After childbirth, in the vast majority of cases, a woman’s figure changes significantly. This is especially true of the abdomen, whose muscles become weak and the skin stretched and flabby. Looking at yourself in the mirror after discharge from the hospital, many women are immediately determined to restore their prenatal state and achieve a perfectly flat stomach. The desire is understandable and quite laudable, but new mothers should understand that it is unlikely to realize it instantly.

Postpartum abs – when you can start working out and what to include

When can you start abdominal muscles after childbirth?

Achieve the goal to get your body in shape will succeed over time, if a woman will be persistent, eat right and reasonably physically exercise it. Beginning to pump abs after childbirth, not waiting until the body has recovered and will be ready for active sports exercises, can cost women certain health problems. The duration of the rest period after childbirth – time without any serious physical activity – is individual and depends on the way the delivery took place.

With natural childbirth, you should not engage in vigorous physical activity, including rocking the abs after delivery, for about 7 weeks. After a cesarean section, which is essentially a surgical procedure, this period depends on the condition of the scars after surgery, and the period increases to 12 weeks at normal rates.

Postpartum abs – when you can start working out and what to include

Contraindications for abs exercises after childbirth

In some cases, the question of when it is possible to exercise the abs after childbirth, the answer can only be given by a doctor after consultation and additional examination. This is especially true for situations when a woman has decided to pump her abs with diastasis. Its presence implies abs exercises that differ from the usual ones.

Caesarean section and diagnosed diastasis require a visit to a doctor and his decision on whether a woman can start training or not. Moreover, there are also contraindications, in which the doctor will definitely prohibit heavy physical activity and sports exercises, including abdominal muscles after childbirth.

Such contraindications include the presence of:

  • damage to internal organs;
  • scarring on the uterus;
  • bleeding discharges;
  • Inflammatory diseases of pelvic organs.

These signs make it impossible to train and exercise involving the abdominal muscles until they are healed.

Recommendations to start exercising

Enter the fight for a flat stomach should be careful, not exhausting themselves with long workouts. A woman, even if she has no contraindications, should do exercises for the abs in accordance with her fitness level. In the issue of abs recovery after childbirth it is not the number of sets and not the intensity that matters, but the regularity. It is necessary to start with practicing the correct technique of abdominal exercises included in the training program. And not immediately, but after the body is prepared to the loads. Yoga, pilates and light cardio workouts are ideal for this purpose.

Well can help in this breathing exercises that develop the diaphragm. Such exercises will tone muscles, and work on the abs after childbirth will become safer, more effective and easier. But the desire to pump abs without preparation after childbirth can lead to weakening of pelvic floor muscles and the prolapse of internal organs.

Postpartum abs – when you can start working out and what to include

Basic exercises for the abs

After preparing the body for physical activity, you can proceed to the basic exercises to restore the abs after childbirth – “Birch”, “Reverse Bridge” or “Vacuum”. The first two exercises should be done in the supine position. Doing the “Birch Tree”, prop your hips with your hands, raising your legs up, which helps strengthen your lower abs. Do the “Reverse Bridge” by bending the legs at the knees, lifting the hips up, arching the back and then slowly lowering to the starting position.

First, repeat the exercise 10-15 times per approach. In addition to the ability to quickly build up abs after childbirth, this exercise will help to tighten the hips and buttocks. Performing “Vacuum”, make a deep breath with stomach, exhale smoothly, pulling it forward and backward, hold your breath and fix in this position until you can not breathe. Then release the belly and take a smooth breath. Three to five repetitions are enough for beginners.

Postpartum abs – when you can start working out and what to include

Additional exercises effective in pumping the abs

The types of exercises available at home are “Bicycle”, “Planka” and “Lift”. They are simple, and give a good effect if you want to quickly restore the abs after childbirth “Bicycle” is done lying on the back and raising the legs at an angle of 60 degrees, imitating the rotation of the pedals. Universal exercise “Planka” will strengthen not only the abs, but also other muscle groups. It is done lying on the floor with the body lifted on elbows or straight arms so that it is parallel to the floor.

Not so common, but effective for recovery after childbirth tightened abdomen exercise – “Lift”. Sitting on the floor with your back and shoulders against the wall, place your hands on your stomach, imagining that your abdominal muscles are an elevator, which should be raised and lowered from the first floor to the last with a straight back. Then raise the “elevator” from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor, from the 1st floor to the 3rd and so on, keeping the abdominal muscles straight for 3-5 seconds.

