Many mums have the mistaken view that working on the core area solely means tightening of the ab and stomach area but it also includes working on the back, hips, buttocks and thighs in order to strengthen back muscles and maintain good body posture.
Having a strong core is beneficial to all mums, in particular new mothers who need the strength to carry their newborns. For mums who have undergone C-section, core exercises (after you’ve been cleared by a doctor to exercise) are very useful in helping to strengthen and tone those ab muscles.
Mummyfique met with yoga teacher Dawn Sim from Truim Fitness who shared with us some key core strengthening poses that a busy mother can practise even if all she has is fifteen minutes. With a wealth of experience teaching yoga and pilates since 2000, Dawn has taught in America and France and is currently living here in Singapore. A shoulder injury from competitive swimming led to her first yoga session when her coach recommended yoga therapy to restore mobility to her shoulders. Having reaped the benefits of yoga, Dawn grew passionate about the practice and started teaching yoga to share the benefits with others.
Yoga works the entire body very efficiently and addresses a lot of problems that arise from busy lifestyles such as sitting at the desk for too long, bad posture and a lack of movement. Yoga is good exercise because it is low impact, teaches physical awareness and how to activate the right muscles.
FIVE CORE YOGA POSE WE CAN DO AT HOME
1. Modified Boat
Begin in a seated position, keep knees together, lean back and lift both legs away from the ground while trying to form a V-shape with your thighs and torso. Bend the knees lower to the feet if you need to make things easier. Keep the torso upright and avoid rounding the spine. Keep the shoulders drawn away from the ears. Hold for one minute.
2. Bear Pose
Begin on all fours, hands shoulder width apart, knees hip width apart. Lift the knees away from the ground and push away from the floor while keeping shoulders stable and apply weight to the fingers and palms instead of supporting too much body weight on the wrists. Keep pulling navel to spine. Hold for 30 seconds.
3. Forearm Side Plank
Begin by resting on one forearm, keeping your elbow below your shoulders. Press away from the ground with your arm and lift towards the ceiling. Keep pulling your navel towards the spine, squeeze thighs towards the midline and tighten the buttocks at the same time. Hold for one minute.
4. Three-Legged Dog
Begin on all fours. Ensure that the belly is drawn towards the back and hands pressed into the ground while extending one leg back and up. Draw the knee towards the chest or forehead. When drawing knee to forehead (expert variation), scoop the belly in while trying to lift the lower back to the ceiling and tuck the chin towards your chest. Repeat eight to 10 times on each side.
5a. Table Top
Begin in a seated position. Turn fingers to point towards hips, keep arms shoulder width distance apart and positioned below the shoulders. Feet should be hip width apart. Squeeze the buttocks, engage thighs and press into the ground with hands and feet as you lift your hips towards the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds.
5b. Reverse Plank
Similar to 5a but once the hips are lifted walk the feet out till legs are straight. Squeeze the buttocks, thighs and hips. Keep hands below shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds.
Note: For mothers who have done C-sections, these exercises can only be done three months after delivery.
For more information, please visit Trium Fitness Studio: Aperia Mall, 12 Kallang Avenue, #03-01/02, Singapore 339511.