- Traditional sit-ups or crunches place large amounts of stress on the lower spine and neck. As a new mum you generally already hold tension in these areas from all the bending, lifting, changing, feeding, driving, washing, typing, cooking, cleaning you do each day in your new role as mum.
- Sore lower backs are common for new mums from a weak core after birth. If you have a sore back situps and crunches will not help. You need to focus on gently building up overall core strength to strengthen and connect the pelvic region, hips and spine which all work together for good back health, posture, fitness and wellbeing.
- Six pack – schmix pack! Sure working your rectus abdominus muscle hard in conjunction with a lean diet is what contributes to a ‘six pack’, but as above you really don’t strengthen your deep functional muscles or core from sit-ups which are far more important for functional movement for mums.
- Havoc on the Pelvic floor – too much pressure bearing down for situps or crunches without suitable core support can have an adverse effect on your already tired and recovering pelvic floor. Better to avoid the risk and work on your core.
- Instead of hitting the mat to do sit-ups and crunches, try a few core stabilizing movements to get better use of your too precious time to exercise. These exercises are easier on your back and more effectively strengthen your abdomen as well as your whole core and back support system.
- Plank pose, or holding a high pushup position, works your core. Hold your shoulders, hips and feet in a straight line for as long as you can then rest.
- Side plank working your obliques- similar to a plank pose hold a straight line between shoulders hips and feet whilst open to the side supporting yourself with one arm. Swap sides.
- Lying leg extension is the bomb for new mums. Lying on your back with knees bent, gently outstretch one leg to just above the floor then slowly return to starting position. Alternate legs.
Demonstrations on the above are on the video link attached or the Bounce Back abs toolkit cheat sheet.
Take your time and have fun!