On your physician’s recommendation, once the gap in your abdominal muscles has closed, you can move on to some low-intensity intermediate post pregnancy exercises.

Remember that your ligaments and joints will be loose for at least three months after giving birth, so avoid any high-impact exercises or sports that require rapid direction changes. Vigorous stretching should be avoided too.

Intermediary exercises are your best option in this period, which ranges 3-to-4 months. During this time you can walk, do water aerobics, swim and perform other very low intensity moves.

Women are most concerned about getting their abdominal area back in shape after giving birth. To help the muscles in this area re-engage, try these two very light abdominal exercises:

Head raises for upper abdomen workout

  1. Lie on your back, with bent knees and both feet on the floor. Put your hands on your thighs.
  2. Breathe out, contract your abdominal muscles and lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Slide your hands towards your knees. Only aim to get your shoulder blades off the floor. Keep the small of your back (the part that arches) in contact with the floor at all times.
  3. Keep your head and shoulders stable. Hold the position, then slowly ease your shoulders and head back to the floor.

Repeat up to 10 times for one set. Perform around three sets per session.

Heel slides for lower abdomen workout

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and both feet flat on the floor.
  2. Contract your abdominal muscles.
  3. Slowly slide your feet away from you, aiming to straighten both legs. The idea is to straighten the legs without arching your lower back. If your back starts to arch, stop and slide your feet back towards your bottom. As your lower abdominal muscles get stronger, you’ll be able to slide your feet further and further away.

Aim for 10 repetitions per set. Perform around three sets per session.

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Written by Roshini Gilbert

Roshini Gilbert

After a diligent workout plan helped her lose 30kg of post-pregnancy weight, chartered accountant Roshini Gilbert was inspired enough to go from tallying numbers to training others. A freelance personal trainer today, Roshini has been certified by the American Council on Exercises (ACE) for functional fitness and specialises in post-natal weight loss, exercises for low back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. She also has REHAB Trainer certification from Australia for rehabilitative exercises and has trained with reputed sports physiotherapist Ulrik Larsen in corrective exercises and injury management. In HealthifyMe, Roshini has found a collaborator with a common cause – making people fit to live life to the fullest. Her assessment of how fit you are is based on three broad guidelines — stamina, body age (a person who looks way older than his age can’t be deemed healthy) and lifestyle (beware, those with bad eating habits and sedentary behaviour). Prepare yourself mentally first and then your body will follow, she says, of the opinion that if you want to change something about yourself then you need to challenge yourself to do it. Are you up for it?

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