After the Baby: Movements to Build a Solid Core

Hi, moms! First of all, congratulations on growing a human inside of you and then getting it out. For REAL. You're pretty much a superhero and we applaud you! That said, your core took a hit during pregnancy, that's for sure. Getting that midline stability back is crucial for athletic and not so athletic moms alike- strength in your core helps stabilize your back and can prevent injury (especially important now that you're always holding that little nugget!)

Everyone's journey back from birth is unique and moves at different paces; We've put together some simple moves (some you can even do with baby!) to help you get your core feeling solid! 

*Note: If you recently had a baby, please consult with your doctor before doing any exercise!*

(While this post uses "postpartum" in the title, these moves are just as helpful to anyone who is coming back from injury, or simply trying to build core strength!)

A few things to note before we start:

  • Each exercise can be performed with or without baby. If you are early in your postpartum journey, be gentle with yourself and do each exercise without your baby to lighten the load on your body until you build enough strength to add the little one.

  • Do as many reps as you can with perfect form, keeping within a maximum of 12 reps to begin with.

  • Start with one set of each exercise and see how you feel the next day before adding more sets. Keep within a max of 3 sets of each.

The most important part of all of these movements is: BRACE YOUR CORE! What do we mean by that, exactly?

Imagine that you are about to get punched in the stomach! Really. Think about someone turning on you with a surprise uppercut. How would you brace your core for that? You don’t suck in and try to minimize your waist, right? You tighten up and create tension- almost pushed out. That's what we want. That feeling is your built in, internal weight belt. Everyone has one, you just have to turn it on. With a braced core you can move without bending your torso allowing you to move safely and effectively build strength in your core.

And remember that your core is not just your abs in the front! Your core includes your mid & low back muscles, the sides of your waist (obliques), your abs, and your pelvic floor, all of which are affected by pregnancy.


THRUSTER

Things to note: 

  • Brace core!

  • Hold baby at shoulder level & make sure shoulders are down and back. (Imagine pulling your shoulder blades together and down towards your butt).

  • Squat down with a straight back and knees out.

  • As you stand, do a kegal and raise your baby above your head.

 

 

BRIDGE

Things to note:

  • Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the ground and shoulder width apart, your knees above ankles (not in front of ankles over your toes). Think 90 degree angle with knees.

  • Hold baby on your pelvis/hips area.

  • Brace core!

  • Push up through your heels bending only at the hip (not at the waist), and as you do, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings, do a kegal. 

  • Keep your knees shoulder width apart (not in towards each other or out to the side) raise up until your shoulders, hips, and knees form a straight line.

  • Return to floor.

 

 

DEAD BUG

Things to note:

  • Lie on the floor, flat on your back and raise arms directly above your head.

  • Raise legs up above hips and bend knees at a 90 degree angle.

  • Brace your core and hold a kegal.

  • For beginners, keep arms in place and just alternate tapping toes on the floor while keeping knees at a 90 degree angle.

  • If you can keep your core braced while just moving your legs, then start moving your opposite arm with each leg.

  • This can also be performed by holding baby directly above your shoulders and just moving your legs

 

 

BALANCING TABLE

Things to note:

  • Get on hands and knees (knees directly under hips and hands directly under shoulders). You can place baby between your hands and make googly eyes at them keep them entertained.

  • Brace core (keep back flat, not arched or rounded) and hold a kegal.

  • Extend right arm and left leg while keeping your body as stable as possible. Shoulders and hips should remain parallel with the floor, they should not twist towards the floor or sky. Hold for 3 seconds

  • Return to starting position (all fours) and then repeat with left arm and right leg.

  • If you can maintain a braced core during this movement, then you can step it up a notch by pulsing arms and legs. (Only pulse if you can maintain the proper core position!)

 

  • Pulse arm and leg up to 12 times (12 reps), then switch, and repeat to equal 1 set.


Now give yourself a pat on the back for being one badass mom! 

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