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How to Lose Belly Fat After Having a Baby

Posted by Ali | Friday December 12, 201420 comments
How to Lose Belly Fat after having a babyBefore we get into the details of these super helpful tips prepared by my Personal Trainer, Steph Sibbio (pictured above with my baby girl) let me get one thing out of the way first: wanting to firm up your belly after a baby is not a reflection of how you feel about becoming a mother or about your children.

Getting a toned tummy is a desire shared by many women at any stage of life. Having your abdominal muscles pulled apart and stretched into oblivion by pregnancy, however, takes it to another level because now muscles are significantly weaker and there may even be loose skin that jiggles or sags like the jowls of a Dogue de Bordeaux .  Apologies to any men or non-mothers who might be reading this. 

Depending on genetics and how many children you've had, a flat tummy might not even be possible, but you can definitely tighten things up and start putting those muscles back where they belong. Keep in mind you can't work only your abs and expect to see results.  A mix of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), strength training, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep will be critical to get you back on track.  

One of the goals of post-natal exercises is to Fix your Diastasis Recti (that's what she said!). This is also known as Abdominal Separation.  You need to carefully work your abs in a way that will help bring that separation together without damaging your compromised muscles. Have your separation assessed by your doctor before you begin to avoid a possible hernia or other complication. Significant separations may require surgery. Most importantly, give your body the doctor-recommended 6 weeks to heal post-birth! Pushing yourself too hard too early is a bad idea.

8 Exercises to Help Lose Belly Fat After Having a Baby:

1. Thrusters: Compound movement for full body conditioning
Thrusters Exercise
• Start standing with a neutral spine, core engaged, and weights at shoulder height

• squat down, lots of weight in the heels, and a strong posture

• press the weight overhead as you stand. Only press as high as you can without losing core stability.

2. Dead Bug Sequence
Dead Bug Sequence
• Start lying on your back with your knees over your hips

• Push the low back into the floor

• Create resistance between your right hand and right knee.

• Start to move your left leg towards the floor, keeping it at a 90 degree angle for 10 reps and repeat on the other side.

3. Side Plank: Knees to Elbows
Side Plank, Knees to Elbows
• Set your elbow up under your shoulder and straighten your body out .

• Lift into a kneeling side plank.

• Draw your elbow and knee together for 20 reps on each side, trying not to allow your lower hip to dip toward the floor.

4. Hollow Hold with Arms 
Hollow Hold With Arms
• Setup for a Dead Bug (see above) and then lift your head and shoulder blades off the ground, reaching forward.

• Keeping your head and shoulder blades off the ground, start to reach your straight arms behind your head as far as you can without losing form.

• Perform 15-20 reps (as you fatigue, the arm movements will get smaller) 

• Skip this exercise if you have a large separation or if other crunch exercises make you feel queasy. 

5. Prone Knee to Elbow Hold
Prone Knee to Elbow Hold
• Start in a push-up position (shoulders directly over the wrists, strong core, glutes engaged)

• Draw your right knee to your right elbow and hold for 5 seconds .

• Perform 15 reps on each side

6. Hovering Knees
Hovering Knees• Start on all fours and lift the knees one inch off the ground.

• Start by holding this position for 30 seconds.

• For a more advanced move, kick one leg straight back without moving the other knee (keep it 1 inch off the ground)

7. Slow Tempo Push-Up
Slow Tempo Push-Up
• Start in a push-up position and then drop your knees to the floor.

• Lower down slowly (3-5 seconds) as low as you can.

• Push back up quickly and powerfully.

• Perform 10-12 reps.

8. Assisted Single Leg Squat

Assisted Single Leg Squat
• Start by finding your balance on one foot.

• Bring your left knee down to the floor (or to a block for an easier variation) and stand back up without touching the floor with your left foot.

• Perform 8-10 reps on each leg.

You can repeat this set of exercises for 3-5 sets, a few times a week. If you are unsure of your form and worried about hurting yourself, please work with a professional to help you build up strength and confidence to exercise safely and effectively. And remember, it will take time and consistency with diet and exercise to see the results that you are looking for.

Other considerations

* Work up the intensity progressively, and go for lots of walks to keep your blood moving.

* Your hormones take a year to regulate after birth, so be patient and consistent - the weight will come off.

* Listen to your body - sometimes a little downtime is going to serve your body better than a workout after a rough night.

* If you are going to hire a trainer, know their credentials and make sure they know what they are doing when it comes to working with post-natal women.

Stephanie Sibbio, CSEP, CEP is a Certified Exercise Physiologist.  To read more about her Personal Training services or ahem, score yourself a free first session, check out her website here.
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on May 15, 2017  wolflover82  3,639 said:

I was one of the lucky ones that pretty much just lost it all after giving birth. These are very good tips though!

on April 13, 2017  Tpynn  3,153 said:

I am definitely going to incorporate these into my routine!

on March 30, 2017  Melody86  1,954 said:

Que ce soit nimporte quel exrcise ...sans perseverance et motivation ca marchera pas....jai reussi a perdre 90 lbs en peu de temps en fesait 1:00 par jour a la maison apres bebe 2 ;) on lache pas ;) Je viens daccoucher de mon troisieme je vais essayer ca voir !!!;)

on May 03, 2016  b3ckb3ck  7,316 said:

Awesome tips!! I will have to try out some of these exercises! My little man will be 5 months tomorrow and I desperately need to get into shape!

on April 15, 2016  tatjanadannemann  10,238 said:

This is awesome ! even though I had my daughter over a year ago I still struggle with the baby fat! going to try it out for sure

on February 10, 2016  basant  6,382 said:

Thanks for this article I really do want to loose some lbs :(

on December 15, 2015  Min78  1,133 said:

Great tips for anyone out there. I am ten weeks postpartum and this is a great read. Hope to start slowly and the exercises are nicely illustrated.

on September 15, 2015  JenniD01  1,307 said:

My daughter is now 9months and I'm still breast feeding and I feel like I'm going up and down with my weight. I need motivation. Feeling like it's hopeless

on May 01, 2015  mepark  20,309 said:

I feel like these would work great for everyone and not just new mommys! Congrats to everyones new arrivals!

on March 30, 2015  CharlieGirl  2,372 said:

I really need to try these! 6 months post partum and it feels like they belly will never go away

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