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Postpartum Core Strength Exercise Program

By: Kelly Diehl, PTA, LMT, BS, CKTP

You’re eight weeks out since welcoming that little bundle of joy, and your physician gives you the go ahead to return back to exercising.  Your wheels start spinning.  Where do I find the time?  What exercises do I do?  These thoughts can be daunting.  

Today, we share with you a 10 minute core exercise routine that was put together with new moms in mind or really anyone looking to tighten and tone their mid-section.  As always, be sure to consult your physician before trying any new exercise.

BRIDGES:

Lie on your back with your legs hip-width apart.

Bend your knees and position your feet flat on the floor.

Raise your hips off the floor so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.

Be sure to contract both your glutes and abdominal muscles when in the raised position to protect your lower back.

Pause at the top then slowly lower your body back to the floor.

For beginners start with completing 3 sets of 10 then work your way up to 3 sets of 20.

Benefits:  Engages your abs but strengthens and tones butt, hips and lower back.



PLANKS:

Start by getting into the push up position.

Bend your elbows and rest your weight onto your forearms and not on your hands.

Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.

Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine.

For beginners start with holding the position for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times and work your way up to holding the position for 1 minute, repeating 3 times. 

Benefits: Engages abs and strengthens and tightens core.

LUNGES:

Stand shoulder-width apart.

Engage your abdominal muscles and core.

Lower your hips until both knees are bent at approximately a 90 degree angle.

Your front knee should not extend over your ankle, and your back knee should hover above the ground.

Keep your weight in your heels as you push back up to starting position.

Repeat motion on opposite leg. 

For beginners start with completing 3 sets of 10 then work your way up to 3 sets of 20.

Benefits: Engages the quadriceps but involves additional muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, calves and core muscles.

 

SQUATS:

Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.

Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider.

Tighten your abdominal muscles.

Lower down as if you were sitting into an imaginary chair.

Hold the position and raise up to straighten your legs.

For beginners start with completing 3 sets of 10 then work your way up to 3 sets of 20.

Benefits: Tightens and strengthens thighs and glutes.