Toning tummy

Lily is 20 months, Madeleine is 5 months old today, we're not planning to ttc for at least another year and the time has come for me to do something about my mummy tummy!

I need to exercise generally as I weigh about a stone and a half more than I want to, but my main concern is my tummy, which was flat pre-babies and now looks like a marshmallow hanging over my jeans unless I tense it.

I know that post-natal women are not allowed to do sit-ups because it can aggravate rectus diastasis (I very much still have this split). What can I do to encourage the muscles to knit back together, and to tone the whole tummy area?

Thanks :\)


  • I'd guess core muscle exercises - planks, etc - would be the best for toning the tummy without aggravating a tear. Push-ups are also supposed to be extremely good for all-over toning. Do you have a Pilates class near you? Or yoga might also work.
  • Have you thought about a post natal video? Sounds cheesy but i have Jordans and its really good... very hard but good! You can feel it working everything especially the tummy! I go to the gym 3/4 times a week and do the dvd when i can and i can see the changes already at 8 weeks post birth... never had to do any of this with my first it all just popped back on its own! grrrr x
  • DVD even,... who uses videos nower days :lol: xx
  • I have heard that the plank is the best for tummys. A minute at a time a few times a day I think. Although I'm planning on getting a slendertone! I'm still trying to drop the last stone from Haiden who is almost 13 months old now. It is going, but veerrryyyy slowly! X
  • Does anyone know when you can do situps? My LO is almost 10m....

    Em x
  • I would suggest I had lo 5 months ago too, and I have my pre preg figure back already. Its great fro tummy and also helps with pelvic floor. I even take little one with me in his buggy. The plank is also great too. image
  • Hello you!

    I have a marshmallow look going on too! So much so that I'm going to my first 'post-natal circuits' class tomorrow, which is run by a physio. I definitely have the split between my tummy muscles too, so I'll let you know what they suggest once they've had a prod....

  • Thanks for suggestions!

    The way you know if you have a split is: lie flat on the floor, tense your tummy muscles and do a little mini sit-up just lifting your head of the floor. If you have a split you'll feel a trough with your fingertips right down the middle of your tummy muscles. Some people's are just a little hole above the belly button, some go all the way from under your boobies to below the belly button. Mine was about a finger's width after Lily and maybe 5cm in length, but is now twice that.

    I'm not sure when you can start doing sit-ups again exactly Em, but think it's once this split isn't a significant width or length any more. Not everyone gets one but it is quite common.
  • I really can't be bothered with exercising at the moment, too much cake to be eaten and TV to be watched, but I used to do loads, and I always found the BEST exercise for your tum was press ups. A bonus is that you get toned arms too, but as you have two babies to carry, I am guessing your arms are pretty toned already!
  • I do the plank and it works,
    I also do pilates and yoga on sky (I think it's channel 275)
  • Sorry to GC the thread but Benjamin is 4 mnths & I've been doing sit-ups since my 6-week check (with no results), should I not be?! Also, you could think about something like buggyfit maybe?

  • I don't think I have a split (going to check now, lol!) and I've been doing sit ups since my 6 week check, so I hope that's ok! The plank KILLS me, it's evil and I hate it!!! But I have noticed I'm stronger since doing it. I think my muscles are pretty much back to normal, it's just the layer of flab over the top that I need to shift!!!
  • I've found this which looks quite good:

    Other websites say that it's ok to do sit-ups if the split is one or two fingers wide, but not to if it's wider. My postnatal fitness instructor (after having Lily, not Maddie) said not to do them at all until the gap is closed, or you risk forcing the muscles even further apart.
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