How to Improve Core Strength After Pregnancy and Delivery

How to Improve Core Strength After Pregnancy and Delivery

Today, I’m here to tell you and show you that
yes, you can get a strong core after pregnancy, after having a baby and after having a C-section. No longer do you have to feel like your midsection
muscles are gone. You don’t have to feel mushy in your tummy
and you don’t have to feel like you got no core support. I’m here to show you how to activate your
core muscles correctly because likely what you’re doing is incorrect and it’s not working. This is especially important for moms, if
you’re looking to get a flatter belly after having your baby, Welcome to the Strong Mom Channel where I
share fitness, recipes, workouts, and more all for moms who wants to become strong, lose
weight, and become confident in their bodies. So if you’re a mom, you really need to hit
subscribe and make sure to hit the bell so you never miss a Tuesday video from me. Comment below. If you’ve heard this in a fitness class before. Suck your belly button to spine. Brace your core. Suck in. Hold your breath. Brace, brace, brace. That for most people is the extent of how
they’ve been trained to activate, or engage, their core muscles. But these cues actually lead to breath holding
and bearing down and putting pressure onto our pelvic floor, which is, no bueno for a
new mom. As a nutritionist and personal trainer, my
specialty is helping moms get rid of their mummy tummy and one of the most important
things that moms need to do after having the baby is learn how to activate their deep core
muscle. I’m talking about the transversus abdominis. This is the first exercise that I teach all
of my clients who are looking to get a slimmer tummy. Before we gone on, make sure to grab my Flat
Belly After Baby eBook because I have 10 holistic ways that you can get a flatter belly after
baby without dieting, without extreme exercise and without surgery. So first off, the deepest layer of our core
is not our abdominals. That’s like our six pack. Okay? We’re not talking about that today. We’re talking about our transversus abdominis,
and that wraps around our whole body, our whole torso, like a corset. Why we need to learn how to activate this
deep core muscle properly is because it’s been stretched out after pregnancy. We’ve lost some of our tone in the muscle
and we need to retrain our bodies how to turn it on again. Now this muscle is really important in providing
stability to our whole body. It provides us with back support and also
helps us when we know how to engage it properly, it helps us to brace when we’re lifting up
something really heavy, AKA a three year old perhaps. So to start, I want you to come down onto
your back into neutral spine. So you’re going to lay down on your back and
what I mean by neutral spine is you should be able to, you can see the just a little
gentle hollow or you can slide your hand underneath the small of your back. I can’t slide it all the way underneath. So what I don’t want to see is, I don’t want
to see arching like this. I don’t want to bring my whole… Be able to bring my whole hand because I am
flaring my ribs and you do not want any rib boobs happening here. So we want neutral spine and likewise, we
don’t want to be tilting our pelvis upward like this. So we don’t want to be putting that small
of your back, you don’t want to be pressing it down to the ground. So just nice and neutral. Another way that you can know that you’re
a neutral is if you were to place a wine glass here or a cup, you wouldn’t be spilling it
over because if you were here, you wouldn’t be able to place it and if you were here,
same thing, you wouldn’t be able to place your wine glass or your margarita, in my case,
on the low of your abdomen. So I’m going to show you two things that people
do most of the time, which is brace their core and suck their belly buttons to spine. The first one is bracing their core and what
most people would do is just grip in their obliques as well as their abdominals. So their six pack and it would look like,
like that. So everything is just really tight and it
makes it really hard to breathe. You can’t really breathe and that’s messing
with your whole breath mechanics. The other thing that’s wrong with this, with
just holding this is it’s pooching up my belly a little bit, but the worst thing is that
it’s pushing all of your pelvic organs downwards. So I’m creating pressure in my pelvic organs;
so in my vagina, and I can feel that. That isn’t no bueno, if you are a woman in
general, especially if you want to keep your pelvic organs inside your body for the rest
of your life. So we do not want to be bracing like this. The other thing that a lot of people do, and
a lot of fitness trainers I see on YouTube, even in classes, will cue their clients to
suck their belly button to spine. So what that looks like is, and they’ve created
again, a ton of pressure downward. You’ve got all of this sucked in. So all this is cinched in, pressure down,
pressure up, my breathing mechanics again messed up, but I’m creating like this hollow
belly and we don’t want a hollow belly. We want a nice tone, flat belly, not a hollow
belly. So I want to point you to this video that
I did here where I talked about sucking in your belly because you don’t want to do that. Again, if you want to keep all of your pelvic
organs inside your body for the remainder of your life, you need to check out this video,
if you know you are a breath holder or a belly button, sucker inner. Let me know in the comments below. Are you somebody that has typically been sucking
your belly button in? That you’ve been bracing your core? Tell me what strategies you have been using
for most of your life to activate your core. So now I want to show you what we’re doing. We’re laying on the ground. I want you to properly activate your deep
core. Remember, this is the transversus abdominis
