MeltMarch_FBAre you ready to take ten minutes to tone up your abdominals and begin to melt the mummy tummy?
All you need is just 30 minutes a week to try these five top post natal exercises, designed to effectively challenge your stomach muscles.

Shape up the sides of the waist, the lower abdominals and strengthen the deepest muscles, the transversus abdominis by doing this 10 minute challenge three times a week. Combined with eating healthy foods in the right portions and following our delicious no-diet one week food plan,  you’ll notice a difference in just 30 days.

New Mamas Challenge
50 secs of each exercise below taking a 10 secs rest in between each exercise. Repeat the exercises again.
Total time = 10 minutes.

Kneeling lateral pull down

Start position

  • Kneel on a mat and loop a resistance band around a closed door handle or an immovable object in front of you.You want the handle to be higher than your shoulders.
  • Hold each end of the band in each hand, and stretch your arms straight out in front of you and turn the hands so the wrists are facing down. Make sure the lengths of the band are equal.

Action

  • Keeping a slight bend at the elbow but your arms mostly straight bring your hands down to your hips.
  • Exhale at the same time and draw navel into spine.

Technique tips

The band should be slightly stretched so there is some tension. Breathe in and breathe out strongly throughout and keep your abdominals pulled in without holding your breath. Your pelvis and hips must be kept in ‘neutral’ alignment.
Avoid: Rounding or hunching the shoulders

Four point march with low knee lifts

Start position

  • Kneel on a mat on all fours with your hands directly under each shoulder and knees under hips
  • Have your head level with your spine
  • Breath in and relax your tummy down

Action

  • Exhale and draw your belly button in slightly as if it is going up towards your lower back.
  • Tuck your toes under and then then raise both knees off the floor by 3cm’s
  • Keep your pelvis still and your back flat
  • Inhale and return the knees to the floor

Technique Tips
Keep a slight arch of your lower back taking your tailbone upwards. Keep your pelvis and hips still

Avoid
Rounding your shoulders
Any rotation of the hips or twisting of the upper body.
Avoid ‘sucking in your abdominals’. 

Side waist lift
25 secs each side

Start position

  • Lie on the mat on your right side, with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your right elbow directly under your shoulder. Support your bodyweight with your knees and on your right forearm. Rest your other hand on the floor.

Action

  • Bring your shoulder in towards your body with your other hand and lift your waist.
  • Then progress by lifting your right hip and waist up so your body remains in a straight line.
  • Sweep your arm over your head with the palm upwards, so the palm is then facing down
  • Keep your back straight and your hips up.
  • Hold for 1 count then drop the hips and bring the arm back down to your side. Hold for about 3 cm’s then push up again.

Technique tips
Pull belly button towards your spine and continue to breathe throughout. Keep your hips in a ‘neutral’ position which is sometimes harder to do on your side so keep glutes squeezed and lower back flat by rotating your pelvis under.

Frog head and shoulder lift with head slide

Start position

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat to the floor. Then let the knees open out and put the soles of your feet together, let your knees fall out to each side sides.
  • Place one hand behind the back of your head with your elbow out to the side and the other hand resting just under the belly button.
  • Draw your belly button down and in and slightly lift your tailbone away and up, without lifting your hips.

Action

  • Breath in and then leading with your shoulders, breath out, and draw your belly button down, lift your head and shoulders up off the floor about 5 to 10cm’s, extending the hand from the tummy towards your feet.
  • When you lift be sure that you can keep or feel some tension in the abdominals and that the tummy muscles do not dome upwards. Pause for 2 seconds and return the head and shoulders the floor.  If the stomach domes upwards don’t lift up quite so high. Swap the hands and repeat the move.

Technique tips
Be sure to breath continuously and aim to lift rather than pull on the neck.
Try to feel some tension in the abdominals when you lift
Avoid
Jutting the head forward, make it a controlled lift. 

Lying leg circle (25 secs each leg)

Start position

  • Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor and the arms rested by your sides.
  • Raise one leg up straight and point the toe.

Action

  • Breath in, then breath out and circle the straight leg in one direction fairly slowly and with control, then circle it in the opposite direction. At first make the movement smaller. Then increase the size of the movement. Continue for 25 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg for 25 seconds.

Technique Tips
Make sure your alternate the direction of the circles.
Avoid
Arching your back, keep your belly button pulled in, without bracing.

Not so new mums challenge

50 secs of each exercise below taking a 10 secs rest in between each exercise. Repeat the exercises again.
Total time = 10 minutes.

Reverse single leg deadlift with row

Start

  • Stand with feet together and hold a set of dumb-bells (3-5kg) in each hand with your arms extended down by your sides.

Action

  • Lean forward from the hips and lift one leg up behind you at the same time, so the leg is  level with your back and you’re aiming to have your back and leg parallel to the ceiling.
  • Keep your arms at your side and look forwards.
  • You’ll then row by bending both your elbows and bring them up towards your ribs then up towards the ceiling so your hands are near your sides.
  • Then straighten the arms back down remaining in the one leg position and then bring the body up and the leg down placing the foot on the floor.
  • Do the action for 25 seconds on one leg before changing to do 25 seconds on the other leg (no rest in between changing legs).

