How to Tighten Loose Abdominal Skin after Pregnancy?

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I always wonder I always wonder why we Indian mothers have fat-rich bellies after delivery. And why is it so hard to get a flat belly, years after delivery? Why our old pair of jeans can fit us after having kids?
There isn’t some kind of rule that after having kids a woman has to look obese. Many Indian minds live with this notion that after delivery, it becomes hard to have a Flat Stomach, well they are wrong. There are ways to tighten that loose abdominal skin and methods to flatten ones stomach, along with getting toned abs, provided the new moms ditching their laziness, are ready to get hitched with post-delivery exercises.
With both of my deliveries, during 3-4 months of breastfeeding, I almost looked like a pumpkin. My big round protruded belly was not leaving my side and some people ignorant of my delivery, kept on thinking me to be ‘pregnant’! But with regular exercise and balanced diet, I successfully got rid of that ‘extra fat’. Still, I was left with one problem i.e. Loose Skin on Abdominal Area.
‘Loose Abdominal Skin’ is commonly visible in cases, where one has either delivered a baby or where one loses excess weight all of a sudden. When we shed weight, the skin that was stretched over fatty layers of the abdominal region gets loosened. It’s like the fat of your body was grabbing hold of your skin to cover itself and when it gets burned, it leaves that very layer of skin hanging all alone. You should be happy to know that your skin can adapt to your new body shape with proper exercise and nutrient rich diet.
Following are some of the exercises that can help you Tighten the Abdominal Skin Post-Pregnancy:

Kapalbhati Pranayama

What is it?

This is a Breathing Technique which most of the women find quite effective, After Delivery. It can be performed the following way (Explained in video below)

Why do it?

You must have noticed that when you breathe in, you also squeeze in your stomach in this process. Stomach and abs are closely related to each other. By Abs, you must be imagining six-pack abs but you’re wrong. Abs are nothing but the muscles surrounding your stomach. Toned abs would give you a toned stomach.
In Kapalbhati Pranayama, when you breathe in, the muscles of your abs would go down and in return, this would increase blood circulation in your Liver and Pancreas.
This improved blood circulation would remove plaque, a fatty substance which usually gets builds up in blood vessels, due to poor blood circulation. Poor blood circulation is caused due to less physical activities. We hope you read the word ‘fatty’ for plaque’s definition. When plaque (the fatty substance) would get removed your plumpy look would also get reduced.

Things to keep on mind:

Don’t start exercising just a few days after the delivery. Now it completely depends upon the type of surgery you have gone through, hence when you start, you should begin with gentle breathing at first. If it would pain you, then we think you know what to do. Stop.

Planks

arm plank

What is it?

Usually, new moms go for abs crunches but this wouldn’t be enough for them, as it only targets the upper abs muscles. To work on the complete abdominal area, Planks are proven to be the best isometric exercise.

Why do it?

This exercise would not only tighten your abdominal area but it would also strengthen the same.

Things to keep on mind:

When you do planks you have to breathe in to suck your tummy. After this, hold it tight. Start off by doing it 1-3 times for 15 seconds, as you would get used to it your efficiency would increase and so would your time, from 15 seconds to 30 and then it could even be 1 whole minute!

Stability Ball Exercises

What is it?

Ball exercises are fine to work on your muscles. You must be thinking why we are stressing so much on the muscles. Before answering this question of yours, we think you should see this. [Click Here]

Why do it?

After getting a visual presentation, you would have now got a better understanding, of how stability ball exercises builds muscles. When muscles get build up in a body, their tissue needs ‘energy’ to survive. This is derived to them from the fat/ calories in your body, in this process your fat gets ‘burned’.

Things to keep in mind:

Before this, if you haven’t tried your hands on stability ball exercise during pregnancy, it is better to skip it. We have plenty of abs tightening exercises, scroll down.
In case you are acquainted with this exercise you should take care of how you breathe along with different poses. Inhale whenever you bend and exhale whenever you get up. Since you will exercise you may breathe faster, the way we breathe when we stop after running. Remember to breathe normally. With a subtle exercise, this can be possible.
Along with this, you should also take care of your posture with the ball. Don’t try to overdo it. We do want you to want you lose tummy by these post-natal tightening exercises, but we don’t want you to harm yourself. Firstly do what your body allows; we are here to guide you.

Target the Core

What is it?

It is recommended to target the Core in your exercise which would point at the muscle deep at your back and abdominals. As part of regular exercise routine, core specific exercise will strengthen your core and tone your abdominals. How to do it, here’s recipe to it. 10 Minutes Abs and Abdominal Workout

In these 10 Minutes, you will be able to do 10 exercises:
1. Flutter Kicks
2. Reaching Oblique Crunch
3. Pilates Side Hip Raises
4. Russian Twists
5. Toe Touch Crunches
6. Pilates Leg Pulls (facing down)
7. Pilates Leg Pulls (facing up)
8. Pilates Toe Taps
9. Knee Tuck and;
10. Lastly, Crunches

Why do it?

Our body does need the good fat but here, we are talking about the bad, the excess fat in your body. When you would perform this exercise, toning underneath the muscle will help your waistline get tighten. This exercise in comparison to other weight losing exercise is much healthier, as you won’t develop loose abdominal skin in this one. I do these exercises daily while watching the video. Watching the video while you do it is highly recommended as it makes you do it perfectly and in time.

