Pregnancy does a number on your core. New mom and fitness expert Sara Haley recommends exercises that target the transverse abdominal, the innermost stomach muscles that act like a corset, cinching everything together. Perform these moves three times a week for a show-off stomach. If you've recently given birth, get your doctor's approval first.
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Kneeling Heel Twist
Kneel with hips straight above knees. Place hands behind head, with elbows out. Twist torso to right and reach right hand back toward right heel while keeping hips centered. Return to start and repeat on the other side. Do 12 reps.
Start in plank position on forearms. While keeping back straight and abs engaged, walk hands into full push-up position with hands under shoulders and elbows bent slightly. Bring hands back down to plank, without lowering to the floor. Do 5 reps.
Forearm Plank Swipe
Start in plank position, forearms on ground. Stack left foot on top of right heel. Keep your back and legs straight while lifting left foot slightly, then sweep left leg out to side. Return to start position and do 6 reps. Switch legs and repeat.
Lie on back, arms out at sides and legs together. Engage abs and lift legs straight up over hips. Slowly lower legs 45 degrees to the right, while keeping upper body on mat. Lift legs back to center and repeat on left. Do 10 reps total.
Sit with knees bent, legs together, and arms out at shoulder level in front of you. Lean back, rotate torso to the right, and bring right elbow to the floor. Return to start, switch sides and repeat. Do 16 reps.
Want more flat stomach tips?
Being a mom doesn't have to mean saying sayonara to your pre-kid stomach. Small switches to your diet, workout routine, and lifestyle can make over your middle.
Originally published in the September 2011 issue of Parents magazine.
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