Being pregnant is one of the most beautiful things a woman can experience, and sometimes it comes with a little sacrifice. We sacrifice our body for our bundle of joy, but this should not keep us from staying healthy and getting our body (and abs) back! When I had my first child I realized being active and healthy during my pregnancy was extremely important, but I failed to do so.
I learned my lesson, educated myself, and worked hard to stay in shape during my second pregnancy and postpartum. Now that a few years have passed, I am a mom of two, going to school to get my master’s degree in Kinesiology Sports Management, and am a full time personal trainer; but I still find the time to get in great workouts, stay in shape, and actually have abs! I know you can do the same too, no matter the unique challenges you face!
The key to being active and staying healthy in the midst of challenge is to first fully understand the obstacles you will face. Going into my second pregnancy, I knew it would be hard for me to get in shape and that there would be times where felt tired and exhausted. But because I knew what I was up against, I was able to research my options and plan my workouts around these obstacles. When things get tough it’s much easier to stick to a plan that you’ve already made, rather than trying to make commitments and decisions when you’re under pressure and stress. Get the planning out of the way first, so that all you have to do later is follow through!
What are your obstacles? Is it a busy or inconsistent schedule? Do you feel tired and drained after work? Are you unsure of what to do in the gym, or not motivated to come in the first place? We all have our own unique challenges, and that’s okay! From my own experience of getting my abs back after pregnancy, as well as working with a wide range of clients as a personal trainer, I’m confident that everyone – yes everyone (including you!) can do something right now to start the journey to achieving your goals. Whether you want to look & feel better, lose weight, gain muscle & strength, lift up your mental health, or become healthy enough to freely do the things you love, the right fitness and nutrition program can absolutely be a powerful influence in taking control of your life!
So now what? Let’s get things rolling! I’ll show you how I worked through one of my problems, & I hope you can do the same. If not, come on in to the gym and let us help you work out your obstacles and see how we can help you have your best workouts!
After I had my son I found myself overweight and realized I could no longer eat whatever I wanted; I was putting myself at risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. I knew I had to exercise, make lifestyle changes, and form better habits. And as if that wasn’t enough, pregnancy can also lead to diastasis recti – a huge challenge to overcome if I wanted to get abs after my baby!
What is Diastasis Recti [dahy-as-tuh-sis]? This is condition that can happen during pregnancy from a growing uterus pressing against the abdominal muscles, causing them to separate and lose their shape. Factors such as poor core strength, multiple pregnancies, and women over the age of 35 increase the chance of getting diastasis recti. Thankfully this opening shrinks down over a period of time, but may take over a year depending on the individual’s core strength and activity level. This is one reason why women might find it hard to get their core strength back once they have a child. Still, my goal was to have abs after pregnancy!
One way to decrease the chances of getting diastasis recti and get abs postpartum is to perform safe core workouts during pregnancy and continuing those exercises after. There are a lot of excellent core exercises, but while pregnant a growing mother should be very careful to only perform exercises that are safe and effective. Specific exercises we want to avoid are traditional, oblique, ball sit-ups, bicycles, even abdominal machines. These exercises can also increase the chance of getting diastasis recti or make it worse!
*Always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.
Here are four core exercises that worked great for me during each trimester of my second pregnancy:
Kneeling Knee Reach
Standing Side Crunch
It is very important for everyone to be active and healthy and this includes pregnant women! As a personal trainer and a mother two I am here to tell you, yes you can get ABS AFTER BABY and yes you can overcome your obstacles, I did! So ask how we can help you stay in shape and take control of your life once and for all!
by Jana Johnson