Abs and glutes
Exercises on all fours are great as gravity means that you have to properly engage your deeper abdominals (transversus abdominis) to stabilise your spine as you lift an arm or a leg.
I have two exercises for you today:
1) On all fours with short levers - start here if you are newly postnatal: Bring the knee towards your chest and hold for 2 seconds as you pull the abs towards the spine, then keep bracing them as you take the knee up towards the ceiling, keeping the foot flexed and holding for 2 seconds. Keeping the hips level will engage your abs more. Move slowly and with control.
2) As above but on your forearms and adding a long lever (which makes this exercise harder than the first one): I like doing exercises on my forearms as they engage the back muscles as well as the arms and shoulders. As with the first exercise, move slowly and with control. Engaging your deeper abs and squeezing your glutes will take any strain off your lower back.
Do 6-10 reps on each side, 2-3 sets.
Strong abs and glutes are a big part of postnatal rehab. But they are also important for anyone who wants a healthy pain-free back, good posture and muscle balance. Happy Monday!