In addition to the joys of motherhood after childbirth, a woman often faces the primary disorder – a very noticeable tummy, which, no matter how you pull it in, does not disappear anywhere, and the waist is no longer the same. This spoils the mood and lowers self-esteem. Let’s talk about how to achieve a flat stomach.
How to get back a flat tummy after childbirth
During pregnancy, as a result of hormonal changes, the fat layer increases. It should protect the fetus from external influences. This is especially true of the abdomen, so after childbirth, in addition to stretching muscles, which should return to normal over time, there is also a fat layer on the stomach. Because of this, he acts, looks uneven and ugly.
What can be done in such a situation? It is necessary to reduce the percentage of fat while increasing the strength of the abdominal muscles, giving them the desired shape.
Working with the abdominal muscles
The shape of the abdomen depends on the thickness of the fat layer and the condition of the muscles of the abdominal wall. The state is considered normal when the abdominal wall protrudes entirely and the stomach remains flat. The weakness of this muscle group leads to the formation of a protruding or pendulous abdomen. Physical exercises to work out the abdominal muscles, which are divided into four types, will help to increase their tone:
Leg work with a motionless torso – raising and lowering, bending and straightening, cross, circular movements, etc. These movements strengthen the lower abdominal muscles.
The work of the torso with motionless legs is raising, lowering, turning the torso, etc. In this way, the upper section of the abdominal muscles is strengthened.
Simultaneous work with the body and legs – as a rule, most abdominal muscles are included in the movement.
Cross work with the body and legs. In this case, the oblique muscles of the abdomen, which form the lateral muscular walls of the abdominal cavity, receive the load.
When doing exercises, you need to remember that the abdominal muscles on one side are attached to the lower edges of the ribs and on the other – to the pelvis. Therefore, it is necessary to raise the pelvis when raising the legs. When performing complexes lying on your back and raising your knees to your stomach, do not be lazy to tear your pelvis off the floor, bringing your knees closer to your forehead.
Hanging on the crossbar or the Swedish wall, you also need to pull your knees to your chest, raising your pelvis.
When can I start exercising after giving birth?
It is especially worth paying women’s attention to the fact that it is possible to start strengthening the abdominal muscles after natural childbirth only after 6-8 weeks, after a cesarean section – after 2-2.5 months. With loads on the abdomen at an earlier date, serious troubles can await you: divergence of sutures (for example, after a cesarean section or after sewing up the perineum when it ruptures), increased intra-abdominal pressure, and omission of the walls of the vagina. Therefore, do not rush with physical activity, and during the recovery period, pay attention to the diet, excluding especially high-calorie foods from it. But do not follow a strict diet – this is contraindicated for a nursing mother because a deficiency of nutrients will immediately affect the quality of milk and well-being. It is better to comply with the well-known reasonable restrictions on sweet, fatty, and fried foods.
Exercises for a flat stomach
So, you have recovered from childbirth and are ready to form a flat stomach. How and where is the best place to practice? There are no uniform rules and recommendations for working on your own body. There are different ways from which you need to choose the one that suits you or combine several methods at once.
The goal of shaping is to improve the figure with the help of exercises that borrow all the best from aerobics and athletic gymnastics. Fans of such activities are often called sculptors of their bodies. In this comparison, the essence of training is accurately captured – a directed effect on various muscle groups. Therefore, in addition to the abdomen, the muscles of the back, arms, and legs are strengthened.
Shaping classes are held in sports clubs where groups are recruited for courses at different times under the guidance of an instructor. For a young mother, this option has its pros and cons. On the one hand, regular classes at the club will allow her to work out her figure at least two times a week for 40-50 minutes. On the other hand, the same lack of time and various unforeseen circumstances can prevent you from attending these workouts regularly, so another option may be preferable for you.
Home set of exercises
There are specially designed sets of simple exercises, performing which it is quite possible to achieve good results, in particular, so that the stomach becomes flat. At the same time, conducting any exercise, you must firmly know what, why, and how to do it. Therefore, here are some tips and tricks:
Before performing a set of exercises, do a little warm-up. It can be jumping rope, dancing to music, etc.
Don’t use weights. They form voluminous muscles, and voluminous abs are hardly your goal.
During exercise, keep the press in constant tension. Pay close attention to the execution technique. The result will be better if you do the exercise 20 times correctly than 50 times, but carelessly.
