It is first important to work out why your tummy is protruding out. It can be one of the following 3 reasons or a combination.
1. Excess Fat
There can be stubborn fat deposits for any woman and these often increase with pregnancy. The only way to address fat deposits is by increasing your calories burned compared to calories taken in. Then your body will start using up the fat reserves as energy. To do this an increase in activity is recommended and then adjustments to your diet. Refer to the FAT LOSS Nutrition Tips and Safe Exercise Choices sections of the Hub to learn strategies to work on this.
Increasing your daily steps is by far the easiest way for anybody and safe to do after having a baby. Use a smart watch that tracks your steps and aim for 5000 a day to start with gradually increasing to 12000 steps a day. Jogging or running or walking are ways of racking up your steps.
HOWEVER we do not recommend jogging or running until you have completed this program and completed our ‘Prepare for Running Mini Course’ to gain a stronger core. Jogging or running is not recommended for new mums until 12 weeks after giving birth.
You can easily break it up the steps into shorter walks like walking to meet a friend for a coffee or walking around the park and to work.
2. Excess Skin
Skin is stretched to a large degree during pregnancy and depending on your age and being pregnant more than once the skin does not also spring back and tighten and may remain loose. Unfortunately once skin has been stretched past its ability to be able to spring back and tighten it will stay that way and the only real solution to remove the excess loose skin is surgery.
3. True Diastasis Recti
For all mums in the in the 3rd trimester (some before) there is separation of the two 6 pack muscles to make room for the expanding increase of intra-abdominal pressure, uterus and baby. For some mums approximately 60% this abdominal separation sorts itself out and the muscles come back together by about 8 weeks post birth naturally. For the others they remain separated and this can contribute to the protruding tummy look. There is the occasional time that this degree of separation is so severe that the only answer is surgery to help. But for most a rehab program such as the ABS FAB which works on increasing core muscle strength and increasing the tension back in the linea alba tissue that joins the 2 muscles can help flatten the tummy again and heal the Diastasis Recti. Why do we say ‘heal’ and not ‘bring the muscles back together again’??? Because it has been proven the key is to increase the core muscle strength and tension in the linea alba to give a flatter tummy again rather than bring the muscles back together. See the pic below. There is an obvious gap still there between the muscles but the tummy is flat.
4. Weakened core muscles and loss of tension in your connective tissues between and surrounding the muscles.
The only way to rectify this is to work on rebuilding the strength in the deep core muscles first and then adding in strengthening the outer core muscles. This will then also increase tension in the connective tissues giving the pulling back effect. This is how we can really help YOU by going into more detail in this Program about how to do this including 10 min easy to follow workouts later.
Do you find your tummy feels bloated and sticks out more as the day goes on. You are not alone. Most people including both men and women have this. This is often due to reactions of your digestive system to food and drinks consumed through the day and a resultant increase in pressure inside of you as a result. However if your core muscles are weaker and the tension can not be generated effectively in your linea alba and fasicas then there is nothing to combat these increases in pressure and the bloating effect is worse. There are 2 things you can do.
- Build core strength and increase the tension to withstand the pressure pushing out as the day goes on.
- Make diet changes to reduce the bloating effect that some food and drinks can cause. Refer to our ‘Belly Flattening Nutrition Tips’ section of the Hub to find some useful tips.
If you are unsure which of the above 3 apply to you just BOOK AN ONLINE CONSULT with one of our expert physio trainers and we can help by having a look and doing with you a few tests to work out which of the above apply to you.