Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tightening The Lower Abs

A new friend told me she wants to tighten her lower abs. She's had 2 C sections and is struggling to get her lower abs tight.

It's important to get your doctors okay before you begin exercising after giving birth especially if you've had a c section. The muscles in your stomach need a little time to heal. If you go too fast and or too hard you can cause future problems.

When given the OK by your doctor, doing kegels is very helpful for many things one is tightening your lower abs.

Your transverse abdominus runs under your pelvic floor. It's the muscle that tightens your lower stomach. One way to get your  TA muscle to engage is by doing kegels.

Strengthening the TA muscle is the only way you will tighten your lower abs. Crunches will not do it.

Learning to engage your TA requires you to become familiar with it. Put your fingers inside your hip bones,  then push like you are taking a bowel movement. Add a Kegel and you should feel your fingers move under a band of muscles. Those are your TA muscles.

Practice that move until you're able to contract your TA muscle repeatedly. Then put a pillow between your knees and squeeze the pillow and release 20 times while holding the TA muscle engaged.

If you have an exercise ball, you can put your feet on the ball, engage your TA and pull the ball toward you and back out 20 times while keeping you TA muscle engaged.

Once you have that down adding reverse curls to your routine will help a lot!

There is a condition called diastasis rectus that can not be helped by exercise. That's when your rectus abdominus  is damaged during your pregnancy. Lie on your back and put your fingers in your belly button then lift your shoulders off the ground. If your fingers are not pushed out by your rectus muscle you may have the condition. See you physician if you have that condition.

I hope this helps! Leave questions and or comments and I'll do my best to answer them.

Your fitness expert


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