Rebuild your abs after baby with this workout: the best beginner postpartum ab exercises for diastasis recti. Add this to your workout routine to repair abdominal separation after pregnancy, strengthen the pelvic floor, and build core strength. This postpartum workout uses a resistance band to target the deep core, but you can perform the moves with a throw towel if you don’t have one available.
Today’s workout adds in a resistance band to increase tension and strengthen the core post pregnancy. This is one of my favorite tools to help make the mind-muscle connection necessary to start repairing diastasis recti or for any beginners looking to build foundational core strength.
Don’t have a resistance band? You can substitute a throw towel or perform the moves with just your bodyweight.
Free Postpartum Workout Plan
Postpartum Ab Exercises FAQs
What Is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis recti is common in women who have experienced pregnancy. Diastasis recti occurs when the rectus abdominis muscles (six-pack ab muscles) and linea alba (connective tissue) separate as your belly grows during pregnancy. This abdominal separation can range from mild to severe.
How Soon Can You Do Ab Exercises Postparutm?
Every postpartum healing experience is different. Talk to your doctor or midwife for medical clearance before returning to exercise after giving birth, especially if you had any complications. I personally started doing the beginner version of exercises like this one around 2 weeks postpartum and scaled up to the advanced version a few weeks later. Start where you are and do what you can!
What Are The Best Ab Exercises After Having A Baby?
The best postpartum ab workouts repair diastasis recti (or ab separation) by strengthening the deep abdominal muscles that wrap around the torso like a corset. Start with transverse abdominal breathing (TA breathing) and progress from there.
Who Should See A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist?
If it’s an option available to you, I recommend this to everyone who’s been through a pregnancy. I learned so much about my body from my sessions with Dr. Sari (Motion MN). Other reasons to see a pelvic floor PT include symptoms like bladder control/urinary incontinence or fecal incontinence, urinary or fecal urgency, heaviness/pressure, pain or fear with return to intercourse, constipation or issues with bowel movements, or just wanting guidance with return to exercise and strengthening your core.
10-Minute Beginner Postpartum Ab Workout with Resistance Band
Rebuild your core after pregnancy with these postpartum abdominal exercises you can do at home to heal diastasis recti.
These resistance band ab exercises are specifically designed to heal diastasis recti, strengthen the pelvic floor and glutes, and rebuild your core muscles after baby. That said, these are great resistance band exercises for everyone!
5 Beginner Postpartum Ab Exercises With A Resistance Band
Transverse Abdominal Breathing with Band
Targets: The deep transverse abdominal muscles (TVA) and pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support your internal organs, your inter-abdominal pressure system, and provide stability and mobility of your lower spine.
How To Do Transverse Abdominal Breathing with Band
Start lying on your back on top of your resistance band, the center of the resistance band beneath your low back. Knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Loop your right thumb through the resistance band on your left side and your left thumb through the resistance band on your right side, crossing thumbs above your waist.
To find your transverse abdominis muscles, fake cough. The muscles you feel ‘pop’ when you cough are your transverse abdominis. To engage them, take a deep breath and allow your core and pelvic floor to relax. Imagine there is a string between your hip bones and as you exhale that string (or your transverse abdominis muscles) is pulling your hip bones together.
As you inhale, let the belly expand (let your lower back pop off the ground). Band is relaxed between your thumbs.
As you exhale, pull your thumbs away from each other, tightening the band across your waist as you pull the belly in tight and press your back into the mat. The band is a visual aid to mimic what your abs are doing during each exhale.
Band Pull Apart and Heel Taps
Targets: Deep transverse abdominal muscles (TVA), lower abs, hips and chest.
How To Do A Band Pull Apart and Heel Taps
Lie flat on the mat, performing a slight pelvic tilt to press your lower back into the mat and drawing your belly button towards your spine. Think about wrapping your abdominal wall around your torso.
Then bring your legs up, knees bent at 90-degrees, shins parallel to the floor. Hold a resistance band between your hands, wrists over shoulders, arms pressed up toward the ceiling.
Inhale, letting your belly expand, keeping the resistance band loose between your hands.
Exhale, pulling the band apart as you brace your core and press your lower back into the ground.
Hold this core engagement as you lower your right heel and then left heel to tap the mat, keeping bends in both knees.
Inhale, returning your knees to starting position and releasing tension on the resistance band.
Modification: The closer your knees are to your chest, the easier this ab exercise will be. The farther your knees are from your chest, the more intense this will be.
Kneeling Hip Thrust and Band Pull Apart
Targets: Hips, glutes, quads, pelvic floor, shoulders and core.
How To Do A Kneeling Hip Thrust and Band Pull Apart
Start in a kneeling position, knees under hips, tops of your feet pressed into your mat. Hold a resistance band between both hands at shoulder level, hands extended in front of you.
Sit your hips back, hovering your glutes an inch above your heels.
Exhale as you squeeze your quads to raise your hips, driving your hips forward. As you lift your hips off the floor, pull your arms away from each other, creating tension in the resistance band.
Then, inhale as you release tension on the band and lower your hips, hovering your glutes above your heels.
Standing Cross Body Band Pull
Targets: Deep transverse abdominal muscles (TVA), pelvic floor, lower abs, obliques, shoulders and chest.
How To Do A Standing Cross Body Band Pull
Start standing, feet shoulder width apart, holding a resistance band between your hands. Raise your arms so both palms are at shoulder level, extended in front of you.
Inhale, letting the belly expand, keeping some slack in the band. Think about standing tall and maintaining a neutral spine.
Then exhale, thinking about contracting the core as you pull the band across your body, right hand going to the top right corner of the room and left hand going towards the bottom left corner of the room.
Inhale, returning arms to shoulder level and letting the belly expand.
Then exhale, repeating on the other side. Contract the core as you pull the band apart, left hand going to the top left corner of the room, right hand going towards the bottom right corner.
Start standing, feet shoulder width apart, holding a resistance band between your hands. Hold the resistance band at your hips.
Inhale, letting the belly expand, keeping some slack in the band. Raise your right knee, keeping the knee bent at 90-degrees and balancing on your left leg. As you raise your knee, lift the band out in front of you, holding it chest level.
Exhale, thinking about contracting the core as you kick your right heel away from your body, flexing through the top of your leg. As you kick your heel out, pull the band apart, creating tension in the band.
Inhale, relaxing the arms and bringing your right leg down to tap the mat.
Pin This Workout: Post Pregnancy Resistance Band Ab Exercises
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