Being a mom is easily the most rewarding joy of all, but with non-stop mom duties on top of work and living our own lives, it can be too easy to fall into the trap of neglecting our strong, beautiful bodies. From experience, we know that the ‘mum tum’ can be a source of insecurity for moms all over the world. We’re not here to say the ultimate goal isn’t to have a stomach that rivals your pre-baby days – we want you to have a strong, healthy body that you feel confident in. Remember, it’s not what your body looks like but how it makes you feel.
Now, if you’re looking for a quick workout that will work your abs to the max, then you’re in luck. The 6 moves below will fit in perfectly to any schedule, they won’t take up heaps of time, but more importantly, they’ll tone those abs in no time.
Stronger Core Exercise 1: The Plank
We don’t know too many people that get really excited about the plank, but it is hands down one of our favorite exercises. It targets your entire core (front and back!) while activating your arms, legs, and glutes all at once. Give a bit of your workout time to planks, put in your best effort and the hard work will definitely pay off.
How to do it: Get on your hands and knees. Straighten those legs until you’re in plank position and resting on your toes. Keep your bum tucked in and those hips firmly low. Start with 5 sets of 30 seconds and work your way up to 1-minute long holds. If you can work your way up to 2-minute planks, more power to you. To target your obliques, simply rotate your body and come up onto one arm in a side plank – and be sure to do both sides equally. The burn is a killer but keeping pushing through it mama! After childbirth, this is nothing, right?
Stronger Core Exercise 2: Bicycle Crunches
If you’re looking to sculpt your abs, the bicycle crunch is a must. This crunch variation is perfect for a woman on a mission, and although it takes a little practice to master a smooth technique, you’ll find a new-found love for these babies.
How to do it: Lie on your back, with your hands clasped behind your head. Lift your shoulders up and bring the left knee to chest, extend your right leg out and twist your right elbow to meet your left knee. Swap onto the other side and keep alternating until you’ve done 20 on each side.
Stronger Core Exercise 3: Weighted Bridge
The weighted bridge may appear easy, especially if you’ve already mastered the bridge by itself. But it’ll give those abs one heck of a workout. If you don’t believe us, try it for yourself. Just image the above image with a weight on her stomach!
How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent up and feet flat on the floor. Place a barbell or weight plate comfortably over your hips. Then drive your hips up and squeeze your glutes. Start with 10kg and repeat the movement for 2 sets of 12.
Stronger Core Exercise 4: Ball Pike
Ready to get rolling with this one? A pike is both fun and extremely challenging and will crank up the heat in your core in no time.
How to do it: Place an exercise ball behind you and plant your hands firmly on the ground in front of you. Roll your legs on top of the ball so that it is under your lower thighs and you are in a raised push-up position. Zip up your core as you roll the ball towards your hands, lifting your hips up into the air and keeping your core engaged. Roll back out to start and keep those pikes going! You’ll tone up in no time with this move, but ease in with 10 repetitions and increase weekly.
*Equipment free: If you don’t have an exercise ball you can always fold a hand towel in half and rest your toes on top, so you can easily slide your feet back and forth and get the full pike action in!
Stronger Core Exercise 5: Plank Oblique Crunches
This is another exercise that blasts those tough to reach obliques. Some people call it the spiderman exercise, but no matter what you call it, it’s a core-carving workout. You can do this from a high plank or forearm plank position – whatever is best for your wrists.
How to do it: From a plank position lift your left up and bring it towards your left elbow – keeping your foot off the ground. Focus on activating the muscles on the side of your body to crunch that leg up and return back to start. Repeat on the right side, crunching your right knee up towards your right elbow. Do 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.
Stronger Core Exercise 6: Criss-Cross Leg Lifts
These leg lifts add an extra element of core control with some criss-cross kicks added in. This move will light a fire in your lower abdomen – that other tough-to-target area where things tend to sag more than we’d like.
How to do it: Lie down on your back and place your hands at the base of your butt. You want to feel your lower back pressing against the ground, not arching up to help activate those lower abdominal muscles. Engage your core to lift your legs up to 90˚, and while you’re lifting cross your feet back and forth so your left foot is on top, and then right foot on top, and then left foot on top. Keep crisscrossing as you lift up and down. Make sure to keep breathing during this exercise and try to do 2 sets of 10 if you can and build up over time.
We do not recommend the above circuit if you are pregnant or in the first 12 weeks postpartum. However, if you’re looking for a great circuit that’s safe for pregnancy adn will still activate those core muscles check out these 5 Lower Body Exercises For Pregnancy and Beyond.
For more fitness tips and exercises that are suited exactly to your stage of pregnancy and motherhood, download out our ios app today!