Simply and remarkably, you can strengthen your abdominals by just breathing. Strong exhales contract the abdominal muscles, which engages and strengthens the muscles.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the mat and place your hands around your waistline.
Now you’re just going to take a deep inhale through your nose, then exhale through your mouth by making a ‘shushing’ sound, like you’re telling someone to “shush” OR a long ‘Ha’ sound like you're fogging a mirror.
Either way is fine; just find the one that works best for you. By doing this, you should feel your waistline shrinking because you’re contracting your internal and external oblique muscles. These muscles fit us like a corset and when we exhale deeply it’s like our corset has tightened.
Do this a few times and feel your muscles tighten and engage. Isn’t amazing that you can strengthen your abdominal muscles by just breathing?!
As a mom, I’m sure your doctor mentioned practicing your kegel contractions during your pregnancy. If not, get on it!
A kegel contraction is an internal contraction that will engage and help strengthen our transversus abdominus muscle. This contraction is what you use when you have to use the bathroom really bad but you have to hold it.
The ‘TA’ is an important muscle for supporting our low backs; it fits us like the lumbar support belts Costco workers tend to wear. This muscle is very important when rehabbing after baby, especially in addition to having a diastasis recti. The great thing about kegel contractions is that you can do them anywhere, anytime. (I’m doing them while writing this) You may find them difficult at first. Maybe you can’t do it or maybe you can’t hold it for very long. Not to worry, they take a little practice. Start by holding them for 5 seconds then increase your time as you can. Practice as often as you like.
In addition to kegels, squats and other glute exercises are great for rehabilitating the pelvic floor.