Getting Rid of Baby Belly
By Dana Sullivan
Carrying a baby for nine months does a number on your abs. Now that
your stomach muscles have been stretched to their outer-most limits,
you're left with some major sag. But you can rebuild your abdominals,
which you need now more than ever since you'll be carrying around a
baby, lifting a car seat, pushing a stroller -- all tasks that are
easier to do when your mid-section is strong.
Greg Waggoner, a fitness trainer in New York City and author of From Baby to Bikini
(Warner Books) recommends these two simple moves to help tone up
your torso -- pronto. Start with the easiest variation, described in
Month One, and as you get stronger, make small changes to allow for a
more challenging move, as described in Month Two and Month Three. Aim
to do each exercise three times a week, with a day of rest in between.
- Month One: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the
floor, knees bent. Place your hands behind your neck to support your
head. Exhale and press your lower back into the floor. Tighten your
abdominal muscles and lift your head and shoulders off the ground as
far as you comfortably can. Relax and slowly lower to the starting
position. Repeat 10-15 times. Rest for one minute and complete another
- Month Two: Crunch with controlled contraction. Do the
same move described above, but don't relax between repetitions. Keep
your abdominal muscles contracted for the duration of each set.
- Month Three: Crunch with knees in the air. Lie on your
back and lift your legs so your knees are bent, your thighs are
perpendicular to the floor, and your lower legs relaxed with your feet
off the floor. Contract your abs and lift up as high as you can go,
raising your head and shoulders off the floor. Slowly lower to the
starting position. Repeat 15-25 times. Rest for one minute and complete
two more sets.
- Month One: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend
your knees slightly, and let your arms hang loosely at your sides.
Slowly bend to the right, sliding your hand down the outside of your
thigh past your knee. Go down as far as you comfortably can. Slowly
return to the standing position and repeat 15-20 times. Do two sets on
the right side and then two sets on the left.
- Month Two: A side bend, lying on side with bent-leg
raise. Lie on the floor on your right side, with your right arm
extended out for support. Place your left hand behind your neck for
support. Bend your knees so they're slightly in front of your upper
body and your lower legs and feet are behind you. Tighten your
obliques -- the muscles along the sides of your torso -- and lift your
shoulder toward your hip; at the same time, lift your left leg as far
as you comfortably can. Lower to the starting position. Repeat 10-20
times; switch sides and repeat. Rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat (one
set includes both left and right sides).
- Month Three: A side bend, lying on side with leg raise.
Lie on the floor on your right side with your right arm stretched out
for support and your left hand behind your neck. Simultaneously lift
your left (top) shoulder toward your hip, and lift your left leg about
3/4 of the way up. Stabilize your body so you're able to stay on your
side -- don't roll in or back. Slowly lower to the starting position.
Repeat 10-15 times; switch sides and repeat. Rest for 30-60 seconds and
complete two more sets (one set includes left and right sides).