How to improve core strength?

(8 Posts)
Sugarandsalt Tue 11-Oct-16 23:52:28

I've been working hard on shifting the weight I put on the year after my DD was born (she is now 2.5). I've lost 4 stone, another 1.5 to go.

I've been doing 30 day shred, which is great but my abs are so weak I struggle with even the easiest ab moves. Can't feel any muscle contraction beneath my belly button and have no sensation above my c-section scar (for around 6cm). I joined Pilates and had a 1:1 with the instructor last week, planning to join a small class next week. Again I can't do the easiest moves involving abs. Even lying flat without an arch in my back eludes me. I've been practicing daily with no improvement.

Does anyone know of some simple exercises that could help? I don't expect a flat tummy but I have a horrible flabby potbelly at present.

acornsandnuts Tue 11-Oct-16 23:55:20

Well done on the weight loss. Pilates is fab for core strength, you tube have loads of classes, but start with beginners and get your technique right.

LordEmsworth Wed 12-Oct-16 03:48:13

Planks are brilliant for core strength, and you can adapt then progress... so start standing, close to and facing the wall, and take on the plank position leaning on the wall; engage the muscles and do plank for maybe 10 seconds. Repeat a few times. Next time, hold for 12-15 seconds. Then 15-20 seconds...

As your muscles grow stronger, you increase the distance between you and the wall, until eventually you can do on floor.

Google "wall plank" / "standing wall plank" for YouTube videos showing how to do - key is to really engage your muscles even if you can only hold for 1-2 secs at first.

Sugarandsalt Wed 12-Oct-16 07:51:08

I can plank at a wall/on my knees, not for very long but I only feel my upper abs engaging if that makes sense- once it's time for the lower ones to kick in during an exercise I get stuck. For example I can do a crunch to 45 degrees but not a sit up. Afterwards I get doms above belly button but not below at all.

LordEmsworth Wed 12-Oct-16 10:29:26

I would suggest not doing crunches or sit ups. Done with perfect form, they are great, but not many of us can do perfectly; done wrongly they can hurt your back.

Stick to getting all muscles engaged, even if only for a second, in a plank. Dull, but effective...

marzipananimal Mon 14-Nov-16 17:53:08

Maybe your abs are separated? Perhaps look into some postnatal/women's physio? (I'm afraid i don't know much about it but I've heard other people talk about it)

KanyesVest Mon 14-Nov-16 18:58:47

Yep, definitely get your abs checked for separation. Mine isn't terribly bad, but I've no lower ab strength. I do a lot of oblique work and flutes/hams/quads to try to build up core and pelvic floor.

MrsMook Wed 16-Nov-16 00:02:32

It's been this year that I've finally been able to do sit ups again and my youngest is 3.

Check for muscle separation- there are exercises to assist them.

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