During pregnancy your joints loosen, your ribcage and hips widen, and your growing baby stretches your stomach muscles. But do this gentle exercise for 10 minutes each day to get a tighter tummy.
‘The pelvic tilt is good for strengthening your lower stomach muscles,’ says expert Zana Morris, nutritionist and founder of The Library Gyms.
Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Place your hands, palm down, flat on the floor either side of your hips. Think about, and tighten, your stomach muscles – take your time to tighten all the muscles in this area you can, including your pelvic floor. Using your abdominal muscles, tilt your pelvis upwards. You should feel as if you are tucking your bottom in and pushing it upwards. You don’t need to lift it off the floor – simply tilting it will work the muscles sufficiently. Return to the start position and repeat.
For maximum effectiveness keep your chin lifted away from your chest – check that you’re looking up to the ceiling before starting each tilt.
If you’re a new mum take it very slowly and rest in-between each tilt. Start with just a few tilts and build up gradually so as not to stress your body. Your stomach muscles are likely to be very weak, so be careful not to use your lower back muscles instead.
If you’re six months or more post-birth work those muscles a little harder by imagining you are pulling your belly button in towards your spine.
Once you’ve mastered the technique lift one heel off the floor as you do the pelvic tilt. Alternate heels with each tilt to work both sides of your body equally.
Spend four minutes doing pelvic tilts: perform tilts for one minute, rest for 30 seconds, do another minute of tilts, rest for 30 seconds, then do a final minute of tilts.
If you’ve had a c-section, speak to your GP before exercising. Only do what is comfortable for you.
More 10-minute tummy exercises:
>> Slow Squats
>> The Stomach Retraction