Things to keep on mind:

Allow your skin to regain its elasticity by losing a maximum of 1 KG per week or else it will result in a more loose skin. To keep a check on this yes, you need a weight check machine; we hope you must be having it with you since you were a ‘Preggo’ in the house.

Strength Training

What is it?

As you drop your weight you also need to increase your muscle mass to tighten flabby stomach which would be possible with a strength training exercise.

Why do it?

There are various Tools available for Strength Training like:
Medicine Balls-Tubing-Free Weights-Machines etc. all these will help you to lean your muscle mass. A lean muscle mass means, muscle mass without fat.

Things to keep on mind:

You can perform this more than twice a week, on alternate days. In strength training the rule of breathing is different. This time you will have to exhale when you would lift, push or pull the equipments. And when you would release (i.e. let go of the equipment) you will have to inhale.

Cardio

cardio
Cardiovascular exercise (Cardio) is the most prominent way of getting back in pre-maternity shape. It does not only burn fat but it also strengthens your whole body and keeps your heart healthy. When you wish to burn fat you, cannot target a specific area, as fat can be removed from whole-body exercise. Cardio helps you do that, adding 20 minutes of cardio for 3.5 days a week will help you cut down a considerable amount of fats.

A Low-Fat Diet

This is recommended to accelerate the process of skin tightening around your targeted i.e. abdominal area. A protein rich high-fiber food like beans, nuts, yogurt, eggs, meat, fish etc., along with strength exercise is recommended to speed up the process of Skin Tightening.

Protein

protein foods
Carbohydrate + Protein = Complete Meal. This is the right balance of diet when you wish to build muscle. Along with building your muscles, it would also bless you valuable nutrients such as collagen, which would keep your skin all tight, firm and wrinkle-free.

Reduce Caloric Intake

junk food potato chips
According to a research carried out by centers of disease control & prevention, 1bs of fat translates to 3.5K Calories. This means you must try to cut down 500-1000 calories in your daily intake. You can do that by reducing portion sizes and by avoiding unnecessary snack munching. A steady and gradual exercise schedule is the most effective way of losing fat. This way you will get habituated to exercising and you would also keep Weight Gain at bay.

Lotion and Massage:

lotion and massage
Using lotion which contains collagen and vitamin C, A, E and K also helps. Massaging on the targeted area, your abdominal area would help in improving the blood flow (circulation) there and hence in tightening of your skin. Massaging is recommended, twice a day.

Exfoliate:

exfoliate
If you would ask us, about the level of difficulty involved in this method, we would say it is the easiest way to solve your loose skin problem. Get an exfoliating scrub and scrub your belly well with it, each time you take a shower. This would result in improved circulation and regeneration of new, healthier and more elastic skin. Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean, it’s ineffective. You will know when you would give it a try.

Water:

warm water
Till now we have been talking all about how to lose weight and tighten loose skin after pregnancy and in both the cases Water intake can prove to be effective as well as an efficient method to complete your goal. As you know water has always helped in losing weight. When it comes to tightening your skin, water would not only hydrate it but it would also make it more elastic and flexible. Also, it would level down the water retention (bloating) in your belly area.
Like every health expert and exercise trainer, even we would say exercise daily and consistently to get the best results. As Skin after pregnancy becomes quite stubborn and inelastic in nature and if you won’t exercise after delivery, it’s highly likely that you won’t be able to get back your Pre-Maternity Figure. With these skin tightening and belly flattening post-natal exercise, this is also highly likely that you may get a more ‘maintained’ figure than before.

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About Author

Sapana

Software professional – now work at home mom

22 Comments

  1. Pingback: Belly Binder after Pregnancy: All You Need to Know | GoMama 24/7

  2. Pingback: How to Look Younger After Pregnancy? | GoMama 24/7

  3. Pingback: Best Yoga Poses to Tone-Up a Loose Body after Pregnancy | GoMama 24/7

    • Sapana

      Hi Priya,
      Its my pleasure to have you as a visitor of my blog!
      Well, I have heard and read its 15 mins everyday. But it depends on your heart health if you have high BP or can shoot High BP easily then it must be avoided.
      I do it just for 5 mins everyday.
      Doing it regularly is more important.
      I hope it helps.

  4. Pingback: Most Effective Flat Belly Workouts for New Moms | GoMama 24/7

  5. I have been using dermelastic serum from past 1 month and I have feel the reduction of stretch marks. It may not suits everyone so, people should ask dermatologist before using any product I like that. Your article is amazing. The exercises are really helpful.

    • Sapana

      Thanks for the nice comment Ridhi, such serums are to be used only after consultation with medical practitioner. That is the reason I have not mentioned any in above post.

  6. My baby is 06 months old. I am just tired of my belly fat. I want to loose it any how. What are the best exercises I should adopt to loose tummy fat easily and faster. Please help..

    • Sapana

      Easiest and most effective are planks and sit ups. But balance these intense workouts with back and knee strengthening too. You should start with basics then go for advanced workouts step by step. Read this post for more information: Flat tummy exercises for mothers

  7. I usually do kapalbhati to loose tummy fat and also follow the diet and drink lots of water. I wonder how much time will it take to feel the changes. Should I include some other activities also? Looking forward to your suggestion.

    • Sapana

      Hi Jayshree,

      Only Kapalbhati is not sufficient for Tightening the loose belly. You should do some intence abs workouts too: Check this post.
      Also take green leafy vegetable juices everyday explained here

      Depending on our genetics and current health time required to see the results differs. But please keep yourself motivated.

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