I can remember having my first baby and thinking “okay but howwww is 40 lbs going to just come off?” It can be so intimidating and knowing where and HOW to start is half the battle! Whether you’re a new mama bear, or it’s just been a hot minute since you have worked out, these three tips below will help keep that core strong, body, and mind strong. Once you get the green light to exercise again from your doctor and PT, strive for at least 3-5 days of exercise and make sure you are signing up for strength, cardio, and barre/pilates classes to target your DEEP core muscles, and rebuild your muscle! Holding a diaper bag, a baby, alllll the bags, and the stroller is hard work!
1.) Engage the mind muscle connection during abdominal and c-curve work. Insert our signature barre class.
In order for your abs to tighten up, they need to regain their muscle memory. This is especially true for post natal mamas. The abs need to figure out and relearn, what it feels like to work in their normal range of motion. The fascia, (the abdominal wall) becomes more elastic during pregnancy to accommodate a mother’s growing belly so it needs a little reminder. During class your goal should be to connect with the abdominal wall. Imagine a string running from your bellybutton that connects to your lower back. Imagine the string tightening as you scoop and tuck your hips forward without “sucking in” your stomach. This will activate your transverse abdominals which are the first thing to go after child birth. The deeper the connection, the deeper the shake. The ultimate goal in a barre class is to get into that ‘shake zone.’ When we shake, our muscles are changing so shake baby SHAKE. You may even thank your instructor later for this.
2.) Plank Plank and More Planks
If you are a member at Barre It All, you know that planks are something we love, and a move you will be in, for at least 4-6 minutes every barre class. Planks are another belly to spine exercise that will strengthen your transverse abdominals. Remember, when we can strengthen the TA’s, we are building the foundation of our core and improving ab separation (something that happens to a lot of new mothers.) If you are dealing with some ab separation, sometimes they will naturally patch themselves up post baby. However, engaging the transverse abdominals will get you there even quicker. Once you do the work and strengthen your transverse abdominals, you can move on to more complex ab exercises to get those six pack muscles by working the obliques and rectus abdominis. We suggest starting out on your knees, and then moving to a modified plank post baby before going all in. Ask your instructor, they will show you how it’s done!
3.) Incorporate Strength and Cardio Into Your Routine
Our cardio classes at Barre it All, are rooted in the HIIT method which is exactly how we burn off that lingering abdominal fat! There are tons of studies out there that show us that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is much more effective at burning off ab fat than doing steady cardio i.e. running at the same pace. Additionally, when you take any of our strength classes (aside from barre) your heart rate will do the same thing because you are lifting heavy and incorporating some HIIT movement that will leave your muscles fatigued. Remember, burning the muscles out during class is a good thing! Try any of our cardio and strength classes and you will find that bringing your heart rate up and then back down, will challenge you both mentally and physically. The best part? You will see results in 3-4 weeks! Engaging in HIIT and strength work also mobilizes fat releasing hormones called catecholamines, which will keep you burning calories long after that 30-50 minute workout is over. So burning calories as we eat lunch post workout? Fine by us.
Remember, every pregnancy is different, so please talk with your doctor and listen to your body before starting an exercise program. Have you seen results with us post baby? Share your success story at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!
In Health and Fitness,