How To Get That Stomach Back After Pregnancy

Having a child was probably one of the most incredible experiences of your life.  The amount of love you have for him/her is greater than anything in the world and there is nothing you wouldn’t give or do for them.  But why did they have to ruin your stomach?

I get this question a lot.  9 months pregnant can do a number on a once flat stomach.  So how can you get from having a flabby stomach after one or multiple kids to a nice flat and toned stomach?  I know it sounds impossible but I am going to show you a few ways you can get that stomach looking great again.

First we should quickly look at what happens during pregnancy.  As the baby grows, mom’s organs and muscle tissue begin to get pushed around.  I’m glad I don’t know this feeling first hand.  The bigger baby gets the more the abdominal wall begins to get stretched.  Whenever muscle tissue gets stretched the connection between the brain and that muscle gets weakened.  This means that it is harder and harder to contract the muscle.  So the more stretched the abdominal wall is the harder it will be to activate your abdominals.

The same goes for a C-section.  In this case the muscle tissue is actually cut.  So it was stretched and weakened, and then it was cut which weakens it even more.  Here you will be at an even greater disadvantage.

So with your weakened abdominals you try and strengthen them by doing your traditional ab exercises like crunches and sit ups.  This however only really focuses on one of the abdominal muscles.  We first have to retrain the abs to function the right way before we can worry about crunches.  The abdominal wall was designed to stabilize the hips and spine first.  Once we understand how to do that, then we can add more mobility exercises like the crunch.

Most likely when the abdominal wall was stretched it stayed slightly stretched.  So our first step is to activate those muscles that prevent the abdomen from extending outwards.  To activate this muscle you simple just practice pulling your belly button in.  You might want to start on your back for this one them progress to on all fours.  Once you have control of this specific muscle group called the Transverse Abdominis, you can incorporate other stability exercises.  Below is a video that shows you a great progression on how to use the abs to stabilize the spine and hips.  These types of exercises help you get a flatter, stronger stomach.  In each exercise it is your goal to see no movement in the lower back, abdominals, or in the hips.  If you cannot keep it stable then you need to regress to an easier version.

Once you can complete all of these exercises you are ready to move on to your more traditional ab exercises.  It is a huge mistake to skip these though.   Without properly retraining your abdominals you will see limited results.

Mike Deibler is the owner of a private personal training studio in Carlsbad, CA.  He has help hundreds of individuals lose weight and keep it off with a fun exercise program and healthy simple nutrition guidelines.  Visit to learn more and sign up for a free copy of The Ultimate Ab Routine to learn the secrets of getting a flat stomach.

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