The box abdominal raise is a postnatal exercise created by Pushy Mothers, the experts behind the Buggy Workout, for our sister publication Practical Parenting & Pregnancy magazine. Your baby will enjoy this exercise, too, because it’s like a game and she can see your face – just remember to smile for her sake!
What it does: Strengthens the muscles to give you a flatter tummy and a stronger back.
Get set: Kneel on all fours with your knees under your hips, hands under your shoulders and fingers facing forward. Ensure your spine is in a neutral position (see box on right) with your head in line and your neck long. Slide your shoulder blades down and ‘soften’ your elbows.
Action: To prepare, take a deep breath IN, keeping your tummy relaxed but not hanging. Breathing OUT, think of blowing your baby tummy away while pulling your abdominals in. Breathe IN, not letting your tummy sag. On each outward breath, tighten your tummy a bit more. Repeat six times, then breathe IN and relax to the ‘Get set’ position, taking care not to arch your back.
- If your back starts to hurt or begins to arch, it’s time to rest.
- Do this exercise slowly.