Core exercises for new moms

So, you had your beautiful baby, now how do you start to regain the strength in your abdominals…?!

Kegels – the simplest way to explain how to perform this exercise is to practice while going to the bathroom. Because you need to strengthen the muscles that help you not to pee when you sneeze, laugh, and/or cough! Only do this once or twice so you don’t make the issues worse. Squeeze the muscles that stop the stream of pee. Now do this as many times throughout the day as possible.
1. Squeeze and hold for time -as the muscles get stronger, you can hold for longer
2. Elevators – imagine that your pelvic floor has 3 levels. Pull up to floor 1 & then up to 2, then 3.
2a. Elevators 2 – pull up to floor 1 and then back down, up to 2 & back down, up to 3 & down.

Pelvic tilts – an exercise you may be familiar with from pregnancy
You can perform these in a variety of positions, but if you are unfamiliar with the pelvic tilt, lie on the floor, knees bent, feet flat. You have a natural curve in your lower back and you should be able to stick your hand underneath. Tuck your tailbone under and flatten your back onto the floor. Release and hold. Repeat 12-15 times. This is great to do while your baby is lying on the floor with you. This exercise can also be performed with your back against the wall or on all 4’s (knees under hips and wrists under shoulders).

Abdominal holds – place hands on lower part of belly, underneath the belly button. Draw belly button to spine and hold. Also, repeat exercises from kegels (elevators).

Cat/cow – another move you may have done during pregnancy
Starting on all 4’s (knees under hips and wrists under shoulders), pull abdominals in tight, belly button to spine, and relax the shoulders. You are not sucking in, you are contracting the abdominal muscles. Lower belly button to the ground as you stretch your chest forward and feel the stretch in your abdominal muscles. Draw your belly button up and round your back like a cat, relax shoulders. You want to feel the stretch in the lower and mid parts of your back. Repeat 12-15 times, moving slowly through the movements.

The focus is reconnecting with your innermost abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominus, they act like your inner corset to strengthen your core from the inside out.

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