Postpartum Abs Recovery: Your body is amazing – perfectly formed to evolve in the dynamic process to grow and incubate a whole new person inside you. One such change is the expansion of your abdominal muscles as the foetus grows.
This means that the two long muscles that run down the middle of your stomach stretch. In around 50% of women they separate, causing an indentation down the centre of the belly area. This is called diastasis recti.
While the condition will normally repair itself within around 8 weeks after giving birth, in some women isn’t the case. Even when the muscles naturally restrengthen, giving them a helping hand with strategic exercise is the best way back to full fitness.
Thankfully, there are ways you can improve and speed up the process. Below are 4 best ways you can do to speed up the process and promote healing.
#1: Yoga – Great for Body and Mind
Gentle, post-pregnancy yoga is perfect for teasing those abs back into shape after 9 months. The key to fast postpartum abs recovery is to strengthen the transverse abdominis (TVA) muscle that has been stretched to accommodate the baby. There are also two sets of oblique muscles that overlay the TVA, so targeting these as well is crucial.
Exercises such as the plank and side plank are great for this, as is the extended bird dog and a revolving variation of crescent lunge.
However, any movements that are rectus-focused, such as crunches, should be avoided. This is because such movement actually increases the stresses the TVA has undergone during pregnancy, therefore having the opposite effect to what you’re trying to achieve.
Joining a post-partum Yoga class is the best way to ensure that you’re carrying out the right type of exercise and achieving your aims.
#2: Pilates – Targeted TVA Activation
Pilates is considered one of the best post-pregnancy workouts thanks to its precise training and focus on TVA strength. Strategic exercises work these and all the supporting tissues and muscles, including the pelvic floor, glutes, upper back and all the smaller muscle groups that surround these.
Once again, strategic exercise needs to be undertaken to make sure you’re working towards the best outcome. One thing many women experience is a difficulty in feeling the abs working in the way they did pre-pregnancy.
That’s why it’s highly recommended to spend time getting the basics right, so allowing the mind-muscle connection to re-sync.
#3: Physiotherapy – Targeted to Your Individual Needs
One of the biggest advantages of physio is that the healthcare professional provides you with sets of exercises that are specifically formulated for you. This will focus on improving pelvic alignment, shortening the stretched muscle fibres and re-developing your dynamic stability.
A physio will also examine your abdomen to correctly diagnose the condition (and the extent of the muscle separation) before putting together a program unique for your needs.
Such a pathway works well for those that are self-motivated. This is because, once you’ve been shown how, it’s up to you to ensure that you actually do the exercises once you get home.
#4: Join a Gym With a Creche
There’s no doubting that the newest addition to the family is going to be taking up a lot of your time. So rather than miss out on the gym experience altogether, join one that has a creche facility.
That way you can be sure that mini-me is content and in safe hands while you get to work on regaining the body beautiful.
Slow and steady is the key to mending your diastasis recti. It affects more women than you think and, if you’ve not directly targeted it post-birth, it’s never too late to improve the abdominal muscles.
This applies even if it’s many years since you were last pregnant and helps you get postpartum abs.
Leading chain of Perth-based gyms, Bailey Fitness, have targeted classes, personal trainers and great creche facilities that can help you with your postpartum ab recovery.
Find out more about the range of options at https://www.baileyfitness.com.au or pop into a gym to discover more.