This is a special 3 part series “Getting Your Pre-Baby Body Back” by Fitness expert Sara Haley.
Between working with post-natal women and being one myself, I’ve found that the area that we all are most concerned with in getting our Pre-Baby Bodies back is our belly. Will it ever go back to what it was? How? When? I’m here to tell you that patience is the key, but it can and it will. Remember to keep in mind that various factors will affect how long it will take you (what your pre-baby belly looked like, how big your baby was, if you had multiples, what kind of birth you had, how many babies you’ve had).
For me, I was lucky in the fact that I had trained my core a lot prior to becoming pregnant (which is why I preach getting into your best shape before you get pregnant). Even so, it took me a good four months to get back in my clothes again, and I feel like it’s only been in the last two months that my abs look like they once did (I’m now nine months postpartum). So, how did I do it? It wasn’t with crunches. Instead, I used exercises that were more total body. Remember the more muscles you use, the more calories you will burn, and you have to burn off the fat to get those abs poppin’!
Sara’s Top 3 Belly Blaster Exercises: BOX, CHOP, & HOLD!
BOXING: One of the best ways to get rid of that muffin top is with cardio. Sure, you can run on the treadmill or take a cycling class, but why not make those abs really work while you get your sweat on? Boxing is a really efficient way to do this. So get on a bag, get sweaty and start punching! To execute a good punch, hook or upper cut, you’ll have to activate your abs & blast that belly away!
Try this circuit:
30 seconds punches, 30 seconds jumping jacks
30 seconds upper cuts, 30 seconds toe taps
30 seconds hooks, 30 seconds burpees
Rest for 2 minutes & repeat 3-5 times (depending on how much time you have)
How do I know this works? This is one of the main ways I melted by post-baby belly away! I promise it’s fun and you’ll be sweating in no time!
CHOPS: I think chops are one of the best kept abdominal secrets. They target the core, specifically the obliques (your love handles), and depending on how you do them, they can be a great total body workout as well. You can do them with a free weight, a medicine ball, a body bar, cables – your options are really endless. You can do full body rotation or just half way, but the key is going to be to engage the core the entire time. If you do these correctly, you will see your waist start to whittle away in no time!
PLANKS: I don’t think there is a class I’ve taught at the gym, or a client I’ve trained, where I haven’t inserted a plank. I joke that “A plank a day keeps the doctor away,” but it’s true. In my opinion, a plank that is performed properly, is the number one core exercise. Plus, even though it is core-centric, it involves so many more muscle groups, including your shoulders and your butt. The reason it’s my top belly blaster is because it can go super deep – all the way into the transverse. So many abdominal exercises are superficial and only hit the rectus. Planks are not only great because there are ways to modify, so almost anyone can do one (you can do it on your knees or on your forearms), and there are also an infinite number of ways to progress a plank to make it more challenging. The easiest and simplest way to make a plank more challenging? Work on holding the plank longer and longer each day. Start off with fifteen seconds and keep adding on five seconds each day.
Questions or comments? Email Sara at email@example.com
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