I saw a ton of ab challenges pop up on Facebook the last week of May and it’s really concerning to me. These ab challenges are geared toward mother’s wanting to flatten their tummies for summer after having babies. Crunches and sit-ups have been proven to compromise the pelvic floor and exasperate Diastasis Recti(split ab muscles post pregnancy). While I totally understand wanting to flatten my baby tummy, I don’t want to damage my pelvic floor or widen the split in my abs. So I decided to post about a safer exercise option and challenge that was short and effective. I combined Peak Fitness Exercises with core ab exercises that don’t compromise your pelvic floor or risk splitting your abs. While most postpartum mamas are ready to get back to their pre-baby shape with newborn in arm, these exercises are not recommended for new mamas, mamas with severe Diastasis Recti, or please consult your doctor or midwife. My youngest just turned 3 years old and my Diastasis Recti is one finger width, but I would have attempted this challenge when she was 1 year as well. You know your body and listen to your pelvic floor! You can tell when too much is too much. Alternatively Yoga is a very gentle and effective way to tone your body and reach overall physical fitness.
Peak Fitness Exercises are:
- 2 minutes of warm ups
- 30 seconds of high intensity (pelvic floor safe: swimming, rowing, pedaling) (sprinting, stairs, jump rope)
- 90 seconds of “rest” in aerobic and anaerobic states
- repeat 7 times
- 2 minutes of cool down
During your 30 seconds of high intensity you want to reach your heart rate max. The heart rate max which is a formula of 220 beats per minute minus your age. So for example my formula is 220-29(my age)=191 heartbeats per minute.
Mommy Tummy Safe Core Exercises:
- Standing Elbow to Knee
- The Core Row
- Side Plank Push Up
- Hip Bridge with Leg Extension
- Glute Kick Backs
- Pelvic Tilts
If you have or had Diastasis Recti NO crunches or sit-ups, ever again. If you feel your core is strong you can attempt planks. If you try a plank and your core feels firm and engaged, carry on. But if it makes you feel as if your innards are falling out at the front, STOP RIGHT THERE! If you can do planks here are some great core exercises to firm your abs. Modify all plank exercises to be on your forearms instead of your hands to protect your pelvic floor.
- Burpees (don’t do the jump up if your pelvic floor is weak, do a slight hop if it’s sound)
- Plank Push Ups
- 3pt Plank
- Active Plank
- Mountain Climbers
- Plank Pulls
- Reach and Slide
- Stability Ball Roll Outs
Tips for best results:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Avoid a high fat meal prior to exercising
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat healthy carbs (think vegetables) and high quality protein
- Optimize your vitamin D levels
- Avoid sugar, especially fructose
AVOID all sugar and fruit for 2 hours after these work outs because it will destroy the natural fat burning “human growth hormones” you created during your workout.
EAT 20-25mg of protein within 30 minutes of your workout for post exercise fueling.
Do NOT do more than 3 of these high intensity sessions per week. It will wear your body out. You can do up to 5 if you are doing them at moderate intensity but you will get better results with 3 high intensity workouts. Think quality not quantity! Make those 30 seconds of high intensity count! Push as hard as you can. If you can keep going after 30 seconds you didn’t push hard enough.
Tool for easy application:
Download this FREE app for your phone to time your intervals! So handy and makes timing a breeze!
Essential Oils Help Shed Baby Weight:
Ledum with Citrus Fresh