Strong Core and Flat Tummy Exercises

1/16/13

I feel that after having 2 kids I have some experience with abdominal training when it’s the worst situation for your body (if you’ve had kids you know what I’m saying!). Before my first pregnancy I worked my abs hard to get them flat and “cut.” Then after having a baby you look at your stomach and just wonder if you’ve lost hope forever. Well, there is! I really, really promise! Let me make an outline of what I personally have discovered about regaining abdominal strength and reducing the belly “pooch”.

#1 Check the Abs
Checking for Diastasis Recti is extremely important. This is the absolute FOUNDATION of getting a flat tummy. You check by laying on your back with your legs bent, feet on the floor. Then you put your finger just above your belly button. Lift your head up off the floor towards the ceiling and blow out. If your finger sink into your tummy like a hole then you have a split. Over 90% of women have some sort of split after pregnancy….so it’s likely you have it. See how many fingers you can fit into the “hole” and that’s how you measure the distance of your rectus abdominis (part of your abs) is apart.

#2 Bring the Abs back together with…

Tupler Technique: Sit with your back against a wall and suck in your tummy. Keep breathing but have it sucked in as far as you can go. Count to 30 (30 seconds) and release. Do again. Repeat 10 times a day. You can also suck in and let go for about a second at a time. Do 50-100 of these 5 times. These actions help bring the rectus abdominis back together and reduce the split which looks like a mummy tummy.

The Tuck: Lay on your back and bring your feet on the floor like you’re going to check your diastasis. Instead bring your back flat to the floor and suck in your tummy. Hold for a few seconds and then release. Repeat 10 times. This also helps bring the muscles back together.

Cat: Stand up or get on all fours and bend over with your back parallel with the ground. Put your hands on your legs and round your back up like a cat stretching then bring it down flat again parallel with the ground. Make sure to suck in your abs when you lift your back up. Do 5-10

Check your diastasis periodically to see progress.

#3 Once your split is back together then start getting into more intense exercises. Here are a few of my favorites without doing sit ups and splitting again.

Standing side crunch

Tuck in tummy and suck in your belly button. Lean forward slightly and crunch (I need to get a better expression on my face).

Forward Standing Crunch

This works your rectus abdominis (what you worked to bring together). Tuck your tummy in and use the resistance of the band and crunch forward working your abdominals.

Ab Balance

Now put the band on top of your feet and loop them through. Pull the band into your chest and lean back finding your balance. This is excellent for your entire core. Push your feet out and straighten your your body then come back up with your legs bent. If too difficult then put your feet on the ground the whole time. Repeat 10-15 times. 

Can’t remember the name…ha

Put your feet on the floor, keep legs bent, and lean back to work the abs. Then pull the bands side to side. Repeat 20 times. Keep the back straight with good posture and your tummy sucked in.
Army Crawl

Get in plank position and bring your leg towards your elbow but keep off the ground. Switch legs. This is an intense exercise on your entire core. You can bend towards your knee as well. Be sure to not sag your tummy or lift your butt up too high because it’ll make it easier but can strain your back too. Repeat 10 times to start with.
Pike

End it with getting on the ball and doing a pike. Your abs will be feeling it top to bottom (we all want to work that lower pooch). Do 5-10. 
Repeat the circuit as many times as you’d like. Most of these exercises work the whole core and back which is what you want with ab training.

If you are a mom with a tummy that discourages you remember that it takes time. During pregnancy women usually increase their body fat by 5-10%. That’s a lot so don’t be surprised when you have a belly pooch. Especially after delivery with breastfeeding, your body feeds off that extra body fat for food for your baby. Until you are completely done breastfeeding you will probably keep a little more fat on your body and that’s ok. Plus, you normally only lose 1/2-2% of body fat a month (2% is very high for one month). So you see that it takes time to get back!

The belly will get better with clean eating, bringing the diastasis back together, weight training, and ab exercises such as these. Stay on the look out for more ab exercises that aren’t your traditional sit-ups because I have a bunch up my sleeve that I really enjoy 🙂 Keep up the hard work! 

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *