Although my tummy area will never look the same because of all the stretch marks and skin wrinkling from pregnancy, it is pretty flat now. I credit most of that to diet, but I also love these exercises from the September 2011 issue of Parents magazine and have incorporated them into my weekly workouts–no crunches here!
First, if your diet is clean but your tummy sticks out, it could be because your hip flexors are tight and your glute muscles are weak. Use the floor bridge and lunge stretch to correct the imbalance.
Floor Bridge: Lie on your back with knees up and hip width apart. Lift toes and push through heels as you lift hips off ground, squeezing butt at the top of the movement. Hold for 5 seconds and do 3 sets of 20 reps.
Lunge Stretch: Lunge forward with left leg until right knee is on floor. Gently ease into the stretch for 1 minute before standing and repeating. Do 3 reps per leg.
Next, use exercises that target the corset-like transverse abdominals, which cinch your midsection.
Kneeling Heel Twist: Kneel with hips straight above knees. Place hands behind head, with elbows out. Twist torso to right and reach right hand back toward right heel while keeping hips centered. Return to start and repeat on other side. Do 12 reps.
Plank Walk-Up: Start in plank position on forearms. While keeping back straight and abs engaged, walk hands into full push-up position with hands under shoulders and elbows bent slightly. Bring hands back down to plank, without lowering to the floor. Do 5 reps.
Forearm Plank Swipe: Start in plank position, forearms on ground. Stack left foot on top of right heel. Keep your back and legs straight while lifting left foot slightly, then sweep left leg out to side. Return to start position and do 6 reps. Switch legs and repeat.
Wipe-Away: Lie on back, arms out at sides and legs together. Engage abs and lift legs straight up over hips. Slowly lower legs 45 degrees to the right, while keeping upper body on mat. Lift legs back to center and repeat on left. Do 10 reps total.
V-Sit Pull-Back: Sit with knees bent, legs together, and arms out at shoulder level in front of you. Lean back, rotate torso to the right, and bring right elbow to the floor. Return to start, switch sides and repeat. Do 16 reps.
Being a mom is no excuse for neglecting your workouts! Keep eating healthy, doing your cardio, and incorporating these exercises into your workout 3 times a week, and you’ll see serious improvements to your mommy tummy!