As part of my exercise after pregnancy mission, yesterday morning I met with Dan from Sound Mind and Body to talk mummy tummy, or more specifically how to get rid of my mummy tummy. As promised, we’ve done some suitably embarrassing and bad quality video clips to demonstrate! Here’s the intro…

Introducing mummy tummy part 1

So now you’ve met Dan…Pretty bad sound, eh?! Basically this is what Dan is saying:

1. Watch what you eat. We all know it but conveniently forget (or at least I do and hope exercise is enough) – Food has a massive impact on weight. That is the basic crux of the matter. So, to lose the mummy tummy, you’ve got lose the layer of fat our bodies so kindly distributed all over while we were pregnant. And to do that you’ve got to watch what you eat (in my case also what I drink…lovely, lovely wine).

2. Re-engage the core. The following exercises are a basic introduction to exercise after pregnancy that specifically engage the core in a gentle way, paving the way and preparing the body for the hardcore abs workouts to follow!*

3. Combine your weight training with cardio. This will help to rev up your metabolism and strip away the fat…more on this in the mummy tummy workout below.

* Before you start doing any abs exercise you should get signed off by your doctor (normally at the 6 week check up) but also check how big your abs are split (doctors don’t always do this – it’s more the physio’s domain). You can do this by lying on your back, with knees bent and then lift your head up very slightly as if you are about to do a crunch. Your stomach should tense. Now use your fingers to feel how big your split is (feel in between your ribcage and belly button). Some people have no split, others have a whole hands worth – mine was about 2 fingers straight after birth. While you should be fine doing these exercises, use your common sense when it comes to other abs work because if your split is too big you will only do yourself damage if you dive straight in with loads of crunches. Whatever you do (bending down, picking up, hauling baby around, etc) as soon as that baby pops out, remember to brace your core (meaning tensing your stomach muscles, while remembering to continue breathing) during any activity – this is how you will reduce the split and get the beginnings of your stomach back! 
 
For a guide straight after giving birth – go to p.8 of this NHS leaflet. I was given one much the same at hospital but I know A LOT of women who weren’t.

The 15 min Mummy Tummy Workout!

Start by doing a 5 minute warm up (on a stationary bike or cross trainer, or if you’re at home run on the spot/up and down the stairs/etc!)

Repeat the following circuit 3 or 4 times:

Heel taps – 10 reps per leg

Lunges – 15 reps per leg (please admire the vintage school gym equipment! – I never could climb those ropes)

The plank – hold for 30 seconds to a minute (you can work up to this! And, if you can’t do this on your toes, start on your knees but follow the same basic instructions)

Squat with a bicep curl and shoulder press – 15 reps

That’s sort of it! Bare in mind that this is meant to be basic to gently reawaken those sleepy abs – if you go all guns blazing, you’re just going to do damage! If you’re wanting more after this do some cardio – high intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage at the moment. Have a go on your cardio machine of choice at 30 seconds of high intensity (really go for it but engage your core), 60 seconds recovery and repeat between 5 and 10 times.

Dan says…

For HIIT basically your heart rate and, therefore, your general feeling should return to a condition that feels the same as it did before the sprint portion. So after 1 min rest you should feel same as you did during the warm up and if you can’t get back to that then that’s when you need to stop. If you can recover then you can carry on.

 

Then cool down for 10 minutes.

 

So, stick with this to begin with and when you’re ready you can move on to part 2, which we will hopefully do over the next few weeks. From mummy tummy to yummy mummy! (That’s a lot of ‘m’s)

What do you think?! Apart from me looking like a twerp in the videos. Please do be honest (and if possible constructive!) so that we can all get the most out of Dan’s expertise!