Train hard. Some coaches advise you to spare yourself, assuring that you can do half your strength. Of course, you can if you train for fun, but if you want to get results, you need to give your best.
If you had never trained before or started training after a long break, start exercising gradually, with one approach (the recommended number of times you need to do the exercise without a break), and slowly bring it up to four.
Watch your breath! As you exhale, tighten your abdominal muscles and pull the front wall of the abdomen into you as deeply as possible while relaxing the ribs so that they sink. When you inhale, try not to relax your abdominal muscles. The abdominal wall should remain retracted. The abdomen swells mainly to the sides and up.
The press must be trained – at least three times a week, full – every day.
As practice has shown, the best training method is a giant set, when several exercises are done one after another, without stopping. After each giant set, you can rest for one minute. Exercises are recommended to be performed fast and with the maximum number of repetitions. At the end of this “marathon,” the press should just burn. But you need to come to the giant set gradually, gradually increasing the intensity of the exercises.
When performing exercises, you must constantly concentrate on your feelings, on the condition of the abdomen, the muscles of which must tighten.
Do not eat 1 hour before and after exercise.
Before doing exercises, you need to stretch the muscles:
Stretch 1. Inhale – around your stomach as much as possible. Exhalation – the front wall of the abdomen moves to the spine. Hold this position for a few seconds. Do 4-5 sets of 10 reps.
Stretch 2. Lie on your stomach. Bend back as much as possible and fix yourself in this position for a few seconds. Do 4-5 sets of 10 reps.
Now you can start exercising.
Starting position: legs together. While squatting, pull your buttocks back firmly, tilt your body and place your hands on the middle of your thighs. Inhale and round your belly by inflating it with a “balloon.”
Straightening up, raise your arms up and spread them with the Latin letter V. At the same time, you need to straighten your back as much as possible, exhale and draw in your stomach. This is the so-called “belly breathing.” With an exhalation, we retract the front wall of the abdomen.
Then slowly inhale through the nose, relaxing the diaphragm. The abdomen protrudes forward. At the same time, the lower part of the abdomen is filled with air.
Exhalation – the front wall of the abdomen is pulled inward as much as possible, forcing the air to exit through the nose.
When breathing with the stomach, only the lower part of the lungs is filled with air, and the stomach performs a wave-like movement. The chest remains motionless. Perform 16 times.
Attention! Do not take your heels off the floor, and be sure to watch your breath!
When performing this exercise, it is necessary to feel the movement of the front wall of the abdomen towards the spine during breathing, which is the main point of this exercise.
Starting position: lying on your back, hands clasped behind the head.
On the exhale, raise the shoulder blades, bend the legs, pull the knees to the chest, and heel to the buttocks. Be sure to pull in your stomach.
Then, spread your legs – straighten the left, but leave it in the air, and pull the knee of the right leg to the opposite elbow. In a semi-circular change of legs, take a short breath, but, again, concentrate on exhaling and touching your knee with your elbow.
The exercise is performed as long as there is enough strength.
Starting position: lie on your side, legs slightly bent. Place your shoulder on the floor slightly in front of you.
If you are lying on your left side, slightly “twist” the body around its axis to the right. At the expense of “one,” – stretch your hands to your heels while tearing off your knees and shoulder blades. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute.
Then stretch the obliques that form the sidewalls of the abdomen by swinging the knees to one side and the arms to the other, thus twisting the torso in the opposite direction.
Repeat the entire exercise in the starting position lying on your right side.
Starting position: lying on your back, legs slightly bent and spaced shoulder-width apart. Hands – the lower back is pressed to the floor along the body.
As you exhale, draw in your stomach as much as possible, and lift your pelvis as far as possible in the direction of the ceiling. After reaching the highest point, hold the pose for 30 seconds.
Connect the oblique muscles to work for 15 seconds, straightening one leg, then the other.
Performing these movements, try to exclude the work of the buttocks as much as possible.
Starting position: lie on your back pull your knees to your chest. Spread your arms to the side press your palms to the floor.
On the count of one, lift your buttocks slightly and move your hips to the side, keeping your knees together. Don’t put your knees on the floor! Breathe evenly, and do not take your shoulders off the floor.
Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise in the other direction.
Starting position: lying on your back, arms behind your head, legs bent, feet on the floor.
