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Regain Your Abdominal Strength After Pregnancy With These 3 Simple Exercises

May 19, 2008
Upon delivering a baby, your body is undergoing a truly traumatic event that can be hard on the muscles and the rest of the body for that matter. The body's natural alignment has been compromised, and the pelvis has shifted out of alignment as well. One of the most important factors for you to consider following the birth of a baby is the health of your pelvic floor.

It is common for doctors to recommend that we go through kegel exercises both before and after the delivery of our babies, but there are actually a number of other exercises that we can practice if we want to get our bodies back into the right shape following the birth of a child. While practicing Pilates, we naturally engage the pelvic floor which is another term for kegel exercises. These three pilates exercises have been found to be the most effective for getting back in shape following child birth.

Practicing all forms of Pilates can be extremely effective when it comes to getting back in shape, but these three exercises stand out above the rest as effective means of returning the body to its normal shape.

Kneeling Cat Stretch - In kneeling cat stretch, you should begin on your hands and knees. You should inhale slowly, arching your back up and sliding your head down in the process. You should hold this stretch, before exhaling and allowing your back to sink inward with your head up. Once your back has sunk back down and your head has returned to its upright position, you should hold the stretch again.

Pelvic Curl - To begin this stretch you should be laying on your back with your hands flat at your hips and your arms stretched out. Your knees should be bent comfortably with feet flat on the floor. Put the spine in a neutral position and relax the body. You should then exhale slowly and slowly draw the hips away from the mat, straightening your body from your shoulders to your knees. Draw in your abdominal muscles and allow your pelvis to curl with your lower back coming up from the mat with your hips. Next you should inhale, keeping the body completely still in this position. Exhale and slowly articulate the spine in the reverse order so that you can slowly bring your hips and lower back onto the mat again. Return to the position that you started in.

Single Leg Stretch - The single leg stretch may not look like much, but it is an incredible abdominal stretch that begins by anchoring your spine to the mat and bringing your knees into your chest. You should stretch your left leg, putting your toe in line with your nose. You should place your right hand on the outside of your left ankle, with your left hand on the inside of your right knee. Widen your elbows, as your hand positioning will keep your knee aligned with your hip, knee and ankle. You should then lift your chin up to your chest, stretching your left leg as long as it will go with toes softly pointed. Inhale gradually for two long leg stretches at a time. Exhale slowly and switch legs, repeating the process on the other side. Repeat the entire process for four to eight stretches and enjoy the stretch in your legs and the improvement in your abdominal strength as a result. This particular stretch works wonders at challenging your body to remain balanced and centered.
About the Author
Sylvia Camarillo is the founder of My Pilates Studio in Irvine, Ca. We specialize in using our exclusive Innovative Pilates System to get sexy sleek healthy toned bodies.
Pilates Studio Instructors Orange County, Irvine Ca - My Pilates Studio
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