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Flabby and out of shape stomach is a common thing for women after they have given birth. Getting your belly into its pre-pregnancy state is not only essential for looking good but is important for your overall health as well. Certain poor posture problems like lower back pain, sciatica, joint pain and inflammation can be prevented by strengthening the weak stomach muscles.
Now this does not mean that you should start your exercising routine the very next day after giving birth. Generally, you should not begin serious abdominal work until your pelvic floor is strong again. Do a simple test to check how ready are you for exercises?
Lie on your back with your head on the floor. Place your hands behind your neck and slowly lift your head toward the ceiling. Hold that position, now place a finger just above the belly button and press down gently. Generally you will feel a gap in between the muscles. See how many fingers (if any) you can get into the space. It will determine your abdominal muscle gap – if it is one finger then you may do all the exercises – if it is two or more you need to be really careful.
Exercises to reduce your tummy:
• Single-leg circle: Lie on the mat with your arms by your sides and your palms facing down. Raise your left leg toward the ceiling, and rotate it slightly outward. Inhale, and trace a circle on the ceiling with your left leg. Moving your whole leg, but keeping your hips still. Trace the circle 5 times in a clockwise direction and then 5 times in anti-clockwise direction. Switch legs and repeat 5 times.
• Sit straight with your back flat against something and your legs out in front of you. Place your hand on your belly button and tighten your stomach muscles so that your belly button moves back towards your spine. Now, holding on to this position, force 50 short breaths out of your mouth. Then release your muscle, take a deep breath and relax. Work up to performing four sets of 50 breaths each day.
• Abdominal crunches: Place your hands behind your head or crossed in front of you whichever is more comfortable. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. When you raise up, be sure you are exhaling and when you lower your back, be sure to inhale. Pay attention to your breath as it will help you train muscles and makes the crunch much more effective. Perform 2-3 sets of 20-25 repetitions. You should really feel your abs working by the time you get close to 20.
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