Okay, mommas!! My baby girl is seven months old now. My how time flies! As we all know, just getting to the gym is a major challenge. I, for one, am still not comfortable taking my princess to childcare at the gym. It may just be that I am a first-time mommy, but I also have concerns about cleanliness. Anyway...so I have recently bought a jogging stroller second-hand from a friend of mine. Ava Baby is rolling in style now in her JEEP Stroller! It's great! My advice, if you're shopping around, is to buy one with a stationary front wheel. Yes, they are a bit harder to maneuver; however, if you are using it as intended...for JOGGING...you don't want that front wheel to swivel or shimmy.
So my GYM DAYS now primarily consist of legs workouts. If you're a follower of my blog, you know that I split my legs days to maximize muscular development...one day for Glutes & Quads then another day for Hamstrings...and Back. My biceps, triceps and deltoids I squeeze in where I can or either use my free-weights at home. But my ABS...ugh...I am so weak! They are visible up top because I have leaned out again, but my lower abdominals haven't a fraction of the strength they did pre-pregnancy.
Our abdominal muscles are designed to separate during pregnancy and for women that remain on a workout schedule while pregnant, recovery can happen relatively fast. There are those cases where some experience hernias or those that are more fortunate and their abs never split! This was me!! I was so excited when my doc told me that they were still fused together. Then the news came that baby girl was breach and a cesarean section with necessary.
I regained muscular control in my abs around four weeks post-partum. It was just this past week...seven months post-partum...that my abs sent me a message! I've been working them once or twice a week, but that hasn't been enough. They seized up on me mid-workout! I'm talking CONTRACTED and would NOT let go! OUCH! I am also feeling a little "poochy". My nutrition was a little lax, months three through six, after I lost my initial "baby weight". I had dropped so quickly that I feared my milk production would be compromised. NOT TRUE, but that's a blog for another day. So I increased my caloric intake for a few months. I've just begun tapering back down, cutting out complex carbs and relying in high protein and tons of veggies for my carbohydrate consumption. I can't help but wonder if the weakened abdominal wall is a playing a role in the bloated tummy look I have? So...I am working the abs at least every other day depending on muscle soreness. Here is what I've been doing to target that lower abdomen...
Leg Lifts - laying flat on the floor with hands under the hips for stability, lower back pressed to the mat, lift the legs no more than 12" off the floor. Lower the legs back down just BEFORE the touch the ground, lift back up.
Roman Twists - sitting on the floor with feet flat on the floor and knees bent, lean back to a 45 degree angle putting tension on the abs. Raise the feet off the floor. Hands clasped in front of your chest, rotate torso from left to right by dropping your shoulders towards the floor.
Stability Ball Crunch - Laying with the small of the back high-center on the ball, feet against the wall and wider than shoulder-width apart for stabilization. Crunch up keeping the chest pointed up towards the ceiling. Limited range of motion and feel the hyperextension stretch in your back as you descend from your contraction.
Sets: 3 to 4
Repetitions: until it burns...then 20 more! =)
All of these can be modified by adding a decline bench or weight to the motion. If you have any great ab exercises, PLEASE POST IN COMMENTS! We would all love to hear from you.
Until next time...stay strong, my lovely ladies!