Rehab for Mom Abs

Flatten your post-baby belly with six easy tummy-toning moves. Just dedicate 20 minutes to these three pairs of moves two or three days a week and before you know it, you'll be showing off your new shape.

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1. Lateral Stretch

Jason Todd

1. Lateral Stretch

Targets: Upper and lower abs, obliques

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in your right hand. Lunge to the left, keeping left knee over your ankle and right leg straight. Bend right arm, bringing weight to shoulder. With back straight, lower torso to left; extend right arm to ceiling. Return to start position. Switch sides; repeat. Do 12 reps on each side.

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2. Standing Side Crunch

Jason Todd

2. Standing Side Crunch

Targets: Obliques

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Lift right leg, bending knee 90 degrees and turning thigh out to side. Place both hands behind head and crunch your right elbow to right knee 15 times. Switch legs and repeat.

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Postpartum Exercise: Tips For New Moms

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3. Crunch

Scott Little

3. Crunch

For this set, you'll need to get an exercise ball if you don't have one left over from your labor and delivery days. (They're about $18 at esportsonline.com.)

Targets: Upper and lower abs and obliques

Sit on ball; roll down until butt is just hanging off, knees bent 90 degrees, with feet on floor, back straight. Place hands behind head and do a crunch. Return to starting position. Do 15 reps.

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4. Reverse Crunch

Andy Lyons

4. Reverse Crunch

Targets: Upper and lower abs

Lie faceup with legs extended, holding ball between calves, arms by sides. Keep upper body on mat; bend knees. Squeeze ball, and lift hips and lower back off floor. Lower, then roll back to start. Do 15 reps. Rest for 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat.

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5. Twist and Drop

Chris Fanning

5. Twist and Drop

Targets: Upper and lower abs, obliques

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend from hips, placing hands on floor about 12 inches in front of feet. Keep head down; lift left foot. Sweep left leg in front of right leg as you turn right foot out to side, bending right knee. Lower hips to floor, keeping left leg straight. Return to start. Switch sides and repeat. Do two sets of 12 alternating reps.

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6. Leg Lift

Chris Fanning

6. Leg Lift

Targets: Upper abs, obliques

Sit, legs extended, thighs together, toes pointed. Lean back, placing forearms on mat, palms flat, fingers facing forward. Leave left forearm on mat; raise right arm. Twist torso left while lifting upper body and left leg 45 degrees. Return to center; switch sides. Do three sets of 20 alternating reps.

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Add Cardio to Lose the Pooch

Alex Minde/Getty Images

Add Cardio to Lose the Pooch

No matter how toned your abs are, you'll still need to do at least two half-hour doses of heart-pounding cardio weekly to whittle your middle. These activities are so fun (and mom-friendly), you'll hardly notice you're torching calories:


Bike riding with your kid: 248 calories

Gardening: 124 calories

Jogging: 217 calories

Playing tag: 124 calories


*Calories based on a 135-pound woman

Originally published in Fitness magazine.

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