postpartum abs (or lack thereof)

THANK YOU for all your sweet and encouraging comments to Dave’s post yesterday.  It means a lot that people even read my blog, but to hear from you is just amazing.  Thank you thank you thank you!!

Also, a HUGE apology for not responding to emails lately!  My girlevolvingblog email is supposed to forward to my main gmail address… and it used to.  But for whatever reason, it’s stopped.  Thankfully, Rita said something in the comments yesterday so now I know!  I am so so sorry if you wrote and I haven’t responded – I will be much more careful about that now!

I’ve never had abs to rave about, but I’ve always felt like I’ve had a decently strong core.  Enough to help me run and keep me from having back problems.  Enough to do plank holds and bicycle crunches.  And then my abs got stretched:

Stretched in the best way possible, but stretched nonetheless.  And now, almost 7 weeks post-baby, I’ve got some seriously weak abdominal muscles.

Weak as in my abs are sore from running.

Weak as in it took quite a bit of effort to do a plank hold for 20 seconds today.

Weak as in I can’t do even one sit-up without cheating (moving my arms for extra “oomph”).

I don’t need six-pack abs (I’d take them… but let’s face it: I’m probably not motivated enough to do the really hard work to get them), but I’d like to have a strong core again.  For better running.  And so I can sit up in bed without it being a huge ordeal (fact: it currently is difficult.  Laaame.).

So.  Can you help?  What are your favorite simple ab exercises?


7 thoughts on “postpartum abs (or lack thereof)

  1. I am in the same boat, so I am looking forward to seeing the replies! When I started going back to the gym after having Emitt, I had forgotten my pre-pregnancy ab routine. It took me two weeks to even remember bicycle crunches existed! I have a pretty lame ab routine now–some sit ups, crossed leg sit ups, the kind where you put your legs in the air and lift your lower body, bicycles, and planks. I feel like I need to change it up to get some strength back.

  2. I am a huge fan of the Jillian michaels DVD’s. When I used them (before I was pregnant) I noticed definition in my abs after a few weeks. You really get a good workout with her dvd’s. I remember the first time I ever did one. I had to use the handicap stall because I needed to use the handrail to get on and off the toilet. haha!

    I intend to use them after baby is born.

  3. I’m currently in month 2 of Shawn T.’s Insanity program. My abs have never looked as great as they look now, even when I did Jillian’s 30-day shred, even when I did abs class at the gym. It’s a tough workout but so worth it. Also my running has definitely improved since I’ve added this workout to my routine. My times have dropped, so I’m really excited to see what my time will be when I run my first marathon in March, even though I have no time goal for the race, just to finish is my top goal.

  4. My abs are certainly nothing to write home about, but my favorite ab move is planks. Front planks, side planks, plank walks (go from elbows to hands and back down, like right up, left up, right down, left down then switch starting side). Plank jacks are good too (in a plank, jumping jack your legs in and out).

  5. I have no post-baby advice but I think it helps to have good posture throughout the day and suck your belly in. Help teach those abs where they need to go!

  6. It took me a LONG time to get any core strength back… and it’s still a work in progress. Planks are just fantastic all around. Also, if you have an exercise ball use it for your planks. Like place your hands or forearms on it as you would the floor during a plank.

  7. I agree with doing planks and different plank moves like dipping your hips from side to side in plank to help the obliques, plank up and downs, side planks, as well as pulsing crunches and reverse crunches. It does take some time, but you’re only 7 weeks pp so you’ve got lots of time.

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