So if you have been reading my stuff for a while you will know I think Abdominal exercises for weight loss are very over rated.
In fact its scientifically proven.
I see people doing stomach exercise after stomach exercise and they don’t do what people think they do.
That being said there are some good reasons to do them, the deep abdominal muscles are one of numerous muscles that give the body support.
The problem is picking one that is safe as well as effective.
With most who are post natal the pelvic floor muscles may not be as strong as they were and the lower back muscles and hip muscles may still be a bit tight.
So most stomach exercises can do more harm than good.
Apart from a few.
The problem with a lot of stomach exercises is that they put a lot of pressure on the spine.
Plus post birth and it can remain undiagnosed a lot of Mums experience Diastasis Recti, which is when there is a an increased separation of the stomach muscles through the middle, which puts pressure on the back during movement.
And if there isn’t yet enough strong support in the stabilisation muscles again pressure is placed on the back.
The best exercises are those that keep the natural (neutral) curvature of the spine.
One of those exercises is the Plank.
If you have not heard of the plank, imagine the start of a press up, except instead of being on your hands you are resting on your forearms.
But you have to draw your navel to your spine and tense your backside muscles to support you during the exercise and keep the back flat (like a plank :)).
But in the lose and shape up system exercise routines, I never use stationary planks, whilst they are useful, to lose and shape up burning calories is the key!
So my favourites are moving planks of some kind.
In fact in my exercise system they are usually the first exercise of the Mums Exercise circuit.
And they can be tailored to the individual; if you are starting out or have had back problems, you can do them kneeling to take some load off.
There are many, many variations.
Why do them as the first proper exercise after warming up?
Well if you activate the muscles that stabilise you early on they do a better job of supporting the body in the rest of the exercise session.
I posted a Facebook live video to my Busy Mums Facebook group demonstrating the exercise and variations here:
Ed (What a Planker!) Stride.