Get your pre-pregnancy body back by dieting and doing ab exercises to tighten your belly.  Crunches aren’t the only exercise to do, as they only target one muscle group. You’ll need to do a variety of ab exercises to get back in shape, and some of them are quite easy.

Here are a few exercises to strengthen your core so you can get your flat tummy back again. Some of these activities may seem pretty intense at first, but the burn you feel when you do them initially means the exercises are working.

You can’t perform miracles and spot reduce a flabby post-pregnancy belly, but these exercises will contribute to all-over toning for your mid-section and legs. Perform these exercise and increase overall physical activity to get your toned figure back after childbirth.

Kegels

Contract and hold the muscles that control the flow of urine. You learn how to do this when you urinate. When you pee, manipulate the muscles that control the flow until the stream stops. Then release the hold and let urine flow again.

Remember what contracting the muscles feels like so you can do the exercises when you’re away from the bathroom. Do three sets of the exercise ten times a day for best results.

This exercise helps tone bladder muscles to reduce incontinence many women experience during pregnancy and following delivery. When you do Kegels regularly and hold them for a few seconds, you’ll have better control over the bladder leaks caused by laughing or sneezing.

Walking

Walking is one of the best ways to get back in shape after having a baby. You can start with a short stroll around the block to get your endorphins flowing and your blood pumping. Once you feel comfortable with a short walk, jaunt around the neighborhood with your baby in a stroller. Increase the benefits of walking by carrying your baby in a front pack to add extra weight.

Exercising with Your Baby

Do exercises with your baby when you’re fit and energetic enough. Practice first with a doll the same size as your baby to make sure you can master the moves. Exercising with your baby is excellent for bonding and physical fitness of Mom and infant.

After making sure, you can perform the movements safely, do these exercises with your infant:

The Baby Glider strengthens your back muscles, legs, and core. Hold your baby against your chest and do a forward lunge with your left leg. Make sure your toes don’t go past your knee. Return to the starting position and lunge with the right leg. Repeat eight to ten times with each leg.

Do Rock-a-Baby Squats and Curls when your baby is at least ten weeks old. Stand with your legs apart a shoulder-width. Hold your baby against your chest, squat down and let your baby’s feet touch the floor. As you come up, bring your baby close to your chest. Do this 15 times.

Here is a list of more exercises you can do with your baby, although not all of them are aimed on tightening a post-pregnancy belly.

Side Plank

Lie on your right side and put your elbow under your shoulder. Stack your feet and hips. Then steady your core and lift your hips until they’re off the floor and your body is in a straight line. Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds. Repeat on your left side.

Improve stability and hip muscle strength by adding ten to twenty leg lifts.

Ab Contractions

An Ab contraction with deep breathing prepares you for strengthening and toning your abs. It relaxes muscles, and you can do it hours after giving birth.

Sit up and take a deep breath. Draw air from your diaphragm upward, then contract and hold your abs tight as your inhale. Exhale and relax. You can gradually increase how long you contract and hold your ab muscles.

Pelvic Tilt

You can do the pelvic tilt a week after a vaginal delivery if you’ve had no complications. Women who’ve had a C-section may need to wait eight to ten weeks.

Lie on your back and bend your knees. Put a pillow under your hips and knees. With your feet flat and your arms by your sides, inhale, exhale, and pull in your abs. Tuck your pelvis under, and squeeze your buttocks while doing a Kegel. Then hold for five seconds and release for ten seconds.

The Pelvic Tilt is designed to improve abdominal strength and increase your endurance.

A variation called the Kneeling Pelvic Tilt can relieve back pain while it strengthens abs.

Get on all fours, with toes touching the floor and arms straight in line with your shoulders. Your palms should touch the floor. Keep your back relaxed and straight. Don’t curve or arch it.

Inhale and pull your butt forward. Tilt your pelvis and rotate your pubic bone upward. Hold for three and release.

Abdominal Bracing

Lie on the floor with your face up, and contract your abdomen as though you were going to get punched in the stomach. Raise one or both arms over your head and extend your legs. Keep your back flat on the floor while performing these movements.

Heel Slides

Heel slides strengthen your lower back and transverse muscles to support your core.

To do this exercise, lie on your back and bend your knees. Your feet should be apart by a hip-width. Draw in your abs. Flex your left foot and press your heel into the floor. Keep your pelvis still and inhale. Exhale, using your abdominal muscles and push your left heel away from your body with the knee slightly bent. Then return to starting position.

Alternate sides and do five repetitions on each side, finally working your way up to ten.

Yoga Boat

Sit on the floor and bend your knees. Brace your abdomen and lean your torso back as you lift your feet off the floor. Lift your feet until your shins are parallel to the floor, your hips are flexed ninety degrees, and your back is straight. Extend your arms forward to maintain balance. Hold for 30 seconds or longer, if you can.  The American College of Sports Medicine determined that the Yoga Boat is one of the most effective exercises for abdominals, according to electromyography or EMG tests.

Curl-Ups, Head Lifts, and Shoulder Lifts

Strengthen back muscles tone abs and burn calories by performing these exercises.

Head lifts are the easiest of these exercises, so master them first. Lie with your back on the floor and arms along your side. Keep your lower back flat on the floor. Bend your knees, with feet flat on the floor. Exhale and slowly lift up your head and neck. Inhale and lower your head and neck down.

After you can do ten head lifts, you can move onto shoulder lifts. Lie on the floor as you did for head lifts. Relax your stomach and inhale.  Exhale and raise your head and shoulders off the floor. Reach your hands and arms toward your knees. Fold your hands behind your head if this strains your neck. (Don’t pull on your neck.) Lower your head and shoulders down as you inhale.

Master curl-ups after you learn to do shoulder lifts. Lie on the floor in the same position you used for shoulder and head lifts. Lift your torso until it’s half-way between your knees and the floor. Reach for your knees and hold two to five seconds. Gently lower your body down. Remember to inhale when you relax and exhale when you move.

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