Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Getting rid of the poochy tummy

Post baby, there is nothing mummies hate more than that pouch. No amount of crunches you help you lose it. The first thing you should do after you get clearance from your doctor to exercise is work on your pelvic tilts and activating your transversus abdominis (TA)muscle.  This muscle has been stretched to the max during pregnancy, and post-baby, is one of the weaker muscles that needs to be activated and strengthened before venturing on to the more superficial abdominal muscles.  The TA muscle is a stability muscle and works at 2 to 20% of maximum contractile force during all your waking hours. You will need this muscle to be strong as your baby gets heavier and you are half-awake and need to pick them up for a feeding or soothing.

(All these exercises can and should be done whether you've had a baby, or just have a poochy tummy sans baby)

Activating your TA muscle:

  1. Lie on your back with legs bent, feet apart, pelvic neutral. 
  2. Breath in through your nose and then breath out through your mouth.
  3. Gently draw in the lower abdominal muscle, as if fastening a smaller notch in your belt. (if you put your hands there, you should feel a flat tension, if you feel a bulging out, you are not drawing in the TA, try again)
  4. Relax your chest while maintaining the tension
  5. Focus on your breath, and breath naturally. Hold for 2 breaths and release. Repeat for 10 times, 2 sets 3-4 times a week

TA exercise 2:
  1. Now imagine that you have to zip up your skinniest jeans:
  2. Inhale and hollow the area under your thumbs and fingers toward your spine. It will be a very small movement. (keep both pelvis in neutral position and chest relaxed)
  3. Now exhale and contract that the area under your fingers, as if zipping up both sides together (keep the rest of your body relaxed, while keeping Pelvic and Chest Neutral. Repeat for 10 times, 2 sets, 3-4 times a week

Seated Tummy Sucks

  1. Kneel without touching heels, arms extended, back slightly rounded.
  2. Inhale and hold while sucking in the bellying from bottom up.
  3. Hold for 1-2 breaths and release.
  4. Repeat 10 times, 2 sets, 3-4 times a week
  5. (Alternatively, you can also do this on your hands and knees.)

Pelvic Tilts

  1. Lie on your back with legs bent, feet apart, pelvic neutral(meaning there is a slight curve to your lower back).
  2. Exhale and flatten your back so that it is flush with the floor, and contract your abs(the contraction should feel as if you are bracing yourself for a punch to the tummy), slightly tilt your pelvis back.
  3. Repeat for 10 times, 2 sets, 3-4 times a week

Delavier, Frederic. Women’s Strength Training Anatomy

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