Fit Tip: Post-Pregnancy Exercises for Your Abs

Posted On Oct 26, 2020 By Lisa Traugott

A woman and a baby

Congratulations mama! You’ve just spent nine (well ten, actually) months creating and carrying a new life and now that the little bundle of joy is out you might be looking down saying, what the heck happened to my stomach?

Whenever I ask my clients about their fitness goals every single new mom has said to me that the top priority is to get her abs looking normal again. Let’s start there. Once you have kids there is a new normal for your tummy and it may include loose skin and stretch marks. Your abs can still look fantastic, just know that they probably won’t look the same as they did pre-pregnancy.

Here are some exercises to help you get your groove back once you are cleared by your doctor to exercise. After childbirth, particularly after a c-section, it is important to build up your deep tissue abdominal muscles.

Aim to do this workout four times per week, with a rest day in between.

Go slowly and listen to your body. Each week you should feel stronger as your body learns the exercises. When the exercise becomes too easy you can increase the number of repetitions (which is why a range is listed) but only so much where you can maintain proper form. As a rule of thumb, the last two reps of each set should be challenging. For cardio you can either pick up your pace or increase the incline.

A woman holding a baby.

1st Month Post-Partum

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Warm up – walk on treadmill, no incline, speed 3 1 5 minutes 30 seconds
Pelvic Bridge 3 10-15 45 seconds
Walk on treadmill, 3% incline, speed 3.5 1 5 minutes 30 seconds
Towel Pulse 3 15-20 45 seconds
Walk on treadmill, 5% incline, speed 4 1 5 minutes 30 seconds
Single-Leg Stretch with towel 3 10/each 45 seconds
Cool down – walk on treadmill, no incline, speed 3 1 5 minutes 30 seconds

Pelvic Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your feet hip width apart, knees bent.
  • Inhale, then exhale as you draw your abs up and in toward your spine.
  • Tilt your pelvis up, lifting your hips off the floor into a bridge. Slowly lower down to starting position.
  • Towel Pulse

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  • Place a towel across your upper shins and grasp each end.
  • Pull the ends of the towel and squeeze thighs together.
  • Inhale, then exhale as you draw your abs in and lift your shoulders off the floor.
  • Hold, and contract and release your ab muscles.
  • Single-Leg Stretch with Towel

  • Lie on your back with your knees above your hips and your shins parallel to the floor.
  • Place a small towel on top of your thighs, hold on to the ends and push against your thighs to create resistance.
  • Lift your head and shoulders and extend your left leg out as you exhale.
  • Switch legs and repeat, alternating legs.
  • Remember it took you nine (well, ten) months to have the baby, so be patient with your amazing and beautiful body as it gets back in shape. As your core gets stronger you will be able to transition into more typical ab exercises like planks and twists. You got this mama!