If you’ve recently had a baby, you’re probably beginning to wonder how to tighten your post-baby belly. For most women, it will take some time to get your pre-pregnancy body back, but it is possible!
As soon as you give birth, your body will begin working on returning to normal. Keep in mind that your belly slowly expanded over 9 months, so don’t be surprised when it doesn’t flatten overnight. While your body will naturally revert to its pre-pregnancy state over time, there are specific exercises you can do to speed up the process.
Typically, you should wait at least 6 weeks after childbirth to begin working out and dieting, but your body may require more time. It’s important to speak with your doctor before starting any kind of postpartum exercise regimen or diet.
Core Anatomy & Function
Your core is made up of multiple layers of muscle, running in every different direction. The core serves many vital functions, including: supporting and protecting the internal organs, bending and rotating, and maintaining posture by supporting the spine. The core also aids in pregnancy and childbirth by supporting the baby and helping you to breathe and push during labor.
Strengthening your core before getting pregnant may allow the pregnancy and childbirth process to go much smoother. If you want to strengthen your core before pregnancy, try this 20-Minute Core Strength Workout. All of the muscles of the core are stretched during pregnancy, so after birth, your belly may be feeling a little loose. If you want to get your pre-pregnancy body back, you must tighten all of the core muscles back up.
Common Post-Baby Condition
There is a condition called Diastasis Recti that approximately 60% of new moms experience. One study has shown that 40% of women will still have Diastasis Recti at 6 months postpartum. It is not a dangerous condition, however, it can greatly affect your post-baby belly.
One of the main core muscles is called the Rectus Abdominis, but you probably know it as your “6-pack” muscle. This muscle runs vertically down the center of your abdomen and is separated into left and right halves. Diastasis Recti is when the Rectus Abdominis separates due to weakened connective tissue. In order to tighten your tummy, you must strengthen this connective tissue back up.
Many women believe that in order to flatten their tummies after pregnancy, they must perform abdominal exercises like crunches. Traditional crunches are actually counterproductive to this process, as they will actually cause further separation of the rectus abdominis. This is due to the fact that tightening the muscles, will cause the connective tissue to weaken even further. It’s important to note that sit-ups and planks should be avoided in the beginning, as well.
So if you shouldn’t perform traditional crunches, sit-ups or planks, what should you do? The following 4 moves will show you how to tighten your post-baby belly, safely and effectively.
4 Moves to Tighten Your Post-Baby Belly
What you do: Perform each exercise for the number of reps/duration provided. Perform 3-5 rounds. For best results, perform this routine 6 days a week.
We’ve included instructional videos for each exercise at the bottom of this post.
*It’s extremely important that you engage the core throughout the duration of each of the following moves.
- Drawn-In Holds (Vacuums) : Hold for 30-60 seconds
- Pelvic Tilts : Perform 20 repetitions
- Drawn-In Broomstick Rotations : Slowly rotate from side to side for 30-60 seconds
- Heel Slides with Core Activation : Perform 10 repetitions per leg
Drawn-In Holds (Vacuums)
Drawn-In Dowel Rotations
Heel Slides with Core Activation
These are 4 of the most effective postpartum exercises that you can perform. What did you think of them? Do you have any tips on how to tighten your post-baby belly? Let us know in the comment section below.
Getting your pre-pregnancy belly back is not going to happen overnight, but it will come back eventually. With these exercises, you can speed the process up a bit!
Don’t forget that proper nutrition is key to not only staying healthy, but also losing weight. As a new mom, we know you don’t have tons of time to spend in the kitchen. Try these 8 Quick & Easy Meals Under 400 Calories.
Another way to lose a little extra weight after childbirth is to breastfeed. Not only is this good for the baby, but it will also help your body reset and requires more energy, which will lead to faster weight loss!
If you enjoyed this routine, you may also like to read about these 10 Extremely Useful Ways to Lose Weight After Pregnancy.