6 exercises to rebuild your core after pregnancy
Rebuilding your core after pregnancy; such a HUGE topic. I’m going to share 6 moves here with you today that are truly beneficial for you in healing your core unit after having a baby.
Please refer to this post: Healing Diastasis Recti & to check if you have it.
I’m going to give you actionable moves in a moment. But if you are reading this you are probably thinking, how can I can get rid of this mom pooch and heal my diastasis recti by tomorrow. It’s okay, I felt that way too with my first two kiddos, well honestly with all 4 of them, I’ve just finally gained some wisdom at this point in time.
Getting back into a fitness routine after baby cannot be rushed. Read that again, FITNESS AFTER BABY CANNOT BE RUSHED! As women we are such wonderful, beautiful creatures who have the ability to conceive and grow another life inside of us. So soak that ability up while snuggling with your new baby, getting rest and NOT worrying about fitness or when you will fit back into those jeans.
It is OK to feel ready for a fitness routine after baby because fitness DOES help with feeling better! BUT being cautious & understanding that jumping back into fitness takes time is necessary; ESPECIALLY if you suffer from Diastasis Recti.
Be sure to download your FREE 10 Tips for Fitness After Baby Guide perfect for busy moms on the go!
WHY DO I NEED TO HEAL MY CORE? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Healing your core, your diastasis recti is top priority post birth. Your core is the foundation of all your daily movements; being sure to keep this healthy and aligned makes you stronger.
Let me just lay it out flat for you; after you have a baby there are messages EVERYWHERE telling you that you need to do XYZ in order to bounce back after having a baby.
- Bouncing back does not exist; do you want to erase the fact that you grew a life? (probably not)
- Taking time to HEAL YOUR DIASTASIS through rehabilitation takes a mental shift, its slow, it can feel annoying and you’ll want to rush and jump into other things.
- The SLOWER you take time to heal; the better off you will be down the road. The more time you take to heal and truly connect to your inner core, the STRONGER you will become in whatever fitness regimen you enjoy.
6 MOVES TO HEAL YOUR DIASTASIS RECTI: (pictures with directions to follow)
- Diaphragmatic breathing
- Belly Pump
- Side Plank
- Bird Dog
- Leg Raises
Now keep in mind that one must first master, be accustomed to diaphragmatic breathing correctly before moving to each step. In order to heal your core you MUST start with the small step first. You breathe on average 22,000-25,000 times a day; so you have many opportunities to practice!
One cannot run without first walking right? It’s the same difference when we are discussing healing your diastasis recti.
- Diaphragmatic Breathing (ultimately your end goal should be to breathe this way 100% of the time) is the one exercise that can be done immediately after birth. It is going to help you reconnect with your inner core unit that was just stretched to the max growing baby. Diaphragmatic breathing will begin to regulate the pressure in your abdomen properly, provide more oxygen to your blood and put your body back in a parasympathetic state.
- Belly Pumping is a diaphragmatic breath with an active core; meaning on the inhale, you expand your belly, pelvic floor and back. On the exhale you activley engage your transverse & pelvic floor. Doing this form of active breathing is going to slowly knit your core 4 back into unison after being stretched out from the expansion of baby!(ies) DETAILED EXPLANATION IN GUIDEBOOK
- Bridge, this pose is beneficial for your core AND your glutes. Those of us with weak glutes tend to experience low back pain, pelvic pain and weak core muscles. Doing a bridge will help you fire up that core and build a strong backside. Bridge pose also puts your pelvis back into alignment after your pregnancy.
- Side Plank is a great postpartum ab exercise for the obliques, the sides of your core unit. This move is more challenging than the other 3 and will allow you a new opportunity to engage your deep core muscle without adding extra stress to your midline. This move allows you to restrengthen & rehabilitate your core in a challenging posture.
- Bird dog is a great move to lengthen your body while building a strong core and glutes. It also corrects imbalances on the left and right sides of the body by putting it back into alignment. Be sure to keep your back straight, your core engaged and allow the exhale to guide the extension of your legs and arms. Lifting the left arm and raising the opposite leg and vice versa. MODIFICATION: Do one leg at a time & one arm..not both until you can maintain core strength.
- Leg Raises: this move really gets your lower core firing, an area that may have fallen asleep in pregnancy because of the expanding belly. As you do this movement you can really focus on your pelvic floor rehabilitation also. Starting with a small range of motion is best; working yourself up to full range of motion.
Each of these moves are meant to be built upon the other. So practice one many times before advancing to the next. These diastasis recti healing moves are NOT meant to be rushed and should not be done just because its moves to heal your diastasis. These moves are meant to be slow, and controlled allowing YOU, the new mom to reconnect to your core unit which will provide continued stabilization for the rest of your body.
Remember that healing a Diastasis is a whole body healing. You want to work on your posture, your alignment, your breathing throughout your day as well as these specific moves.
You need to function at your best because a mothers work is never done 😉