Abs Strengthening After Pregnancy: 7 Step-by-Step Guide

After pregnancy, it is essential to focus on strengthening the abdominal muscles, which may have become weak due to pregnancy and childbirth.

The rectus abdominis muscles, also known as the “six-pack,” are essential to target as they stretch during pregnancy and may separate, causing a diastasis recti.

Exercises that target the transverse abdominis, obliques, and pelvic floor muscles can also help improve core strength and stability.

Planks, pelvic tilts, and pelvic bridges are practical exercises that can be done at home without any equipment.

It’s essential to start with low intensity and gradually increase as strength improves. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any postpartum exercise routine.

Abs Strengthening After Pregnancy

How to strengthen abs after pregnancy is a common concern of a new mother. During pregnancy, stomach muscles are stretched and stretch more so after childbirth.

It helps to understand areas of your stomach that bring the most concern, including muscles toward the lower belly.

Understanding the exercises best for your abs ensures you get the look you want to while feeling your best after pregnancy.

Here are essential steps to consider as you work toward strengthening your abs.

#1. Determine a good time to start exercising

good time to start exercising

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When is a good time to begin your exercise routine? You’ll want to consider how often you can exercise and the amount of time regularly to devote to your routine.

Aspects of your health may determine when to start exercising. Suppose you are breastfeeding or delivered via C-section. In that case, your doctor may have additional input on when it is safe to exercise. When in doubt, ask your doctor.

You’ll know when your body is ready for the task based on your energy level and physical well-being. Many moms will wait a few weeks before they start, but it also depends on the type of exercise they’ll engage in.

Consider starting a few days a week for half an hour in 15-minute intervals. Different ways to use your time and adjustments may be necessary to ensure your safety and results.

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pregnant woman exercising

As you set out to start strengthening your abs with recommended techniques, it helps to see stomach exercises executed to understand if they are right for you.

Various methods, including pelvic tilt, belly breathing, crunches and leg lifts, are designed to pinpoint specific stomach areas.

Many exercise options don’t require accessories, but an exercise ball may be helpful in particular options. Understanding exercise options help with establishing a plan to meet your goals.

You may find some exercises uncomfortable or challenging to get used to. Talk to your doctor or exercise expert for tips on adjusting and which options are best for your body.

If your abdominal area is still sore or achy, waiting a few days or weeks before trying again may help.

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#3. Start with simple options

pregnant women simple exercise

Work your way up to doing exercises that require more stamina and energy. When starting after having a baby, you may get tired or sore soon after a few reps.

Learn techniques to help warm up your body before exercising. When making time to exercise, break it up into smaller sessions.

You can do this by focusing on one or two types of exercise techniques and adding a method as you continue your routine in the future.

Your routine may include between four and six types of techniques. Each technique is completed a specific number of times for a particular time.

As you gain momentum, strength, and energy, consider changing your routine to maximize your results.

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#4. Consider an exercise buddy for accountability

exercise with baby at home

Some moms like to exercise with their babies nearby. Others may join a group or pair up with another new mommy. Exercising with others makes things exciting and keeps you on track.

You’re more likely to stay focused on the task; another person can relate to your struggles. You can take turns leading the exercise session. Maybe we can meet at each other’s home or meet outside at the park.

When you feel down or frustrated, they can provide moral support. When you feel good about your progress, encouragement from a buddy adds momentum.

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#5. Set goals and know your boundaries

pregnant women exercise goal

Health experts recommend that women engage in at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise weekly.

Starting an exercise routine after pregnancy that includes targeting abs may consist of moderate activity that increases in intensity over time. 

Start with doing exercises that are comfortable and easy to complete. Complete ab exercises in repetitions of 10, 12, or 15. Set goals on how often to exercise and know your limits.

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To meet your goals, know actions to take, such as precautions to stay safe and motivated. Learn warm-up and cool-down methods for before and after workouts. Keep your pace slow and gradually increase it.

Stay hydrated with fluids. Breastfeeding moms can wear nursing pads and supportive bras in case of leakage. If you feel discomfort or pain, stop exercising.

#6. Identify possible barriers that may hinder your efforts

As a new mom, you may experience stressful and busy moments. It may seem challenging to make time for yourself or to complete tasks you want to do.

Some days will be more challenging than others for good reasons. You may experience emotional hormone changes that affect your mood and energy.

You may have days you don’t want to exercise or do a complete workout due to lack of energy. Have other forms of support lined up to maintain your focus or when you need a break?

Know which family members and friends to connect with for emotional support.

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#7. Recognize the benefits to maintain motivation

While strengthening your abs may be the focal point of your exercise sessions, keep in mind that there are benefits related to your actions to think about to keep you motivated.

As you learn which techniques produce desirable results, they help with losing weight and burning calories. Your cardiovascular fitness levels will improve, and your stomach muscles with tone up and strengthen in time.

Regular exercise naturally boosts energy levels. Daily physical activity relieves stress, minimizes postpartum depression, and promotes healthy sleep. You’re also setting a positive example for your little one.

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Strengthening your abs after pregnancy is possible with a solid workout plan. Exercising has challenges, but it can encourage you to be a better person for yourself and your baby.

Set realistic goals, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get suggestions from your doctor about how to exercise regularly and address any concerns about your health or well-being.

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