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Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
World | By Lorena Waters

Why You Should NEVER Do Crunches Right After Having a Baby | Glamor

Why You Should NEVER Do Crunches Right After Having a Baby | Glamor

PHOTO: Lumina Images

Exercise is one of those things that tends to get pushed off after you have a baby. After all, a human being just came out of your vagina -and it requires constant care. Couple that with little sleep and finding the time (and energy) to work out just is not a priority.

Of course, at some point post-baby, you'll probably want to get back at it . But according to celebrity trainer Simone De La Rue (her clients include new mom Chrissy Teigen), there's one thing you should not do for a while: Crunches.

"Doing anything strenuous like crunches after having a baby Is not safe, "De La Rue tells People .

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Wait- what ? She's right, says Albert Matheny, M.S., R.D., CSCS, SoHo Strength Lab and Promix Nutrition. Your abdominal wall is still healing after you give birth, I explain, and your linea alba (the tissue that connects the two outer parts of your abs) is thinned out and weaker than it normally is. Crunches can stress your linea alba, he says, and it's important to give it time to heal and return to its original, nonstretched state before you start taxing it again.

"As the belly expands, the abdominal muscles Stretch to accommodate the growing baby, "says women's health expert Jennifer Wider, MD "The body does not just snap back into shape after the baby eats, it needs time to heal before a pregnant woman starts to exercise."

So, what should you do if you want to work on your abs but do not want to mess with your ab muscles? Matheny recommends 12 weeks of "static strengthening" of the ab muscles (think: holding planks instead of high-intensity, high volume crunches). This allows you to strengthen your abs without messing with your linea alba. After 12 weeks, he says, you can crunch away.

But experts say it's really about listening to your body. If any kind of postpartum ab work sounds like hell, take a pass and give your body time to heal. But if you're itching to get back into it, start with planks and work your way up from there.

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