After giving birth, you may feel like you’ll never fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes again. One of the best ways to lose the extra baby weight is to get back into exercise. But not all exercises are created equal when getting rid of postpartum belly fat.
Wondering how to get rid of that postpartum belly fat? Check out our tips and tricks to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Why postpartum belly fat is not normal
If you’ve just given birth, you might wonder why your belly fat hasn’t gone away yet. Many new moms experience a little bit of extra weight after having their baby. But what about those who gain 50 lbs? Or even more?
This postpartum weight gain is due to changes in your hormones and metabolism! It may also happen because you’re eating more than usual, especially if your food is high in fat or sugar (e.g., ice cream). Lastly, some people store more water during pregnancy and breastfeeding than others, contributing to abdominal bloating post-pregnancy.
What causes postpartum belly fat?
The following are the most common causes of postpartum belly fat:
- Pregnancy hormones. During pregnancy, your body produces a lot of estrogen, which gives you a big appetite and slows down the rate at which you burn calories to support your baby’s growth and development. This can lead to weight gain during that time.
- Lack of exercise. The lack of regular exercise during pregnancy can cause weight gain and muscle loss in the abdominal area due to hormonal changes that occur during this time. If you don’t do anything about it after giving birth, this will surely give rise to postpartum belly fat!
- Poor diet – if you’re not careful with what type of food choices you make after having kids (especially during breastfeeding), then there’s a good chance that they’ll affect how much fat gets deposited around your midsection later on down the road! That’s why it’s important not only now but also later on down.
- Stress-related weight gain. Stress can cause you to overeat, which can make you gain weight.
Benefits of exercising for postpartum belly fat
The benefits of exercising for postpartum belly fat are many.
- First, it strengthens your core muscles, which helps you tone them and increase blood flow to the pelvic area.
- Second, it keeps you fit and healthy as you lose weight after pregnancy.
- Third, exercise reduces stress and keeps hormones in check to avoid depression.
- Fourthly (yes, this is the fourth benefit), getting rid of belly fat will make clothes fit better on your body!
- Finally (you thought we were done? Ha!), exercising will help you sleep better at night so that when morning comes around again—and the baby cries—you’ll feel ready to tackle another day full of challenges head-on.
10 exercises for a flat tummy post pregnancy
These exercises are easy to do at home. You can do them in combination or separately, which makes them easy to fit into your daily routine. They will help you lose weight and tone your muscles all over the body, including your core. Here are my top 10 exercises for a flat belly post pregnancy:
This is a great exercise for working your core and getting rid of that postpartum belly fat. To do the v-up, lie on the floor or ground with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms at your sides. Keeping your back straight, lift both legs until they are perpendicular to the floor (if you’re using resistance bands, keep them taut). Then slowly lower your legs back down to start position. Repeat as many times as possible before increasing the difficulty level by adding weight plates/resistance bands if necessary.
Plank is a great exercise for strengthening the core and can be done in many different ways. The basic plank involves lying face down on the floor, with your arms straight out in front of you and your legs extended behind you (as if you were sitting on a chair). Then, lift yourself so that only your toes and hands touch the ground—your body should be straight from head to heels.
For most people, this is easy at first; however, as time passes, it gets more challenging because you have to use more muscles to keep your body stable enough not to drop down into its natural resting position. You can also make it more difficult by raising one leg or arm higher than the other. Stay in this position as long as possible while maintaining good form (straight back with no sagging).*
3. Bicycle crunches
Bicycle crunches are another exercise that targets the rectus abdominis and obliques. To do bicycle crunches, lie down on your back with your knees bent to about 90 degrees. Place your hands behind your head, then lift both legs to around 45 degrees from the floor. You can also lift one leg if you prefer!
Do 20-30 reps of this exercise for 3 sets per day to see results in flattening out postpartum belly fat. It’s important not to rush into these exercises because it could cause injury if done incorrectly or too quickly!
4. Flutter kicks
Flutter kicks are an excellent exercise for your lower abs and hips. To do them, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. While keeping your core engaged, lift one leg about 6 inches off the floor and alternate lifting each leg up and down like you’re fluttering a fan above you. You should feel this in your lower abs but not in your back or shoulders: if that happens, stop immediately! The number of flutter kicks you do can be increased over time (e.g., 50 reps); however, keep in mind that there is no “perfect” amount of reps, so listen to what feels right—you need to find what works best for YOU!
