New mum?

Female Personal Trainer London

New mum? 4 simple exercises for ‘mummy tummy’

A few of my friends and clients have had babies within the last 6 months, which means lots of lovely small person cuddles for me. But it also means I’m asked questions about how to get that tummy looking a bit more like it used to, and the steps they need to take to do so.

So here’s my top tips, a bit of ‘myth de-bunking’, and then 4 simple exercises to help you if you’re in that situation too.

* The essential bit first; any post natal exercise needs to be done safely, and after consulting a doctor first.  He/she will check your overall post natal health at 6 weeks, and how your core muscles perform under tension, which is DIFFERENT for everyone (a rec check: see YouTube for demos). They should give you a selection of exercises to start building core (and pelvic floor) strength back up.

* But as my pals have told me,  often no such exercises or support are given, so have a chat with an appropriately qualified physio or PT and get them to show you some moves to try to get you started (see below for a few!)….

* ….Myth debunking alert #1! Contrary to what you might expect though, those exercises are NEVER going to include crunches, planks, sit ups, or anything intense you might have done before. In fact any professional worth their salt will offer you simple lying or standing stuff first, and then gradually build difficulty as you get stronger. They should also add in exercises involving squatting, reaching, pushing and pulling moves, all of which work your core and pelvic floor, and mimic all the stuff you’re doing as a busy mum anyway!

* It’s all about the breath… Whether doing it yourself or with a pro, one of the most IMPORTANT THINGS in post natal exercise is ALWAYS breathing out ‘on the effort’ of the move. It’s CRUCIAL in engaging the right muscles at the right time, however weird it feels!

* Myth debunking alert #2! You might have been told you need to work on closing the ‘gap’ in your tummy muscles, but new medical and physiotherapy research indicates that’s not the case anymore. In fact a ‘gap’ can be fine as long as you’re properly using all the other muscles around it, which can be done with the right exercises, which leads me onto……

So here’s those 4 safe, simple and effective exercises to start you on your journey to strengthening that core.

1. Static core contractions: Breathe in and ‘puff’ tummy out as lungs fill with air. As you slowly exhale pull the belly button as close to the spine as possible. Repeat 10-15 times

2. All fours knee raises: In all fours position, lift the knees just 1-2 inches off the floor as you breathe out, inhale and release knees back to floor as you exhale. Aim for 10-15

3. Bent Leg raises: Lie down, knees bent, feet resting on floor hip distance apart. Raise one bent leg off the floor as you exhale. Inhale at top. Exhale to lower. Aim for 20 on each leg.

4. Leg slides: As above for start position. Slide one leg to a straight position on the floor as you exhale. Inhale.  Exhale as you return leg to start position. Aim for 20 on each leg.

Female Personal trainer London

This weeks guest blog is from Fresh Start fitness

We love working with new mums at Fresh Start and can create a bespoke post-natal programme which fits into your (busy!) life.

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