hold the position for at least thirty seconds. This exercise is basically just a standard plank but you’re adding in the instability of the ball.
Lie on your side with your elbow under your shoulder. Stack your hips and feet, stabilize your core, and lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line. Hold here for at least thirty seconds. Repeat on the other side. Add ten to twenty leg lifts (shown in the video below) to the side plank to further improve hip strength and stability.