Back fat, love handles, muffin top, call it what you will, but one thing you don’t call it is pretty! Many of us have it and like our saddle bags many just accept it. Again, charging it to mom and dad and heredity, but we can fight heredity and there really is not excuse not to.
Lots of anatomical changes take place when a women gets pregnant and when a woman gives birth. Among the most obvious changes is the expansion of the belly. Mom’s waist line grows to accommodate a rapidly enlarging uterus and amniotic fluid. Organs are displaced to make room for the baby and so on.
Once baby comes shrinkage happens automatically, but if you have not worked out and kept the body in shape it will not remember what it once looked like and that firm baby bump becomes a frump. Many have a harder time toning the back and sides of the remaining belly than the front. That infamous overlap when wearing low rise jeans makes one want to go find some high waisted mom jeans (luckily for some, high waists are back in style).
Nonetheless, this is not about accepting it, this is about fighting back. A two part plan can decrease the back fat that seems to creep up after child bearing and leave you ready to jump back into your low riders sooner than you think.
If you are not pregnant yet devise a plan of action to get into shape NOW! If you are in shape you are more likely to stay in shape. The body has memory, muscles have memory and if they have something to remember they will go back. However, we cannot expect the body to go back to something that was never there in the first place.
Therefore to fight dreaded love handles after birth, adopt a simple back fat fighting regime.
2. Kick backs
3. Bent knee dead lifts
4. Straight leg dead lifts
5. Lat pull downs
Done 2-4 times a week (before pregnancy) you will have a beautifully toned back throughout all three trimesters and beyond.
Hopefully, you worked out before pregnancy. If so, adding these few moves to your pregnancy work out will help you hold it in the road till baby comes and remind the body afterwards to “bounce back”. Even if you worked out occasionally before pregnancy and are approved by your doctor to work out during gestation these moves will help.
Note: SQUATS and LUNGES are the best overall lower body work out and it could aid in strengthening the muscles needed during delivery. To be done correctly, they also utilize isometric stabilization which targets the back and abs.
1. Plies, (a type of squat) work the inner thigh muscles (including all the leg muscles and lower back muscles). Execute by turning your toes out like a ballet dancer and squat deeply and slowly for 20 reps or as many as you can do safely.
2. Forward lunges are good for the legs but the stabilization that must occur for balance is great for abs and back.
3. Reverse lunges lift the butt, strengthen the legs and have a great effect on abs and back muscles.
4. Lat pull downs with the machine work the latissimus dorsi, the broadest muscle of the back that runs along the outside of the back on either side. When this muscle is toned, bra back fat is combated as well as the muffin top.
5. Lat rows (without the machine) work the same fore mentioned latissimus dorsi and can be executed by stabilizing the body (balance one hand against a wall if needed), place one foot in front and one foot in back similar to a lunge, lean forward slightly (not too much in you are in your second and third trimesters), and row with weights from 3-8 pounds depending on your conditioning.
Take a look at this video which demonstrates exercise #4 from the above list.
Please listen to your body and consult your physician prior to starting any work program (pregnant or not).