Four ab exercises better than sit ups – fit as a mama bear

As moms, our abs have been ripped, stretched and just plain beaten from pregnancy and birth. Paleo diet and diabetes And many of us want to fix them. Lose belly fat menopause However, the old school, body builder type of training which consists of high volume and only exercises like sit ups and crunches is most definitely not the way to go about it.

I originally wrote this post for The Mommy Confessionals so if you haven’t hit up her site- get on it!

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As a mom, your focus needs to be on improving the way your midsection functions before anything else. Weight calculator lbs to kg Picking up, holding, carrying and playing with your babes all require a strong set of muscles ( click here to really see why mamas need muscle!), not just pretty ones. Healthy diet to lose weight indian And while sit ups and crunches do have their place, for most moms, especially new moms they can cause a bit more damage than good.

Through pregnancy your abdominals stretch (and sometimes separate). Lose water weight fast 2 days If you’ve had diastalsis recti you’ll need to treat that long before you’ll be rocking any serious ab training. Paleo italian dressing But even if your abs didn’t fully separate sit ups and crunches both cause the belly to “round” or “bulge out” at the top of the movement. Paleo chili verde Instead of strengthening the abdominals after pregnancy, this further stretches them.

Instead, place your focus on training your abs to be functional. Paleo apple crisp The purpose of your core is to keep you upright and prevent movement. 3 month diet plan Thus, exercises like anti-extension, anti- rotation and anti-lateral flexion all target those muscles and prepare them for day to day activities (If you’re a brand new mom click here for a few rehab exercises first!)

Below are four ab exercises that do just that – no sit up required! (Tip: check out a video demo of these exercises here)

I love deadbugs, LOVE. Paleo diet potatoes They’re a fantastic anti-extension exercise performed on your back. Paleomg This exercise teaches your body to resist the urge to extend the low back against tension. Healthy diet foods for breakfast It requires you to maintain a slightly pelvic tilt against movement and thus, trains your entire core musculature.

Parlof presses are an anti-rotation exercise. Losing weight after pregnancy Your body has to fight to remain neutral as a force, or tension attempts to get it to twist. Paleo honey Keeping a neutral back and fighting the urge to rotate stimulates your entire side body. Paleo diet rules and foods This can be done standing, kneeling, in half lunge position, with a press as a hold and more. 7 day protein diet plan for weight loss There are literally tones of variations.

This exercise is one of my favorites but it’s not great for brand new moms. Healthy diet for weight loss and muscle gain The exercise is an anti-extension exercise like the deadbug but instead of laying down your body will be in full plank position. 3 day weight loss The reason it’s not great for new moms is because of this position. Weight loss meal prep recipes As a brand new mom you’ll struggle to activate the muscles necessary to pull in your belly (those muscles are stretched remember?). Exercise and anxiety and depression So placing your body in a position where the belly in hanging only accomplishes making the problem worse.

If you’ve already rehabbed your abs than this exercise is great. Exercise and blood pressure The goal is to prevent your low back from extending as well as to reduce rotation as you move your arms away from your body and become more and more unstable.

This exercise is a great rotational exercise and can be done standing or kneeling. The best diet foods It forces the muscles of the trunk to work together and requires a lot of stability. Best diet to lose 10 pounds It’s an awesome way to target your midsection and improve strength.

Like any other exercise the rotation requires you to focus instead of just going through the movements. Diet plan to lose belly fat meal plans This trick and this trick alone is what will enable you to become strong and activate your muscles.

So there you are, four exercises that not only target your midsection but force your body to work as one unit and improve its functionality. Exercise and depression study These four exercises are perfect substitutes for crunches and sit ups and will give you much more bang for your buck.

Looking for more mom fitness tips? Check out why I workout with my toddler and how to maximize bodyweight training for your goals.

I’m Shelby – strength coach, nutrition coach, chronic foodie & mama bear. Exercise room ideas I’ve been a coach for the better part of the past decade and I truly love helping people.

Through fitness, food, mommyhood or making natural changes in your home, I’ve done it all – and I want to help you too!

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