Can ab crunches flatten my tummy? Tip #1

Here at Wheelie Fit Mums I often get asked the same types of postnatal fitness questions! So I am going to clear up a few myths, and false truths out there, and hope that by doing so you will have a bit more confidence to get back into some fitness, and know you are doing it in a safe and effective way.

So this week…Tip #1….Can Ab crunches flatten my tummy?

Simple answer…no.

Traditional abdominal crunches…you know the ones, on your back, difficult to do without hurting your neck, and hard on your back…yeah those ones! You will be pleased to hear there are more effective ways of improving your core strength, and returning your tummy muscles to correct alignment, thereby improving your “mummy looking” tummy.

These crunches work the superficial abdominal muscles used for bending forwards and backwards. They put pressure on your pelvic floor muscles (which is not what you want to do after having a baby!), and usually are done in an incorrect way anyway!

What can you do instead?….Standing pelvic tilts (this exercise is easy and safe for everyone)

Stand up against a wall with your feet hip width apart and your knees slightly bent (soft).
Relax your shoulders and keep your upper body still and in the same place throughout your exercise
Rotate your pelvis under and flatten your back into the wall. A good way to visualise this, is as if a piece of string is attached to the bone at the front of your pelvis and someone is pulling it forward.
Hold for a 3 sec count. Breathe. Release and Repeat x 15. Twice per day.

This exercise will shorten the abdominal muscles lengthened during pregnancy without putting pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. You can try this lying on your back, and rotating your pelvis into the floor with knees bent, or on your hands and knees. Make sure you don’t move your upper body, just rotate your pelvis.

Check back next week for Tip #2 in the postnatal fitness myth busting series.. Until next time Keep Calm, and Stay Fit! Keep an eye out for the new video tips on the brand new Wheelie Fit Mums website, coming soon!

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