There’s no delusional thoughts here…getting a tight, trim tummy after having your body overtaken and your skin stretched to its capacity over nine months, is no easy feat. After being in the fitness and health industries over the span of two decades I have heard it all. But what I have found is that most, if not all, women CAN get back into their jeans and feel fit and trim again (ok, well even for the first time).
First tip, if you are like me and you have experienced ‘rectus diastasis’, where your ‘six-pack muscle’, otherwise known as rectus abdominus, has split down the middle, then I strongly recommend that you avoid crunches of any form until you have been cleared by your health or fitness professional and have a decent foundational level of abdominal strength, or you could be doing more harm than good. These exercises here are more designed for the long term…once you are getting back into your ‘normal’ clothes and wanting to really get those abs into shape once and for all. My two major tips for all clients wanting a great set of abs: lose body fat through a great exercise program combining cardio and resistance training, AND include a great ab workout.
Here are some of the exercises that I commit to about 3 times per week. Try 10-30 repetitions of each, building to performing 1 minute of each exercise over time – do this twice and there’s a great 8 minute blast for your abs! Keep breathing throughout!
Cross over crunches
- Place your body in the position shown but start with both hands behind your head. Support your neck and note the distance between chin and chest.
- Reach right hand to left knee and return hand to behind head.
- Reach to the left hand to right knee.
- Get into the position shown and support the neck.
- Reach your left hand to left foot while chest is lifted from the ground slightly as shown.
- Repeat on other side but keep your chest off the ground.
- Support the neck and alternate between the two positions shown in the photo for a great workout for the obliques (side ab muscles)
Support the neck and lift the chest off the ground as shown. Return upper body to ‘just above’ the ground – don’t rest. Repeat!