How To Tone Up Post C-Section!
Following a caesarian a specific approach is necessary to help re-align scar tissue and re-activate abdominal muscles. Both a c-section and the more standard method of labour are extremely traumatic on the abdominal muscles. This is why without specific focus it can be quite difficult to achieve a pre-pregnancy stomach.
The key, post-pregnancy is to re-establish the internal strength in the deep abdominal muscles. Just training the superficial abdominal muscles won't give you the flat, toned stomach you want, especially after a C section where they cut through the abdominal wall!
Plan of action
- Reduce body fat stores from the area, through reducing the intake of calories and an improving the use of these body fat stores (through cardiovascular exercise).
- Tone the muscles under the diminishing body fat stores through strength and core exercise, especially if you feel it is tone, rather than body fat, that is resulting in a flabby belly. The following details are the guidelines you need to follow to target and tone the right muscles!
On a daily basis you need to be re-training your deepest abdominal muscles (transverse abdominals and pelvic floor) so practice the 'drawing-in maneuver' (pulling your belly button back towards your spine as you breathe). By strengthening your TVA and retraining it to automatically activate and hold, you can visibly reduce the size of your waist and protect your lumbar spine in the long-term.
You also need to be retraining the more superficial muscles of the abdominal area including the rectus abdominals ('six-pack' muscles) - the muscle tissue that is cut into during a c-section. Due to the scar tissue present, the core exercises need to be performed at a slow, controlled pace, with a full range of motion, and conscious attention given totally to the abdominal area you are trying to strengthen.
Try a basic crunch with your knees in a bent position, doing 2-3 ets of 15 repetitions. At the top of each crunch movement pause and hold for 1 second while trying to consciously squeeze your abdominal muscles. You should really feel the muscles waking up, working and tiring out!
You want to do 1-3 core exercises that can be incorporated into a whole body approach training program. This structure would be ideal and significantly enhance the strength and tone of your stomach!
To do this you need a one-to-one with a fitness professional where you have visual, verbal cues and feedback on your technique, and can monitor the improvement of your c-section scar tissue. For optimum results get support from a well-qualified fitness professional such as a Level-3 REP instructor.