Abs After Baby
It is totally possible to have a flat stomach and have strong abdominal muscles after having a baby or two or three, even more. Taking care to build that foundation before jumping back into a crossfit program or bootcamp is so important. I understand, every mom wants to lose the baby weight super fast and fit back into the pre-baby clothing. I have been there, twice.
Keep in mind that the stress placed on the body while being pregnant can't be turned around in a very short time. Every woman at the 9th month of pregnancy will have a diastasis recti. This is the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles. I have created a video to show you how to check to see if you have a Diastasis.
Let's talk about the do's and don'ts. And building a strong core post baby. If you are only doing front loading abdominal exercises (which by the way should be avoided if you have diastasis) then you will not get back to 💯% post baby.
What are front loading ab exercises?
front planks, crunches, sit ups, no twisting (bicycles), boat pose, 100’s, mountain climbers. I think you get the picture. 😁
Side planks are definitely an exercise you want to add to your routine. You need to work your internal and external obliques as well. We want the muscles to fire equally. Being strong in one area causes an imbalance and can cause pain in other areas. Side planks can get pretty tricky!
You may think you are lined up properly and feeling the burn, but are you feeling the burn in the right places? Do you feel your back engaging? Is it your shoulder that is getting tired before your obliques?
If you are twisted in any way during the side plank you will be putting stress on the diastasis rather than fixing it and closing it. That is not what you want. Having the rectus abdominis pulled apart can make us appear to still have a belly after pregnancy. Working to make those muscles come back together and make them strong will help you to feel so much better about the way your stomach looks post baby.
This is just one exercise of course, but it is a good one! You want to make sure you are working all of your abdominal muscles to be strong all over and make sure you aren't causing more stress to your diastasis.
Take a picture of yourself or video yourself will exercising to see what you are doing. You can draw lines on yourself to see if everything is lining up correctly. Your belly button should be lined up with the center of your chest. Your hips and shoulders should be lining up together. Not having shoulders going towards the floor and hips opening up towards the ceiling which will cause a twist and stress on the diastasis.
It is completely possible to heal a diastasis and have a strong pelvic floor post baby. Looking like you are pregnant or having leaks during activities or coughing, sneezing, and laughing is not normal and can't be corrected.
Check out my Postpartum corrective exercise program so you can start getting your pre-baby body back. The most important thing is you don't want to be living with back pain, leaks, having your belly pooching out. This is all stuff that can be correcting.