Stretch your arms forward lift your shoulders off the floor. Inhalation is done in the supine position, exhalation – sitting. You can make this exercise more challenging by holding this position.
The main mistake when doing this exercise is to tighten the neck muscles instead of the muscles of the abs, so try not to move your head back and forth.
Starting position: First lying on your back, arms are located along the body, legs are raised and bent at the knees (or straightened up, as a more complex option).
Raise your pelvis as if you were going to make a shoulder stand, but not too high. At the same time, the hands remain on the floor, but one should rely on them as little as possible.
The main mistake is to swing your legs to create momentum. It is necessary to raise the pelvis only due to the abdominal muscles.
Performed on a bed or bench.
Starting position: sit on the edge of the bed, then lie on your back, hands behind your head. Pull the legs bent at the knees to the stomach.
Then straighten your legs so that the body stretches into a string. Then pull your legs up again. The knees can be extended.
This exercise works well on the lower part of the press.
A muscle stimulator is an electrical device for stimulating muscle contraction. It is a box with wires to which electrodes are attached, on which a special gel is applied. The electrodes are placed on the stimulated site and fixed. An anatomical diagram is attached to the home device, which shows where and how to identify the electrodes to tighten the abdominal muscles. Different installation of electrodes involves stimulation of other abdominal muscles (and not only). The duration of inspiration is from 15 to 45 minutes. The use of a muscle stimulator to strengthen muscles is often called “gymnastics for the lazy.”
In addition to home appliances, there are so-called professional muscle stimulators designed for use in beauty salons.
The most severe and effective devices have several programs of different intensity, with varying frequency and current strength. The muscle stimulator causes passive, longitudinal, and transverse-rotational muscle contractions under electrical impulses. The chemical changes in the muscles are identical to the changes that occur during active sports. Longitudinal muscle contraction contributes to the rapid reduction of excess weight. Transverse-rotational muscle contraction aims to improve their tone and shape and improve blood circulation.
This is an excellent way to train muscles but requires regular procedures. Otherwise, there will be no effect.
Usually, an intensive daily course is first carried out – at least 20 minutes during the month. When the result becomes noticeable, stimulation can be carried out two times a week for 20 minutes to maintain shape.
Before using a muscle stimulator at home, you should consult a doctor. There are contraindications to such stimulation:
- chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- the presence of metal orthopedic prostheses;
- malignant neoplasms;
- acute inflammatory processes;
- urolithiasis or cholelithiasis.
- Invisible Workouts
In addition to the listed methods of actively fighting for the flat shape of your abdomen, do not forget about it in the everyday bustle, on vacation, where you can also work out the abdominal muscles unnoticed by others, but very effectively once again.
For example, while standing in transport, in line, walking with a child, do not forget to regularly do invisible abdominal exercises – to retract and relax the anterior abdominal wall. Relax as you inhale, and draw in as you exhale, trying not to choke your breath.
When taking a shower, rub your stomach with cold water using a removable shower head – from the right side (at waist level) to the left and vice versa. Then in circular motions, clockwise.
When swimming in the sea, river, lake, or pool, take a few minutes to massage your belly with the movement of water. To do this, clasp your palms horizontally and move them down and up at a distance of about 3-4 cm from the stomach. At the same time, you should feel how some kind of solid wave touches the belly. You need to do this exercise as long as possible until your hands get tired.
In the pool, holding on to the side with your hands and leaning with your back straight against the pool wall, alternately lift your chest, bending your knee, then one or the other leg, and then sharply straighten it to the end.
Place a particular gymnastic device at home in a conspicuous place – the so-called health disc “Grace.” With this flat rotating disc, the exercise is performed – the upper body turns to the right, and the bottom – to the left and vice versa. You can quickly restore or create a waist. Spin-on it in your free time from household worries. At one time, try to do at least 100 turns.
Try to live with a retracted stomach. At first, this state will have to be constantly monitored, but then it will turn into a habit.
When will the results be noticeable?
If you follow the recommendations, after 1.5-2 months, the abdominal muscles will get stronger and will already hold the abdominal wall well. Work on the abdominal muscles, in addition to a flat stomach, will provide you with an elegant thin waist, for which the same forces are primarily responsible.
But this does not mean that now you can forget about them. Only regular maintenance exercises will help maintain and improve the results! Remember that a flat stomach is a lifestyle, not a one-time promotion that will give it to you for life.