Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful miracles God has gifted women with. You carry a tiny human being in your tummy and when they finally arrive, all you can do is stare at them all day long.
Giving birth is the hardest part of the entire journey and when that is over, it feels like you aren’t quite back to your old self and that’s completely natural. They say that “pregnancy changes a woman in many ways,” and it’s true. Not only does it change you mentally but physically, too.
So, are you concerned about your post-pregnancy body? The little bit of belly fat that is around your stomach is what we like to call the “mommy pouch”. If you want to shed off a few kilos and get back into the groove of exercising after pregnancy, you have come to the right place. We understand that your body might not be comfortable with doing anything strenuous right now, which is why we have come up with ten post-pregnancy exercises that you can do easily to get rid of “mommy pouch”. So grab your yoga mat and let’s get started:
Healthy Diet and Start-Up Walking
You need at least 6 weeks of rest after your delivery before you start exercising. The first thing you need to do is fix your diet. Reduce your proportions and include more vegetables and fruits in your meals. This will allow you to build lean tissue by losing some of the top fat.
A healthy diet will restore your energy and allow you to exercise without any pain or discomfort. Once your body has shed off some of the fat, start with a simple walk. Strap your baby in a pram, grab your neighbor and have a walk around the block. Start with 15 minutes and then increase the time gradually.
Any movements that involve twisting, turning and stretching your body parts will allow you to tone and strengthen your muscles. Here are a couple of basic stretching exercises:
• Standing Hamstring Stretch: Bend down and wrap your hands around your legs, while making sure that your legs don’t bend from the knees
• Standing Quad Stretch: Bend your knee backward and hold your foot with your hand
• Standing Triceps Stretch: Bend your right hand backward at a 90° angle and place your left hand on the elbow, forming a square
There are plenty of other stretching exercises, which include back stretch, inner thigh stretch (picture sumo pose), standing shoulder stretch and more.
Bridging exercise allows you to tighten your tummy, thigh and bottom muscles. Here’s how to do it:
• Lie flat on a mat and bend your knees
• Bring your feet close together and use your buttocks muscles to lift yourself up
• Only your shoulders, hands and head should be touching the ground
• Hold your position and breathe in and out
Do this exercise for 10 minutes, stretching each rep to 15 seconds.
Lower Tummy Exercise
This exercise allows you to tighten your stomach muscles. Here’s how to do it:
• Get on your elbows and knees
• Keep your back straight
• Tighten your pelvic muscles and breathe in slowly
• Pull your belly button in and then out while exhaling
Do this exercise for at least 10 minutes straight.
Pelvic Tilt Kegels
You already know the benefits of kegel and how it strengthens your pelvic floor muscles. This exercise adds a little twist to the basic Kegels and allows you to improve stamina and deep abdominal strength. You can use Ben Wa Balls for this exercise. Here’s how to do it:
• Lie down on your back and place a cushion under your hips
• Straighten out your hands on your sides and bend your knees so they are at a 90° angle
• Slightly raise your hips, inhale and then exhale while squeezing your buttocks (the same way as you do in a kegel)
Hold the position for only 5 to 10 seconds and do at least 10 reps of this exercise.
This exercise allows you to work on your transverse abdominal muscles. These are the muscles layering the side and front of the abdominal wall. Towel pulses help you shed off weight from all sides of your stomach. Here’s how you can do it:
*You will need a towel for this exercise.
• Lie on your back and bend your knees at a 90° angle
• Wrap the towel around the top of your shins and hold each end of the towel
• Squeeze the towel tight and inhale while holding your position
• On your exhale, pull the towel slightly and raise your head, along with your shoulders, off the ground
• Pay close attention to your abs when you hold, contract and release
Do this exercise for 10 minutes and try to hold the exhale position for at least 15 seconds.
To shed off the weight from your lower stomach, which is where most of the fat settles, do simple sit-ups. Start slow because sit-ups put a lot of strain on the thighs. Start with five to ten sit-ups a day and then gradually build your way up.
A front plank can be a little stressful after the pregnancy. Whether you had a cesarean or normal delivery, this exercise might actually cause your stomach to weigh down more. Instead, you can do a side plank or variations of it.
Here’s how to do a side plank:
• Lie down on your side and place your feet on top of the other
• Align your elbow with your body and position it below your shoulder
• Keep your legs straight and slightly lift up your hips
• Now push up your upper body by lifting your shoulder and balancing on your arm
• Hold this position for at least 60 seconds
• For a leg-lift side plank, maintain the same position but lift your leg in the air and raise it as high as you can
Once you have become accustomed to the side plank, use a resistance loop band to work the deep muscles. Do at least 6 reps of this exercise and alternate on the sides.
Abdominal crunches are the most effective exercise when it comes to losing post-pregnancy belly fat. Since this exercise puts great pressure on the stomach as compared to other exercises, you need to go a little slow. Here’s how to do it:
• Lie down on your back and bend your knees
• Place your feet apart and your hands across your chest
• When you inhale, contract your abs and when you exhale, lift your body from the waist up
• Hold the position and then lie back down while you inhale
If you feel any discomfort around the stomach, then go slowly. Do at least 10 reps of this exercise.
Supine Toe Tap
The supine toe-tap exercise may seem a bit too simple, but the light movements put pressure on your abs and tone your stomach. Here’s how to do it:
• Lie down on your back and bend your knees
• Lift the knees at a 90° angle and inhale
• Tap your left foot on the floor when you exhale and then bring it back to the original position
• Alternate with your legs and keep tapping until you tire out
Most post-pregnancy exercises are focused on strengthening the pelvic muscles because once they are tightened; your body will start getting into shape and you will see your mommy pouch reducing steadily. Take out some time from your mommy routine and try out these exercises one at a time. You can also check our guide on best exercises for women.SHARE THIS ARTICLE: