Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Postpartum Abdominal Exercises to Regain Core Strength

During pregnancy, your body starts to experience incredible things, including the beautiful addition of a baby in your womb. As you go further into your pregnancy journey, you may notice some changes within your body and muscles. Your abdomen, in particular, goes through the most changes as it expands to house your growing baby.

After childbirth, your body does not necessarily go back to the way it used to be. Aside from the changes in your musculoskeletal system, you also need to give yourself time to recover and nurse your baby.

Once you start feeling up to it, you can go back to exercising. Doing postpartum abdominal exercises will help you regain strength and function in your core for stability. It’s normal to see changes in your post-baby belly, but there are ways to restore its function. If you’re not so sure where to begin, you can also find several exercise programs specifically designed for postpartum recovery.


Taking deep breaths may seem like a simple task, but this is something often overlooked or forgotten. Proper breaths are the foundation for postpartum abdominal exercises since you need to maintain your breathing whenever you do any form of exercise. Whether you’re standing, sitting, or lying, you can take deep, diaphragmatic breaths. As you inhale, feel your abs contract and open up, and as you exhale, feel your abs relax and close.


Lie down on a mat with bent knees, hip-width apart, and arms by your sides. Tighten your core and press down to lift your hips up and squeeze your glutes into a bridge position. Additionally, you can place a small pillow or ball between your thighs and squeeze it, ensuring it does not fall. Bridges help strengthen your hip area, which in turn supports your core area.

Heel Slides

Lie on a mat with your legs straight and your arms by your side. Inhale as you bend your right knee and then slowly slide your right foot until it is parallel to the ground, and exhale as you return to your starting position. Do the same with your left foot, then alternate between the two sides. Make sure to keep your spine in a neutral position throughout the exercise.

Heel slides will help you lengthen your limbs while still supporting your core. Throughout the exercise, you have to keep your core engaged to ensure you do not overarch your back.

Toe Taps

Toe taps are one of the best postpartum abdominal exercises to engage the core while still moving your legs, rather than using your quadriceps or hip flexors to lift your legs. To do the exercise, lie on your back on a mat, then raise your legs to a tabletop position. Be careful and don't arch your back or tuck in your pelvis.

Inhale and exhale as you bring your right foot down and tap it to the floor. Inhale as you return to your neutral position and exhale to tap your left foot this time. Alternate between left and right, and you will slowly feel the effects on your core.

Before you engage in a rigorous postpartum exercise regimen, make sure to consult your doctor and ask if you are ready. Once you receive the green light, you may start by exercising at home for five or 10 minutes, then gradually increase the duration when your body feels ready. Remember not to overexert yourself and only start if you have fully recovered. This way, you will finish every exercise routine feeling refreshed rather than depleted.

This is a guest blog entry.

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