You can also perform this exercise while sitting up rather than lying down using just one leg at a time instead of both legs simultaneously, as shown above; however, it’s important that when seated up, there are no blankets or pillows underneath because they will prevent proper range-of-motion during each repetition which would lead us back into trouble again with improper form due to something else stopping our progress forward instead of helping us get closer towards achieving our goals.”
5. Mountain climbers
Mountain climbers are a great exercise to strengthen your core and improve your balance. The best part is that you can do them anywhere without equipment! This makes them perfect for the postpartum mom who doesn’t have much time to work out but wants to stay fit during her recovery phase. Mountain climbers are also fun for kids, so if you have older children at home, they can join in on this exercise with their mom!
Burpees are a great way to burn calories and tone your postpartum belly. Burpees will also help increase your metabolism and make you stronger overall.
Here’s how to do them:
- Start squatting with your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders, then jump up while pushing off your feet. When you land, quickly hop back into the squatting position, then repeat until the end of the set or until you can’t go any further (usually around 20 reps).
- Do as many sets as needed to get 1-2 minutes of rest between each set so that you’re not too exhausted when doing burpees at higher repetition rates than 20 reps per set.
Squats are a great exercise for your legs, butt, and core. They can be done with or without weights but only need to be done once or twice a week to see results.
To perform a squat:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor or lower. (If you can’t reach that low, try going up on an elevated surface.) Make sure that you keep your shoulders back and lean forward as far as possible while keeping your back straight. Don’t round it! You should also ensure that both knees stay over the middle of each foot throughout the entire exercise, so they don’t collapse inward toward each other at any point during the execution of this movement pattern; otherwise, this could cause injury later down the line!
8. Deep Belly Breathing With Abdominal Contraction
To do this exercise, lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place a small pillow under your head if needed. Inhale deeply through the nose and exhale through pursed lips so you can hear the air being blown out (the sound will be similar to blowing up a balloon). Repeat for 10 breaths and then take a one-minute break before continuing with deep belly breathing followed by abdominal contractions.
This exercise will help tone your postpartum belly fat, increase blood circulation in that area, and improve digestion after pregnancy. It also helps reduce stress levels which are often high during pregnancy due to various factors like weight gain or sleepless nights with newborns around!
9. Head Lifts, Shoulder Lifts, and Curl-Ups
- Head lifts: Lie on your back and place your hands under your head. Raise the upper part of your body off the floor, using only your neck muscles. Hold for one count, then return to starting position. Do 20 reps; you can also do this exercise with bent knees to make it easier.
- Shoulder lifts: Lie on your back with arms at the sides, palms down. Raise both shoulder blades off the floor as high as possible by contracting the middle part of the chest muscle. Hold for two seconds before lowering them to the original position and repeating the exercise 10 times.
- Curl-Ups: Start in a fetal position with forearms resting on thighs, palms up toward the body, as shown in the picture above (A). Exhale while lifting head, shoulders, and upper body off the floor through contraction of abdominal muscles so that arms hang straight down from elbows (B). Inhale when returning to the B or C position before repeating the exercise 10 times.* Note: Make sure you have any injuries or medical conditions not mentioned above, and please consult a physician before starting any workout program.
10. Kneeling Pelvic Tilt
You will need a yoga mat or towel to do the kneeling pelvic tilt.
- Start on your knees with your feet hip-width apart and hands resting on the floor. Make sure to keep both knees bent at about a 90-degree angle and relax your butt toward the heels of your feet so that the weight pushes into your thighs.
- Slide one leg out so it’s straight behind you (keeping both hips square), then place that foot flat on its side as close to perpendicular to your body as possible without compromising balance or form; extend your arms straight out in front of you and keep shoulders relaxed away from ears; breathe deep into the belly while keeping abs tight for 30 seconds before switching sides.
Bonus Workouts: Baby lifts
Baby lifts are a great way to tone up your back, arms, and abs. You can do them at home or in the gym with an exercise ball.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place a ball between your lower back and the floor while keeping your arms outstretched in front of you, forming a triangle shape with a head.
- Raise your hips off the floor as high as possible while holding this position for 30 seconds; then lower down slowly until the chest touches the ball again. Do 2 sets of 10 reps daily with at least 1-minute rest between each set. If you have lower back pain when doing baby lifts, try doing them on an incline bench instead of lying flat on a mat or bed, as we did above!
Postpartum belly fat is something that most new mothers have to deal with. It’s not much fun to look at this bulging area and know that it can stay like that forever if you don’t do something about it. However, some exercises can help you get rid of this extra weight fast!