Hello there, me again. I had my baby almost 4 months ago now, he's doing amazing he's thriving, he laughs, he fights, he cries he does it all. But you know what wasn't thriving? ME! Over the years I've been SO active, and with PCOS (polycystic ovaries syndrome) I didn't really have a choice if I didn't want to look like a couch person. Let me give you a little insight, PCOS causes pain and excess weight gain and FAST, amongst other possible things, unscheduled periods, horrific cramps, spots/acne, FACIAL HAIR (luckily I took after my dad there). So after researching and researching I found that only really diet and exercise could have me on form, isn't that great, I have IBS and shit about 4 times a day so realistically I should be a size 6, but nooo mother nature pulled the flusher on that happy possibility and hit me with 'eat what you want and you're off to crane lift city' honestly, a week spent eating what I want and I'd be getting hosed down in the front garden incapable of getting into the shower myself. So pregnancy I MILKED IT, and I mean I didn't give a single fuckedy fuck. If I got fat it was the baby. If I ate maccies, KFC AND burger king that day with dunkin donuts and icandy as snacks in between who would anyone be to dare challenge a pregnant lady? Now I must of carried that shit well, because no one commented on my weight when I was pregnant, NO ONE, probably for fear of me eating them, but still. But I gave birth eventually, and then what? The body I had worked hard on for literal YEARS had gone. I didn't realise the muscle mass would have deteriorated to nothingness as well but I could still go to classes when I was ready right? WRONG, along came lockdown. So here I am stuck at home, can only go for walks how boring. So I had to get creative, so I'm going to share with you my top 5 exercises that WILL shift your mum tum and shave off those unwanted inches. I'm not a fitness coach or a trained PT, I'm just one first time mumma desperate to get some stomach control back. And after losing 2 inches off my waist, 3 off my stomach and 2.5 off my bust I'm ready to share the ways I am shedding those inches.
#1, Weighted Hula Hoop. I've spoken about it before and the fact that I have should show how serious I am about it. Weighted hula hoops are a lot easier than normal I find, because the added weight resistance makes it easier to keep it up and to keep control of the spinning, I don't even notice the weight anymore because I'm so used to it and I watch TV whilst doing it, it's THAT easy. Now it will be difficult at first due to the bruising so it's so important to give your body a few days inbetween to recover. You can find recommended times to give your body a breather easily online, I gave myself 3 days the second time around after becoming bruised. I also waited until I was 8 weeks PP to try again as that's when I felt my body was ok. I now do it almost every day, but trust me, if you do this for 20-30 minutes a day 4 times a week you WILL see results. For a beginner I recommend starting with 10 minutes and building up weekly until you find an amount you are comfortable with. I now add in dumbells whilst I do it on occasion to try get an arm workout too. This is the hula hoop I have used for the past 5 years on and off, and I can say from first hand experience that it really has worked for me: https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/2108483675. There are plenty more that you can buy, I have just used this as an example as I KNOW how this one is. The weights make noise but that kind of helped me at first as I kept reminding myself the weights will help. Even if I did receive some battering from it. NO pain NO gain 💪.
2 - leg raises
I've always been a fan of leg raises because I've always had a strong core. So when I said to my boyfriend "I'm going to do a leg raise challenge for 30 days" I didn't factor in that my stomach muscles had been demolished in pregnancy and child birth. It's a very good job my baby is cute, because he rained terror on my body (he still does, beating me is a regular occurence). I started at 50 because I felt any less would feel pointless to me considering I used to do at least 100 every gym session. This shit was hard. But it targets your lower stomach muscles and if you have had a baby, you will know that this is the area you really want to tighten because that's where the apron is. If you couple this with some cardio like what I will talk about next you'll see and feel the difference quickly. TRUST ME I'm doing it as we speak and will be posting my challenge results when I have finished it, with before and after photos, because I wont tell people something works just to disappoint and I practise what I preach because there's not much worse character traits than hypocrites liars.
