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6 Exercises to Rebuild Your Core after Pregnancy

A Workout Plan to Repair Your Abs
By Cathy Cram, MS, Prenatal Fitness Specialist

After pregnancy, you're probably eager to get your post-baby body back in shape. But before you jump in to your usual ab workouts, there are some special considerations that new moms need to take into account.
Some postpartum women may notice a soft section above and below their belly button that can be felt when they contract their abdominal muscles. This soft area developed during pregnancy: As your belly expanded, the connective tissue that joins the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle thinned and widened creating a larger, softer gap. (Learn more about the anatomy of the abs here). The separation, termed a "diastasis recti" is a normal process of pregnancy and allows the belly to expand and make room for the growing baby. But it can remain present after delivery—and needs special care to rehabilitate.Not all abs exercises are suitable for postpartum moms. Traditional abdominal exercise…
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Strengthen Your Core Without Wrecking Your Back

By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger, – Dr. Thomas J. Kleeman, MD

The muscles of your core work together to support posture, protect the spine and improve agility, balance and power, making core strength training an important part of any fitness routine. Unfortunately, for many people, core strength training and back pain or discomfort go hand in hand. Often resulting from weak muscles and poor form, back pain is no reason to avoid core strength training, though. In fact, properly performed core exercises can simultaneously help protect your back and strengthen the abs at the same time.

9 Great Exercises for Neck Pain

By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger, – Dr. Thomas J. Kleeman, MD 


Neck pain is one of the most common problems that many of us experience. Studies show that 30% of people experience neck pain, with women affected more often than men. The neck includes seven segments (or vertebrae) with discs acting as shock-absorbers between the segments. The vertebrae are supported by 18 groups of muscles that maintain support and allow function. Why so many muscles? Well, the head weighs about 10 pounds and sits about 10 inches above the shoulders with only the neck to support it. No wonder it gets sore from time to time!