Even when you have engaged in cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises for most of your pregnancy, you will still find your abs have been shot! Your pregnancy has stretched your belly muscles and skin almost beyond recognition but that isn’t the least of your worries either.
Pregnancy Affects Your Core Muscles
Keep in mind that the core muscles aren’t just the visible muscles on your abdomen, far from it. Instead, the core muscles consist of the muscles in your midsection – your back, hips and abdominal muscles. These muscles are important in your overall strength capacity, thus, the emphasis of personal trainers in core muscle development regardless of your workout program.
But with pregnancy, your core muscles will be affected, oftentimes for the worse. Your abdominal muscles become stretched resulting in their decreased strength. Your back muscles become shortened, too, aside from being overworked in carrying the new life inside your body. Your hips become wider resulting in their slight instability than before.
The result: Your core muscles become weaker, especially as you cannot engage in the same core-building exercises with your expanding belly.
Core Muscles in Post-pregnancy
Unfortunately, your core muscles will not spring back, so to speak, into their pre-pregnancy condition. You will not only see the visible signs of weakened core muscles – the stretch marks and flabby abdomen aren’t even the half of it – but also feel their effects.
Your core muscles aren’t as strong as they used to be so there are certain activities that you don’t have sufficient physical endurance and strength for. You may, for example, become easily tired after holding your baby for several minutes because your body has significantly changed. Your back is struggling to keep your upper body upright while your larger breasts are pulling it downwards.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wallow in frustration over the loss of your core muscles’ enviable appearance and fitness level. You can perform a few easy yet effective exercises to regain your core muscles’ strength without endangering your post-pregnancy recovery. You must, nonetheless, ask your doctor for the go signal to start exercising for safety reasons.
A few of the exercises recommended for new mothers for the recovery of core muscles include:
- Belly breathing
- Pelvic tilt
- Abdominal bracing
- Dolphin plank
- Yoga boat
- Side plank
When you have built your body’s strength and endurance with home exercises, you will be more than ready to take up your new exercise program at Planet Fitness.