Four Core Exercises for the 4th Trimester

Jenn recently tested out Sara Haley’s new Expecting MORE: The 4th Trimester Workout program. She liked it so much that we put it in our top 5 postnatal workout DVD list. The workouts in the program are designed for all moms, whether they had a baby six weeks, six months or six years ago, and they are even safe for those recovering from a C-section and diastasis recti.

Regaining your core strength is so important in that first year postpartum; there is a lot of heavy lifting involved in baby care as your baby grows, and a strong core can help prevent back pain and injuries. Today, Sara is sharing four core moves you should add to your routine as you get back in the groove after baby.


Four Core Exercises for the 4th Trimester

1. Slide Out. Works core, especially obliques.


Sitting cross legged on the floor, place one hand on your belly. Think of pulling your navel away from your hand and into your back. By keeping your hand on your belly, you should be able to feel your abs contracting and feel when they are not. With a towel in your opposite hand, slide the towel along the floor, out and away from your body. Think of going up and over to the side, so that your side body is not collapsing. Return with the same control you used when sliding out. Begin with 8 reps on each side and gradually increase to 12 reps.

2. Resistance Fight. Works core.


Lie on your back and lift one leg up to tabletop so that your knee is in line with your hip. Take your opposite hand and push against your thigh. As you try to push your leg away with your hand, resist by pushing your leg into your hand in opposition. While all this is happening you should be focusing on pulling your navel toward your spine and closing your rib cage. You may feel your body start to shake. Begin by holding for 15 seconds on each side and gradually increase to 45 seconds.

3. Teeter Totter. Works low back.


Lie on your mat face down. Begin with your chest against the floor, legs long and slightly turned out. As you hold a towel underneath your forehead, pull your navel to your spine, point your toes and lift your legs slightly off the floor. Keep your upper body completely still. Then switch so that your legs stay on the floor, as you lift your chest up off the floor. Think of holding each side for a count of two before lowering down. Begin by alternating six times and gradually increase.

4. Hover. Works core and shoulders.


Begin with shoulders over hands and hips over knees. Pull your navel to your spine and make sure your tailbone is not lifted; your back should be completely flat. Lift your knees up off the floor, just enough to slide a piece of paper between your knees and the floor. Begin by holding your knees up for 20 seconds and gradually increase to 60 seconds.

Check out Sara’s DVD for more strengthening moves. I know I’ve still got work to do on my core strength, but it’s a work in progress!

What’s your favorite core move? I’m a plank but all for trying the “hover” is great for some variety! —Erin

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