Technique Tips
This exercise will test your balance (!) so aim for a slow, controlled movement.
Alternatively stay in a split stance position with your feet with the back heel off the floor and just perform the ‘row’. Keep a natural arch in your lower spine.
Avoid
Over-arching your back or conversely flattening your back.

Step back with arm push outs

Start

  • Stand holding a set of dumbbells in each hand and your feet close together, stand tall, draw belly button in.

Action

  • Step directly behind you with one foot taking a good stride backwards, keep the heel of the back foot off the floor.
  • Bend the back knee towards the floor and lower the body so the front thigh is coming parallel to the floor.
    Both knees are both at right angles.
  • At the same time bend your elbows and bring the dumb-bells up towards your shoulders (without bending the wrists) and push the arms forward, keeping a very slight bend at the elbow.
  • Then step the back foot back to come to standing and bring the hands back to your chest and then down to your sides.  

Technique Tips
Keep your belly button drawn in and body upright before lunging.
Avoid;
Leaning forward with the upper body.
Raising the heel of the front foot
Allowing the front knee to move forward and go over the front toe
Allowing the front knee to rotate or go inwards

Side Scoop

Starting Position

  • Lie on the mat on your right side, with your bottom knee bent at 90 degrees and the foot behind the knee, your top leg straight and foot on the floor and your right elbow directly under your shoulder.
  • Support your bodyweight with your knee and foot and on your right forearm. Rest your other hand on the floor.

Action

  • Bring your shoulder in towards your body with your other hand and lift your waist and hips off the floor pushing your bodyweight into the knee on the floor, down into the leg and foot on the floor. Your body remains in a straight line.
  • Sweep your arm over your head with the palm upwards, so the palm is then facing down.
  • Keep your back straight and your hips up.
  • Hold for 1 count then drop the hips and bring the arm back down to your side.
  • Then turning your body towards the floor scoop your arm in between your waist and the floor.
  • Bring the body back so it’s straight and then slowly lower to the floor.
  • Repeat on the same side for all the repetitions before doing the other side.

Technique Tips
Pull belly button towards your spine and continue to breathe throughout.
Keep your hips in a ‘neutral’ position which is sometimes harder to do on your side so keep glutes squeezed and lower back flat by rotating your pelvis under.
Avoid
Arching your back.
Rotating your hips.

Frog head and shoulder lift with bent leg

Start

  • Lie on your back with the soles of the feet together and your knees bent out to the side.
  • Place your right hand behind the back of your head with your elbow out to the side and the left hand resting on the abdominals.
  • Draw your belly button down and in and slightly lift your tailbone away and up, without lifting your hips.

Action

  • Breath in and then leading with your shoulders, breath out, and draw your  belly button down, lift your head and shoulders up off the floor between 5-10cm’s, and lifting your right leg up, keeping it bent at the knee with the knee out and extending the left hand from the tummy up to the outside of the knee.
  • When you lift be sure that you can keep or feel some tension in the abdominals and that the tummy muscles do not dome.
  • Be sure to also keep our elbow back and out to the side (don’t allow it to come in or you’ll pull on your neck).
    Pause for 2 seconds and return the head and shoulders the floor.
  • Swap the hands and repeat the move lifting the other leg, continue to alternate legs and hands.

Technique
Be sure to breath continuously and aim to lift rather than pull on the neck. Keeping your elbow out will enable you to do this.
Try to feel some tension in the abdominals when you lift.
If you abdominals pooch or ‘dome’ when you lift, reduce the height of the lift so the abdominals remain flat.
Avoid
Jutting the head forward, make it a controlled lift.

Scissor legs (avoid this exercise if you have diastasis recti)

Start

  • Lie on your back with your arms by your sides.
  • Bend your knees and have your feet flat to the floor.
  • Keep your knees together.

Action

  • Draw your belly button in towards your spine and lift your tailbone up and away (keeping your hips on the floor).
  • Bring your legs up straight and point your toes.
  • Keep your legs vertical and then criss cross the legs from the hips, without letting them touch.
  • Slowly with control lower the legs to the point where you can feel tension in the abdominals but to the point where they do not ‘dome’ or rise up.
  • If your find your back is arching or you can feel pain in your back then bring the legs back up to a more vertical position.
  • Find the point where your feel your abdominals working predominantly.
  • When you’ve completed the desired repetitions then bend the knees and return to the start position.

Technique Tips
Place one hand on the belly button to feel the tension and to physiologically connect with your abdominals.
Avoid
Arching your back – this will happen if you do not draw belly button into your spine.

Would you like more abdominal exercises designed for mums and also personal support to ensure you have success with your fitness programme? Preview some videos right here. To find out more about Honey Bee and Queen Bee membership to the mamas online fitness success site, go here. 

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Consult your doctor or health professional and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program. Results may vary. Exercise and the correct nutrition are necessary to achieve and maintain muscle tone and weight loss. Bump and Beyond by Vicky Warr is a registered trademark of Bump and Beyond by Vicky Warr Ltd., ©2022 Bump and Beyond by Vicky Warr. All rights reserved.

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