Mom’s tummy. Delivering a baby and being a mom may be the greatest thing that happened to you, but let’s face it, there are a few stuff you wish didn’t happen…

…and one of them is developing a mommy tummy — that jelly-like belly that makes you look like a few months pregnant. As a woman who values health and fitness, it’s just natural to find ways to get rid of it and eventually rebuild and strengthen your core.

Not all core exercises are suitable for postpartum women. Many of these movements put too much pressure on the abdomen and can cause complications.

In this post, you’ll learn about the best exercises to retain your core after delivery.

The Importance of Breathing

When you get pregnant, the body undergoes various, often traumatic changes. And even after the baby is born, a dramatic change happens in a short period — the muscles and skin that have adapted to bigger belly are now stretched, loose, and weakened.

Breathing techniques help shorten the abdominal wall to return to its previous length. When you inhale, your chest and abdomen expand. During exhalation, your chest and abdomen flatten.

Correct breathing is vital when rebuilding your core after pregnancy as you first need to shorten your abdominal muscles before strengthening them.

Exercises to Retain Your Core after Pregnancy

Boat Pose

How to perform:

  • Sit on a mat with your knees bent.
  • Keeping a straight back, slightly lean back your body and lift your feet up until your shins are parallel to the ground and your hips are flexed at a 90-degree angle.
  • Straighten your arms forward to further maintain your balance.
  • Stay in the position for at least 1 minute.

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Heel Slides

How to perform:

  • Lie on your back with arms at the sides and knees bent.
  • Engage your abdominals, then slowly slide your right leg out until it is parallel to the ground, keeping your left leg stationary.
  • Slide back the right leg to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side to complete a rep.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps.

Tips: Make sure to maintain and relax the curve of your spine. Always engage your abs to stabilize your pelvis and spine and prevent back strain.

Toe Taps

How to perform:

  • Lie on your back with arms at the sides and knees bent.
  • Engage your abdominals, then raise your right leg to the tabletop position so that your knees are directly above your hips and your shin is parallel to the ground.
  • Keeping your right knee bent, slowly lower the right leg down to the ground, tapping your toes. Make sure to keep your left leg in the tabletop position.
  • Return right leg to the tabletop position then to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side to complete a rep.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps.

Tip: Make sure to keep your lower back and spine steady throughout the exercise.

Single Leg Extensions

How to perform:

  • Lie on your back with arms at the sides and knees bent.
  • Engage your abdominals, then raise your right leg to the tabletop position so that your knees are directly above your hips and your shin is parallel to the ground.
  • Gently straighten your right leg out until it is just a few inches off the floor.
  • Return right leg to the tabletop position then to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side to complete a rep.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps.

Tip: When hovering your lifted leg, you can start at about 1 feet above the ground, then progress until your feet are just a few inches above.

Advanced Leg Extensions

How to perform:

  • Lie on your back with arms at the sides and knees bent.
  • Engage your abdominals, then raise both legs to the tabletop position so that your knees are directly above your hips and your shins are parallel to the ground.
  • Gently straighten your right leg out until it is just a few inches off the floor.
  • Return right leg to the tabletop position as you extend your left leg out toward the ground but not touching it. This is one rep.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps.

Tips: Always keep your back steady and neutral all throughout the exercise. Take deep breaths and contract your belly with each rep.

Double Leg Lifts

How to perform:

  • Lie on your back with arms at the sides and knees bent.
  • Engage your abdominals, then raise both legs to the tabletop position so that your knees are directly above your hips and your shins are parallel to the ground.
  • With your legs together in the position, straighten them up until they’re in line with the hips.
  • Gently lower both legs down the floor as low as you can without arching or moving your back.
  • Contract your abs and return your legs up to the line of the hips to complete a rep.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps.

Tip: If you notice your back arching, bring both legs back up and repeat to lower them only to the point that you don’t arch your back.

Through breathing exercises, retaining your core after childbirth is possible all throughout the day — even if you’re just sitting. While taking care of your newborn, make sure to be mindful of your own body, strengthening your core and improving your posture as you go on. Do these simple exercises to rebuild the strength of your core.

Do you have other exercises that help rebuild a mom’s core? Share it in the comments below for all moms out there to see!