I posted a picture of myself recently that got some very nice attention and compliments from family, friends and followers. I was also asked by a few people what I do to keep my abs in such good shape. I just had my third son, so I’m not without the imperfections of pregnancy. I do have stretch marks and skin that just won’t seem to go back into place. However, I don’t mind them, they are a sign of giving birth and a reminder of my three beautiful children.. blah blah blah…
Enough of the sentimental mooshy stuff, as much as I really do feel that way and think that embracing our imperfections is a must, this is something that’s very difficult to do. I appreciate, love and accept who I am most of the time. However, there are times I look in the mirror and wish I didn’t have the lines on my stomach or the varicose veins that appear as I age. These feelings of insecurity are ok, even necessary, as long as you’re not consumed by them but instead use them as motivation to engage in a healthier lifestyle.
As far as ab workouts are concerned, and really all workouts, I like to mix it up. But, the staple of my workout, that I do almost every time I go to the gym is the Pilates 5. Pilates in general is an amazing core workout, in my mind the best. I started doing it after my first son was born and a trainer told me that pilates was the best core workout to strengthen your abs and really pull everything back into place after giving birth.
Here is a link to a short video where I demonstrate these 5 exercises. It includes my favorite workout song of the moment, so if you don’t care for the exercises you can simply listen to Rihanna belt out “This is What You Came For.”
Some notes on how to perform this workout:
First off, make sure you engage (tighten) your abs to protect your back while you perform each exercise. Also, your lower back should touch the mat, if it doesn’t modify your position so it does otherwise you risk injury.
The first move is the “100”; the intention is to hold the position shown while breathing in for 5 and out for 5 while pumping your arms 100x. Do this with your legs in table top position or for more of a challenge, straighten them. Whatever is most comfortable. I perform each move about 5 times each, I suggest doing 10- 20 reps. As an added bonus there are planks at the end, hold these positions for 30 seconds, or longer if you can!
Thanks for reading!