Unhappy with the look of your waist after pregnancy? You are not alone!
One of the biggest changes to mom’s body after pregnancy is often the belly. It is suddenly soft and pouty and nowhere near flat. It is easy to understand why this happens, but less easy to accept it! Of course, during the first few months after giving birth, the body is still healing. It takes a few weeks for the uterus to reach before-pregnancy size and also for the abdominal muscles to wake up and cover most of the front of the belly. In addition, the belly skin is usually really loose at first.
But when time goes by and your waist just continues to be bumblebee-shaped rather than wasp-shaped, it becomes a bit more irritating. Maybe even depressing.
To once again have something even reminding of a waist after pregnancy is one thing many new moms long for – but doing crunches; not so much.
But there are more enjoyable ways to tone the abdominal muscles than lying on the floor and do hundreds of crunches. Here are some fun ways to tone your belly muscles. And I’ll walk you through why they’ll help to get your waist back too.
Have fun! (And get going…)
Workouts To Get Your Waist Back After Pregnancy
Let’s start with the most controversial way to reclaim your waist after pregnancy – I think. Pole dancing. These days, this is not just for strippers, but it has also developed into an exercising form that most women (only women as far as I know) who try say is huge fun AND exhausting. Working with sexy moves around a pole when being a new mom, may seem as natural and tempting as walking down the street naked, but why not give it at try? It is very far from milk, diapers, and being exhausted and much more about being a woman (again!); not just a mom.
So why would pole dancing improve your waist? Several reasons:
- First of all, you are up and moving around, which in itself makes you use your muscles and burn calories.
- Secondly the dancing requires a lot of moving of the hips and abdomen. Great for getting your waist back and great for both your cardiovascular health and upper body strength – something all new moms really need both for their looks and to save their back when carrying around their babies.
- And as an additional benefit, fitness pole dancing has also been shown to increase bone density, which is an important benefit after pregnancy and especially if breastfeeding.
Since fitness pole dancing has been on a rising trend for a couple of years now, you are likely to be able to find classes in many cities. If you live in a small town, it can be more difficult. Have a look around for classes, but if you can’t find then, don’t despair. Some of the other fun tips below can easily be carried out at home.
Belly dancing is probably slightly less controversial than pole dancing since this really is an established art form (although still sexy!). Great for your waist nonetheless. Belly dancing may be less exhausting than pole dancing, but very good and fun for tightening your abdomen. It actually tones your abdominal muscles and hip tucks so effectively that belly dancing is sometimes recommended as a prenatal preparation for giving birth naturally.
Belly dancing is not as hot a trend as for example pole dancing and Zumba, and it can be a bit harder to find classes. But they do exist, so just look for them where you live. There are even prenatal, postnatal and mom/baby belly dancing classes in some places.
To start belly dancing, attending a class is the easiest and most fun, but it can be done at home too, by using a DVD or online class. A great online class to try is this one by Amanda Garion. (Link to her course, so you can see the agenda and read the reviews.) The course is 5 lectures, lifetime access, 30 days money back guarantee and above all huge fun!
Here is a video showing a simple mom and baby/toddler zumba class. Tempting, don’t you think?!
Zumba classes have been really popular for some years now. Zumba is dancing (again) and you are not likely to find even one participant who isn’t smiling. Based on South American beats, Zumba offers fun music, fun steps, and great exercise for toning your hips, waist, thighs and abdomen – as well as for the rest of your body too. Zumba burns a lot of calories without you even noticing because it is so much fun.
The coolest thing for a new mom – Zumba has grown so popular that mom/baby Zumba classes are popping up in many cities. So have a look around your city – maybe there is a way to trim your waist, have fun and bring your baby along.
Fitness Hula Hoop
If you don’t like dancing and don’t want to attend a class – or if you want to combine a class with some extra effort to get your waist back – get yourself a fitness hula hoop.
These hula hoops are different from the ones you played with as a kid because they are much larger and much heavier. This means that they are much easier to use – practically anyone can get them to spin after a few minutes of trying – AND it means that they are very effective for training your abdominal muscles.
A word of warning, though. Even if you definitely need to get a real fitness hula hoop, don’t get the heaviest one! I got over-ambitious the first time I tried Hula hoop and bought one for intermediate users, rather than beginners. I swear I looked like I had a blue belt around my hips after trying it the first time – I was so bruised! So definitely start with a beginner’s hula hoop! A really good beginner’s hula hoop is the 38” version of this one. (Link to Amazon).
It really doesn’t take much time every day to start seeing results. Some women can tell about a significantly slimmer waist when using a fitness hula hoop for just 6 weeks, and less than 30 minutes per week – that’s some 4 minutes per day. Even a twin mom can fix that! :-D
For a basic training program, have a look at this video clip:
As long as you are actually making love and not just enduring sex inactively as a new mom, having sex is a great way to work your pelvis, thighs and buttock muscles. The back muscles also benefit. In addition, having orgasms is a much more enjoyable way to exercise your vaginal muscles after giving birth than squeezing; something often recommended to new moms to prevent urine leakage.
Sex is good for your cardiovascular strength too; intercourse burns about as many calories as 15 minutes of jogging. Not bad.
If you really want your waist back, only having sex is not likely to be enough. But you can always combine lovemaking with any if the exercising forms above.
I am not going to add in a video clip on making love. Being a new mom, I am quite sure that you already know what to do… :-)
Now, if you have any other tips on fun ways to tone the after pregnancy belly, please share them below!