#3, Skipping. I know, hula hoop and skipping, how old are we, 8? But remember how fit you were as a child? Now the hula hoop differs but skipping does not. Only thing I would say is make it more of a boxing training skip than a one foot in front of the other laxidaisy skip. I find I get tired very quickly doing it this way so I know it works. If you do the two together here is what I did: 5 minutes skipping at intervals of 1 minute on 10 seconds off until you get to the 5th minute, then weighted hula hoop. Side note, take a lot of water. Also a great exercise if you have or are thinking of quitting smoking. I smoked terribly and stopped when pregnant. Sometimes if I want a ciggy I will pull out the rope and skip for the 5 minutes I will have smoked, by the time I've done it I remember how out of breath I used to be off one minute and it stops me picking them up, and I live with a smoker so they are always available. BELIEVE me, skipping burns 35 calories per minute on average and a weighted hula hoop roughly burns around 70 calories every 10 minutes, so for 35 minutes work you will have burned around 345 calories. If you do this a good few times per week you WILL see the difference. I have.
#4, OK so it isn't one exercise it's a few. But for about a week I followed this youtube video https://youtu.be/7_gvlHOarPQ and it really was making me feel as though it worked. Now, I will admit I didn't keep it up, but that was due to my own laziness and the fact I had started my hula and skipping back up, thrown in my leg raise challenge and I thought neh I'm doing enough. But honestly I felt this was really helping me. If you TRY it for a few weeks and it doesn't work, well, there's a comment section on their video and a comment section in my article you can blast me on for telling fibs. But trust me I'm not. He specifically targets the lower tummy area on his wife as she had wanted rid of her mum tum from pregnancy and low and behold look at her body! I must mention I am in no way linked to or affiliated with the makers of this youtube video, I'm just sharing the video I first found helpful.
I LOVE doing bridges. I love how simple they are but how amazing the results they gain are too. I love a good little bum squeeze too and sometimes I get a kettle bell and place it just on my lower stomach/pelvis and complete my sets like this as I feel the added weight adds to faster results. I used to do this in the gym a lot, there was a specific bums and tums class who did this and I always felt like my lower stomach and bum was so much tighter the next day. I really do advise this one if you have the strength, but wait it out to use the weight as you really do need to build up strength first.
Ofcourse with any new workout routine you have to find what works for you and ALWAYS speak to your dr or physician or even your midwife to see if this type of exercise is OK or beneficial to your body type. I wouldn't tell someone who has had a c section to try bridges at 8 weeks PP especially with a weight because I, personally, don't feel it would be safe yet. But again I am not professionally trained, these are things I have picked up along the way.
I also recommend a healthy diet remember 'If you just eat shite, you lose the fight' and drink LOTS of water. As I said in my 5 ways to blast the mum tum article, I use my timed water bottle to keep me on track, you can get yours here https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07T9F785X?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title I'd say expensive for a water bottle but I love mine and use it every single day. I've not had a fizzy drink (other than a glass of prosecco) in weeks because after just drinking coffee, tea, water and cordial, I had tango and it just tasted disgustingly sweet. I was drinking 2 big cans of redbull a day and a can of pepsi at one point so I KNOW it works so it's well worth the investment. Plus I hate having to try convert my glasses into ml and track them that way it's so much ag, but with a water bottle you know how much you consume each time, easy peasy.
I do hope this helps, trust me, just try it for 30 days and let me know how it goes. It's about commitment and try to make it fun. It's also about finding time for YOU in the middle of all of this being stuck in and being a mum, you sometimes lose yourself. In gaining my body back I am physically seeing the positives to me time. As well as my blogging of course but I need a physical outlet that makes me see results too. Plus babies are expensive, I can't afford a new wardrobe to fit this new flabby skin suit, so working out saves money. 😁.
Until next time ladies and gents.
Don't be a stranger and Stay safe
💖 Much Love 💙