One of the most common issues women have after pregnancy is that their waist just isn't as small as it used to be. Waistbands that used to fit just seem to cut into them and they are extremely thankful for elasticised waists on trousers and skirts. They just want to get back into their normal, pre-pregnancy clothes and while the rest of them seems to be getting back to normal (apart from the boobs that keep growing during breastfeeding), the waist just doesn't seem to be doing the same.
I know are there are some very lucky ladies out there who get back into their jeans just weeks after birth (my sister is like that…gggrrrrr!!!) and then there are the rest of us…
The key here is patience. It took nine months for your body to be stretched to the max, why on earth do you expect it to snap back in shape in 6 weeks? Especially when you are run ragged with caring for a new baby and are probably severely sleep deprived. If it is your first, you may still be in a state of shock at just how time consuming a new baby can be.
So, be gentle on yourself. Eat well. Silly diets are not for you although this is not a license to pig out on chocolate chip cookies!!! Take time out to do some gentle exercises that target the waist. I am going to give you two really good ones in this article, but you may want to invest in a DVD or two of the exercise style I teach.
It is called callanetics and it shapes faster than anything else I have studied as a fitness instructor. The mantra is that 8 hours of conventional gym exercise yields the same results as one hour of callanetics. I am time poor so this really suits me. Maximum benefit – minimum time. It is wonderful for post natal work as it is gentle but effective and you don't need to spend hours doing it.
You could do one exercise when baby sleeps and it would only take you three to 5 minutes each time. You would really notice a difference doing three or four 5 minute sessions a day. You can read more on my website here and be sure to read Rebecca's testimonial on getting her waist back here.
Try these two exercises each day for the next three weeks and see what a difference they make to not only how you look, but also how you feel! Check out the video clip of a class and to get an understanding of the technique described in the exercises below. It is often easier to see it and then read it.
Exercise 1 – Reach for the Stars
This exercise is demonstrated 1 minutes into the 5 minute video clip
- Stand with your feet hip wide apart, neither turned out nor in, but just in a natural angle.
- Bend your knees slightly so the knee joints are soft and not locked.
- Stand tall – imagine a string pulling up the crown towards the ceiling.
- Relax your tummy, your bottom and your jaw.
- Place your right hand on your right hip.
- Stretch your left arm up, reaching to the ceiling then turn the palm to the ceiling.
- Lengthen the whole body out of the waist and hip and stretch the left arm even more, eventually reaching over to the right.
You should feel a stretch all down the left side.
Hold the stretch and with out losing that stretch, try and stretch another centimetre. This will create a small pulse each time you attempt to reach another centimetre further. Hold for about 1 min 15 secs or 50 – 80 pulses. To come out of the position, bring your left arm forward across the body in a half circle, bending your knees. Come up with a straight spine and then repeat on the other side.
Exercise 2 – Triangle Abs
This exercise is demonstrated 2 minutes into the 5 minute video clip.
- Lie on floor, feet flat on floor, feet and knees hip wide apart. Hands behind head for support.
- Relax back into floor, lengthening neck.
- Bring your right foot on top of your left knee, pushing the right knee out to side as far as possible.
- Push the left heel into floor
- Roll your upper body in, until only tip of shoulder blades remain on the floor.
- Take your left hand and reach for your right knee, turning your head to the left.
- Reach a centimeter further, creating a pulse
- Work up do doing 1 minute.
- Repeat for the other side.
If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them.
Go Gently & Be Healthy!