and this wraps around our whole belly, like a corset. So when you take your two fingers and you’re
going to tap yourself on those spiky, those spiny ASIS. So these are your, otherwise we call them
our hipbone. So I want you to feel your hipbones here and
then you’re going to move your hand inward. So hipbones, and then just come inward. So your fingers will just sink in a little
bit. Now what I want you to do is give me a nice
cough. When you do that, you can feel tension. Maybe some people will say, bulging, where
I will do it here. Let’s do this. So you can see that happening and you can
feel that tension. So this is the muscle that we want to be feeling. However, when you cough, like I just did,
I coughed forcefully and we don’t want that muscle to be bulging out. We want it to be, and creating a nice gentle
tension. So the coughing that you felt, that’s the
muscle that you know you’re working, but you don’t want to feel the bulge sensation. The same thing, you don’t want your fingers
to be sinking, sinking really deep down either. So what we’re going to do, we’re going to
try to, this is hard. This takes a lot of practice. We’re going to try and create that tension
that you felt when you did that little cough. We want to create that tension on our own. So again, feeling where those hipbones are,
your ASIS, and bring those fingertips in. So what I want you to do is I don’t want you
to suck your belly button to spine because that’s hollowing out here. I want you to gently think about this, all
this lower abdomen area. I want you to think about gently bringing
it inward toward your spine. So just this lower abdomen part, bringing
it down. [inaudible 00:07:54]. Now I know that a lot of people say, “I don’t
know how to actually physically do that.” It’s okay. This takes a lot of time. As I said, this is step one I start with all
of my clients. Another cue that you can use is I want you
to pretend you have a string attached from one hip bone to the other hipbone and I want
you to think about bringing that strength, so one hip here, one hip here. Think about bringing that string in together
or bringing the hipbones in together. So with a gentle, gentle tension. Now if you were doing this really forcefully,
it’s going to look like this and my fingers, it’s just way too much tension here, but you’ve
got the right idea. You also don’t want to be bearing and pushing
up your belly like you just saw here. So I’ll do that again. We don’t want bearing down and we don’t want
this bulginess. We want a nice gentle tension. So if you got your fingers here, I want you
and you’ve been able to activate, you maybe draw that string in. I want you to take it down to 20% of what
you’ve been doing because most of the times people think they have to work harder than
they actually have to, to activate this deep core transversus abdominis. Again, this takes practice. We want to feel nice, gentle tension. We don’t want our fingers to hollow in down
here and we don’t want our fingers to bulge outward either. We want nice gentle tension. Now let’s try that same, creating the tension,
bringing those hips together, with an exhale. So first I want you to inhale and as you exhale,
create a gentle, gentle tension. Then inhale; relax it. Exhale. Gentle tension and hold this tension. Maybe talk to somebody in the room. I am still holding this light connection here,
my transversus abdominis without flaring my rib cage and without bracing my core and I
can still breathe. I can still carry on the conversation and
if I’m doing a workout, I can still do all the lifting, the heavy stuff that I want to
do. So this is what, if you were creating this
tension and you’re going at 100%, this is what it looks like and we don’t want that. Here’s what my 20% looks like and again, you
notice that nothing’s really happening to my belly button. I’m not hollowing on my belly. My belly is nice and flat. So I want you to try this the next time you
do a crunch and I want to show you what most people do when they do a traditional crunch
or a sit up. What they do is there’s no core connection
and they just push up. Do you see on my belly, just like pushed up;
bread loafing. Some people call it bread loafing. So we don’t want this. What we want to do is create that tension
again; lower abs. I’m going to do it when I exhale and the transversus
and do you see how there’s no poofiness? No poochiness happening now. I’ll do that again. Inhale first exhale, create my tension in
the transversus and see this is the proper crunch. I’m not bread loafing and making all this
poofy. Remember, we want to create a flat, tight,
toned tummy. We don’t want to be pooching it out and creating
pressure on our pelvic floor. So now you know how to activate your deep
core, your transversus abdominis properly. But how do you actually translate this into
daily exercise? How do you use this and what’s the next step
in getting rid of the mummy tummy, the AKA diastasis recti and abdominal separation? Well, stay tuned because I’m going to be talking
all about that in the next video. So make sure to hit subscribe and the bell
below and don’t forget to pick up my Flat Belly After Baby eBook. The link is in the description box below. If you liked this video, please leave me a
comment below and say hello and tell me what other videos you are looking for. Are you looking to get rid of your abdominal
separation? Are you having some other postpartum issues,
symptoms that you want help with? Let me know and I’ll see you next time.

5 thoughts on “How to Improve Core Strength After Pregnancy and Delivery

  1. Hey. Strong Mom! I typically suck in my bellybutton and brace my core. This is what's pushed by trainers, so it's become second nature for me to do so, when exercising (like doing squats, etc.)

    I'm not a mommy, but will be soon, prayerfully, so this information is helpful to know for sure. Thanks for the awesome video!

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