Core, core, core ??
Who doesn’t love working on their abs in hopes of getting that area flatter and fitter?
We all know that a flatter midsection makes us feel more confident, sexier and younger and I believe that is why it is the most commonly asked for advice and requested exercise:
“How can I get rid of this belly?”
“Show me ab exercises!”
While you can’t expect to rid yourself of a “mommy belly” solely by doing a bunch of ab exercises, (it takes changes in your nutritional habits) you certainly CAN improve your core function and get stronger overall which will enable you to get leaner, have a flatter belly, become more fit and FEEL BETTER…… but you have to do very specific ab exercises.
This is especially important for moms! Pregnancy changed your body, no matter how long ago your baby was born and unless you’ve addressed it or you are very lucky, your abdominal muscles (and pelvic floor muscles) stopped functioning like they did before pregnancy.
Let me explain. Your core muscles have to fire ? at the proper time, in the proper order, with the proper amount of tension to control excessive movement in the low back and hips. These muscles have to do their job FIRST and then the bigger muscles fire to create movement like walking, running and jumping.
Your deep core muscles are designed to control motion, create stability and be “anti-movers” for the hips and low back to prevent excessive motion and micro-trauma to these joints.
You don’t have to do crazy balancing acts if you’re body is not ready, in fact, you SHOULDN’T do those crazy moves, or even a sloppy plank, because you are simply training your body to do THE WRONG THING.
Instead, master exercises like this:
Core Engaged Dead Bug
Set up so that your neck is long and relaxed and feet are off the floor
Grab the resistance band and keep your elbows straight as you pull the band down towards the sides of your body
The tension this creates should be just enough to feel your abdominals kick in
Keeping your ribs in & down, exhale as you reach one leg forward and long
The opposite thigh pulls closer to the chest
Keep your ankles flexed. Toes towards the shin
Do not allow your midsection to lose tension. Your back should stay down towards the floor.
If your back does come up, start with both feet on the floor (knees bent) and lift one foot at a time
Once you return the first leg to the starting position release the band and re-pull the band to re-ignite the core and then reach forward with the opposite leg
The idea is that you teach the core muscles to contract and release and contract again prior to moving the leg.
I typically have clients do 8x each leg