So you've had a baby, and you're looking to not only get back to your pre-pregnancy bod, but it'd also be nice to tighten the belly bulge too. What's a mom to do?
First, ditch the celebrity mentality. Most mortals won't be Posh Spice-skinny within a month of giving birth (and for many of us, ever, for that matter). Getting your body back requires hard work, a realistic attitude and these four tips, brought to you by Zeel Experts in the fitness and wellness fields.
Perfect your plank. V-method founder Vicki Vara goes back to basics and recommends plank pose. "Planks are an amazing way to tighten the belly bulge," she says. "Support yourself on your forearms and hold a plank position as long as you can. To add variety, try tapping both knees to the ground and lifting back up again."
Total body workouts. Says New York City personal trainer Spencer Hughes: "The best way to fight that post-baby belly bulge is to do full-body exercises and exercises that will contract all the muscles of the core." Try bicycle crunches, planks (with a flat back!), squats (focus on staying tall!), deadlifts, TRX drills and Kettlebell exercises. "Make sure to pull that belly button toward your spine and really concentrate on contracting the muscles of the obliques and the abs," says Spencer.
High protein, low fat. "Exercising in general will help reduce and tighten any belly bulge," says Charlotte, N.C.-based personal trainer Christina Tyler. "However, a high protein, low fat diet will contribute to a flat belly." She adds, "Keep in mind that belly bulges don't disappear on core exercises alone. A full workout regimen should be put into place along with a nutritional plan."
Don't forget cardio! While Littleton, Colo.-based trainer Bill Ross believes in the power of total body workouts, from back rows to lunges to chest presses, he also notes that it's important to incorporate interval cardio training into your routine too. He suggests that, when performing cardiovascular exercises, alternate between fast and slow speeds for at least 30 minutes.