Working out during my pregnancy was great for maintaining some strength, but the major changes in my body forced me to backtrack a bit when I returned to the gym after giving birth. It’s tough because I was steadily progressing before I got pregnant but never had the chance to find out what my limits were. I’m eager to at least get back to where I was for the upcoming meet in May, but I get a little frustrated when I feel like I’m not improving as fast as I’d like to be.
My core seems to have been hit hardest by pregnancy, and rightly so; it was forced to readjust itself (like everything else in my body) to carry a mini me for 10 months. The effects of it have been most noticeable in the squat, where I’ve been unwittingly using my back to pick up the slack of my weakened abs. In addition to doing box and goblet squats and raising my heels for light back squats in the gym, I’ve been dutifully getting in my daily core work as prescribed by Jim. Missy has talked about and demonstrated the dead bug before, and this is just one of several exercises in my core repertoire. Single-leg lowering, band pull-over breathing, bear crawl and reverse crunches are also helping to whip my abs back into shape.
I asked J&M trainer Lucy to help me show you the right way to do a few of these exercises:
Hopefully by the time the meet rolls around, I’ll have a more solid core and will be lifting at least as much as I was last spring—maybe more!