Pregnancy is a season, and it is entirely possible to return to a semblance of your pre-pregnancy body afterwards. It’s important to work on the fitness and conditioning of your body after a pregnancy, and especially if you plan to have another baby in the future. Your fitness level before becoming pregnant may determine how well your body “bounces back” after giving birth.
During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles are stretched to allow room for the uterus to grow. Sometimes this stretching creates separation in the musculature. Here are the best exercises to do in order to strengthen your abdominal muscles and minimize the muscle separation. Note that all of these exercises are stabilizing, not crunching. The prolonged, holding contraction of the muscle is what will draw your core back into its original, firm and flat orientation. Complete these every other day, once your doctor has cleared you for activity.
Plank: 3 x 1:00
Brace on your forearms, keeping core straight and tight.
In/Out Band Press: 3 x 15 each side
Anchor band at chest height. Place feet shoulder width. Press band straight out, making sure to trace a straight line out from your body.
V-Sit: 3 x 1:00
Sit on the ground and lean back until you feel your abs engage. Keep feet lightly touching the ground. Pictured is an advanced version.
Dead Bug: 3 x 1:00
Start with picture A, and advance to B and C once you have mastered the previous one. Start by reaching to the ceiling and pressing your core firmly to the ground. There should be no space between your back and the floor. Hold for 1:00. Try to take breaths without arching your back and relieving the pressure through your core.