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Postpartum abs – when you can start working out and what to include

Exercises with a fitball and with the baby

One of the most gentle ways of rocking the abs after childbirth are exercises on a fitball. They are excellent for toning the abdominal muscles with minimal strain on the back. One such exercise is performed in the initial position lying on the floor with straight legs resting on a fitball. Hips are lifted up, rolling the ball back and forth with alternating movements of the legs. In addition to the restoration of abs after childbirth, the exercise helps to develop the muscles of the chest and buttocks.

It is possible to combine business with pleasure by doing exercises with the baby at home, when in addition to training for abs, the mother spends time with the child, giving him attention and delivering positive emotions. Do the exercise standing against the wall with straight legs. One leg is bent at the knee and lift it. The child should be placed on the thigh of the outstretched leg and rock the child up and down. Then you need to repeat the same for the second leg.

Postpartum abs – when you can start working out and what to include

Diastasis – a special approach to the restoration of the abs

A special approach to abs pumping after childbirth should be used if a woman has been diagnosed with postpartum diastasis. This term means the divergence of the abs, the abdominal muscles along the central line. To check if a woman has diastasis, she can do it herself at home. To do this, you will need to lie on the floor, bend your knees, lift your torso, and tense your abs.

The appearance of a trough between the rectus abdominis muscles when palpating indicates the presence of diastasis. This means that special exercises for the abs will be required after delivery, and a bandage will have to be worn. When you tear your abs and exercise, it will protect the damaged muscles and help them return to their original state more quickly.

Exercises for Diastasis

The recovery exercises themselves for diastasis are also different from those that may be recommended after childbirth to women who do not have abs dilation or by the time the resting period ends and the transition into the active phase, it has eliminated itself. The first thing to do, as already mentioned, is to consult your doctor. And if he does not object to the start of training for abs after childbirth, start classes. Classic abs training must be categorically excluded, otherwise all efforts will lead to an increase in diastasis and, as a consequence, the growth of the abdomen.

Experts advise a unique exercise that can be done sitting, standing, lying down, without distracting from other things:

  • pulling your belly in, “pull” your belly button toward your spine;
  • alternating between relaxation and retraction, create rapid pulsating movements;
  • breathing smoothly, without delays.

Such pulsations by abdominal muscles should not exceed 100.

What else to do with diastasis

Exercise on retracting and relaxing the abdominal muscles is effective, but not the only one that can help women who have had a postpartum abs rupture to restore shape after childbirth. Experts consider the “Cat” exercise to be effective. To perform it, you need to stand on all fours, pulling your stomach in, and arch your back. Then, conversely, the abdomen should be retracted and the back should be arched towards the floor.

Help in restoring abs with diastasis and exercise, which is done with repetition of 10-15 times, lying on his back. As you exhale lift your head off the floor and press your chin to your chest. The abdomen should be retracted. As you inhale to return to starting position. Lower back stretching is also recommended, with repetition of 10-15 times in each direction. It is done by turning your head to one side and legs bent at the knees to the opposite side, holding in this position. It is important to keep the abdomen retracted.

Postpartum abs – when you can start working out and what to include

How to increase the load after time

As time passes, the load can be gradually increased. To remove the abdomen, you need to gradually increase the number of exercises included in the daily workout at home. At a time when the body has already fully recovered, and the doctor does not object to a trip to the gym, you can increase the time spent in training. Gradually and cautiously, you can complicate the exercises by adding to them elements that make them more difficult.

Gradually increase the number of repetitions of a particular exercise. For example, having started with a couple of sets, you can gradually increase their number to 5. The intensity of training should also increase at the same time. A competent comprehensive approach to increasing physical activity will certainly give good results and will quickly restore a flat stomach after childbirth.

Postpartum abs – when you can start working out and what to include

Our online course offers a program for young mothers, which is aimed, among other things, at strengthening the abdominal muscles. An experienced trainer, Ksenia Vlasova, consults participants on an individual basis on any questions they may have.

In the online course our trainers will certainly help you to build a competent system of training aimed at maintaining women’s health and toning of the body.

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