As a new mom who has recently given birth, you may be eager to shed that tummy fat and return to your sexy, pre-pregnancy figure as soon as possible. And while postpartum shapewear or a comfortable postpartum panty does wonders to make you feel secure and confident, you want to look your absolute best–especially if you have your mind set on fitting into that special swimsuit or dress you’ve been eyeing.
Follow along with these postpartum exercises for tummy fat so you can look your absolute best!
Start with Beginner Tummy Exercises
Once you have approval from your doctor, don’t head dive right into a vigorous workout. Instead, be gentle on your body. After all, pregnancy is known to cause diastasis recti in two out of three women, which ultimately results in weakened abdominal muscles. So, again, be kind to your body when you decide to lose your postpartum tummy fat and stick to a gentle, beginner postpartum exercise like this one.
- Keep your lower back flat against the floor.
- Without flexing your lower back, release a breath outward while drawing your belly button towards the spine, holding it for 10 seconds under a light breath.
- Relax the position and repeat again, up to 10 times each set.
- Try to do 10 sets as many times each day as possible, if able.
While the first step calls for you to keep your lower back flat on the floor, you can also perform this exercise standing up, sitting or on your hands and knees–whichever is most comfortable.
Graduate to Advanced Tummy Exercises
After your beginner exercises, your abdominal muscles should improve and close their gap. And this means you can advance to a bit more rigorous tummy fat exercise. Follow these steps to kick your postpartum regimen up a notch.
- Keeping both feet on the floor and knees bent, lie on your back with hands on your thighs.
- Follow the breathing and abdominal method in the beginner exercise, but this time also lifting your head while sliding your hands toward the knees and aiming to lift shoulder blades off the floor.
- Hold this position stable and then slowly ease your head and shoulders back to the floor.
- Repeat this for 10 times per set, with three sets per session.
Perform Lower Abdominal Muscle Exercises
While the above postpartum exercises are wonderful for toning your overall tummy fat, this specific exercise is for your lower abdominal muscles. Once your main abdominal muscles have healed, and you have completed the beginner tummy exercises to close the gap, if you will, here is the best exercise to tighten up your lower abdominals.
- With both feet firmly on the floor, lie on your back with bent knees.
- Contract your abdominal muscles (much like previous exercises), but, instead, slowly slide your feet and straighten your legs–all while keeping your lower back flat to the floor.
- If you feel your back arching, slide your feet back toward the starting position.
- Complete 10 repetitions per set, with three sets per session.
The goal of this exercise is to be able to eventually slide your feet further and further away over time. If you have to keep bringing your feet back to the starting position, don’t worry–you’ll get there! The point is to strengthen your lower abdominal muscles and make them stronger.
More Tips for Postpartum Exercises
Consult Your Doctor First–Always consult with your doctor or doula before beginning a new postpartum exercise regimen. They will have a better idea when you should begin exercises, especially if you delivered by Cesarean. They may also offer advice to adapt the exercise to suit your specific bodily needs.
Slow and Steady–Start your abdominal postpartum exercises slowly each day. Begin with only five minutes per session, increasing the lengths gradually over time. Aim for a slow and gradual weight loss.
Add Pelvic Floor Exercises–Combine abdominal exercises with some pelvic floor exercises to gain extra strength.
Listen to Your Body–In general, listen to your body. Get help from a doctor or doula if you see any unusual signs such as muscle aches and pains, increased fatigue or even changes in your lochia flow.
Have Patience!–And remember not to become discouraged! It may take months to return your body back to its pre-pregnancy shape and weight, which can seem like a slow and dragged out process. But don’t overexert your body and try to stay healthy!