Ali had a successful recovery after her pregnancy and kindly shared with us some of her favourite exercises that helped rebuild her strength, in particular her core.
I swore by these exercises during my earlier postnatal workouts and I still do. They engage the core, whilst working so many other body parts at the same time.
Your core requires a lot of TLC following pregnancy and birth. Many choose to do crunches but this can actually compromise your abdominal muscles, especially in the earlier months and can even set you back in your recovery.
The core is more than just your 'abs'. The glutes, hips and back muscles all come into play too. When we are thinking about strengthening our core we should also be thinking about our hips and glutes and other muscles in the midsection.
Ali has created a workout that is perfectly suited to postpartum training to help build back up strength.
You can do 2-4 sets of the exercises below depending on how your energy is and how much time you have.
If you’re newly postpartum, remember to check-in with your doctor or physio before you tackle these exercises to make sure they’re right for your body.
Pelvic Tilt With Knee Raise
To do this basic variation of the Pelvic Tilt, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Relax your arms down by your side.
Then feel the space between your low back and the ground. Press that space away by drawing your belly button toward your spine and “tilting” your pelvis.
You want to feel your low back press against the ground. Hold there with your abs braced and making sure to breathe as you hold.
Once you can hold the basic pelvic tilt, you will progress the move and add in the knee raise movement. Adding in movement will force your core to work harder to stabilize, you can also add a weight between your knees to futher increase the difficultly.
Glute Band Clam Shell
Lay on the floor on your side and bend your knees to bring them in towards your chest. You will be in almost a fetal position.
Keeping your feet together and without rocking backwards, open the top leg, squeezing with your glutes. Your legs will look like an open clam shell.
Return the top leg to the starting/closed position.
Glute Band Kick-Back
On all fours contract your core muscles and without changing the angle of your knee, extend your leg back and up until your thigh is parallel with the ground.
Contract your glutes at the top of the movement and hold for a count of one.
Return to your starting position without touching your knee to the ground and repeat.
Glute Band Seated Abduction & Lying Glute Bridge
Seated Hip Abduction
In a seated position with good posture simply drive your knes outward against the tension of the Glute Band. Make sure to squeeze your glutes as you do so to further engate the gluteus.
Lying Glute Bridge
Lying flat on your back with the band anchored beneath your feet, drive through your heels and push your hips up to the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement and repeat.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
In a seated position with your chest up, knees bent and core braced, press the dumbbells above your head. Slowly lower the dumbbells down and repeat, it is really impotant that you keep your core tight during this exercise.
You can follow and say hi to Alexandra on Instagram @miss_pspt_fitness