Fitness TipsPostnatal

5 Favorite Ab Exercises To Sculpt & Strengthen

By January 20, 2014 September 23rd, 2015 No Comments
Single Leg Hip Bridge

If you’re ready to tighten up your abs after baby you need to look beyond crunches. Flattening your belly requires multi-muscle exercises that target all muscles of your core – upper & lower abdominals, obliques, hips, pelvic floor, and lower back muscles –  to burn calories and trim inches from your waist line.

Are you ready to kick it up? Here are my five favorite exercises to work your abs and strengthen your core. Perform these exercises twice as prescribed, a few days a week, and you’ll start to feel strong, fit, and svelte.

Plank with Arm Lift

Plank With Arm Lift

1. Plank With Arm Lift

  • Start in a push-up position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift one arm up and away from your body, holding for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Return your arm to the floor underneath your shoulder.
  • Repeat the move with your opposite arm.
  • Continue alternating to complete a set of 8-10.

TIP: Keep your torso solid, hips square to the ground, and feet on the ground throughout the movement.

Modification: If just a plank is a challenge, keep both hands on the ground and hold static plank position for 20-45 seconds. 

You should feel it: Working the shoulders and torso.

Handwalk Exercise


2. Handwalk

  • Start in a standing position.
  • Bend over at waist and walk hands out into a pushup position
  • Keeping knees straight, walk toes toward hands
  • When stretch is felt, walk hands back out and repeat for 5 repetitions

TIP: Keep knees straight. Walk hands out farther beyond your head for increased difficulty. Keep stomach tight.

You should feel it: Stretching the hamstrings, & working the shoulders and torso.

Modified Push-up

Modified Push-up

3. Modified Pushup

  • Start in a modified push-up position with your hands and knees on the ground.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your body toward the ground.
  • Without touching the ground, push yourself back up.
  • Repeat 10 – 15 repetitions.

TIP: Keep your body in a straight line and push your chest as far away from your hands as possible.

You should feel it: Working your chest, arms and torso.  

Single Leg Hip Bridge

Single Leg Hip Bridge

4. Single Leg Hip Bridge

  • Start on the floor, face up, right knee bent to 90 degrees with heel on ground, left leg held to chest
  • Fire your right glute to bridge hips to sky so weight is supported only by the right heel and shoulders
  • Hold, and return to start position
  • Repeat for 10 repetitions and switch legs

TIP: Pull toes to shins and initiate movement with glutes.

You should feel it: Working your glutes, hamstrings and low back.

Single Leg Squat

Single Leg Squat

5. Single Leg Squat

  • Start standing on one leg next to a chair of bench.
  • Initiating movement with hips, squat back and down on one leg until the glutes touch the bench
  • Return to standing position using only the leg you are balancing on
  • Repeat for 10 repetitions and switch legs

TIP: Keep chest up and back flat. Do not let knee collapse to inside or let knee slide forward past toes. Keep non-working leg bent at the knee with foot off ground.

You should feel it: Working your glutes, hamstrings and quads.

Want more? All of Active Moms’ Club programs will help you build and maintain core strength –  it’s our speciality! We offer prenatal classes AND postnatal small group training sessions in the evenings and weekends for working moms, a postnatal recovery class for brand new moms, and personalized training. Join us and step up your workouts!

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Other related articles from Active Moms’ Club blog:

Perfect Push-Ups: Common Mistakes & How To Fix Them