Exercise of the Week: Crunch With Baby

Starting Position
Lie down on the floor or a mat with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Sit baby on your hips, resting against her back against your thighs. Gently hold her in position. Keep a space between your chin and chest (looking diagonal towards the ceiling). Engage your abs by pulling your belly button towards your spine.

Action
EXHALE: Hold onto baby and raise your chest until your shoulder blades lift off the floor. INHALE: Slowly lower back to floor to complete one rep. Aim or 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Special Instructions
Safety should be your main concern, for you and the baby. Make sure that baby is totally secure in all movements. If any exercise is uncomfortable or too strenuous with baby, try it without baby first. Focus on using your abs in a slow, controlled manner. Make sure your abs stay engaged throughout both phases of this movement. Raise your head and shoulders so they are just off the ground, or until you feel your abdominal muscles start to contract (keeping the head, neck and shoulders in line and avoiding tucking the chin in as you crunch) The Sahrmann #1 exercise (shown in this group) is ideal for targeting transverse (lower) ab muscles. The traditional crunch targets the upper ab muscles (recti).

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