Pregnancy causes your abdominal muscles to stretch extensively, leading to something called myofascial laxity. Additionally, many women also develop diastasis, which refers to the gap between the two vertically oriented abdominal muscles – rectus abdominis.
Surgeons can recommend a variety of procedures to correct abdominal laxity, including an umbilical float modified tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck, or even a full abdominoplasty, which can be performed with or without abdominal muscle repair or liposuction. While these procedures are effective, you should consider other ways of tightening your abdomen before rushing to plastic surgery.
According to expert trainers, the abdominal muscles are the easiest to engage without using any equipment, because you can work them by doing something as simple as pulling your belly in and holding that position. Exercises that help with this include:
1. Cardiovascular Activity
Cardiovascular exercise is important for not only burning fat but also forming a leaner midsection. According to the CDS, healthy adults need a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate cardio weekly to see good results.
These moderate activities include brisk walking, water aerobics, and riding a bike on ground level. As you get stronger, it is important that you increase calorie burning with more vigorous activity, like running (for only 1.25 hours a week).
2. Squat With Twist
You should also consider tightening the sides of your abdominais with this exercise. The squat and twist tones both the legs and sides of core muscles. According to “Fitness” magazine,
- Assume a standing position
- Lower your body into the squat position
- Keep your weight on the heels, and don’t extend your knees beyond your toes, and then extend your arms in front of your body
- Slowly twist to your left using your core muscles – keeping the midsection engaged
- Return to starting position and repeat 8 times.
3. Try Pelvic Tilts
This is a great workout for your deep core muscles. To get started,
- Lie on an exercise mat
- Bend your knees slightly, keeping your arms to the side of your body
- Contract the core muscles as you lift your pelvis off the ground
- Hold for 5 seconds and release
- Repeat 10 times per workout
4. Other Abdominal Exercises
This does not refer to the standard abs exercises like crunches or sit-ups that are mundane – though they also get results. You need some more practical and fun ways to tone your belly when doing regular activities. Consider exercises such as pelvic thrusts, lying leg raises, air bike, and bridge exercises, among others.
While exercises are a great way to shed fat, they cannot tighten your skin or solve diastasis. It can also be hard to target specific areas where you want to shed fat. So, when exercises have deemed unsatisfactory for your abdomen-tightening goals, it may be time to try out a tummy tuck.
Tummy Tuck Advantages to Keep in Mind…
Most often we mistake a tummy tuck as a weight loss tool, however, tummy tucks are used for more than just weight loss. Exercise in unable to tighten loose skin that may have resulted from a pregnancy, so no matter how much exercise you perform… the weight may come off, but the skin will still appear stretched. A tummy tuck can correct this. Problem spots where your body has decided to store fat often cannot be fully resolved through exercise and tummy tucks are a great way to correct this as well.