Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Article # 484. Four Ways to Tone your tummy after Pregnancy



Chances are, your stomach is still sporting a post-pregnancy pooch, even if you've lost the bulk of your baby weight. Try these tummy exercises after pregnancy to firm up that stubborn midsection.

Tip 1: Keep It Simple

There are lots of tummy exercises after pregnancy that will help you flatten the flab. Basic crunches may be the most, well, basic, but they work. If you haven't done them before (or in the past nine months or so), start slowly and don't push yourself too hard. Begin with pelvic tilts and simple ab contractions: Lie down on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Slowly tighten your abs and tilt your pelvis toward your head. Tighten the pelvic floor as you do this
Tip 2: The Real Deal

Ready for real crunches? With your back on the floor, put your feet on the floor, knees bent, and place your hands behind your neck to support your head. Press your lower back into the floor, then lift your head and shoulders off the ground. Repeat 10–15 times. As you get stronger, add difficulty (lift your feet off the floor during reps, for example) and variations (like tilting your legs to the side and reaching for the opposite knee as you come up to tone the oblique muscles on the sides of your torso). Working different muscles is essential for losing that belly fat after pregnancy.



Tip 3: Recruit an Exercise Buddy

If you like, you can get your baby into the act, too! Blast your baby fat after pregnancy with a baby bench press: Lie down with legs bent and feet flat on the floor, holding your baby so he's resting on your belly. Inhale and lift your baby skyward, pulling in and contracting your abs at the same time; then exhale and lower your baby. Do as many reps as you can.

Tip 4: Stay on the Ball

An exercise ball is another great tool for tummy exercises after pregnancy. Ball crunches work like regular crunches, but you'll be adding the element of balance, which makes your moves a bit more challenging. If crunches just aren't your thing or you want more of an overall workout, try yoga or Pilates, both of which place an emphasis on a strong core. Oh, and don't forget — a sensible diet and regular cardio exercise will help you burn belly fat after pregnancy (and overall fat, too).

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