Planks, breastfeeding - and lots of KEGEL exercises: Fitness experts reveal tried and tested celebrity tricks for shedding post-pregnancy pounds

  • Trainers agree the most important areas to focus on when working out are the pelvic floor and the deep abdominal muscles
  • Alyssa Dweck, M.D explained to Yahoo that there are a number of different areas new mothers need to target in order to slim down after giving birth
  • Planks and bridges should replace crunches to strengthen the core
  • Drinking lots of water and filling up on water-packed fruit minimizes bloating and benefits breastfeeding
  • Celebrity mothers like models Anne V and Sarah Stage have been busy flaunting their trim post-baby bodies on Instagram in recent months  

Judging by the Instagram accounts of some of the world's most trim and toned celebrity mothers, getting your pre-pregnancy body back should take no time at all. From actress Blake Lively to model Anne V, almost every Insta-famous mom seems to bounce back remarkably quick, flaunting tight and toned bodies mere months after giving birth.

On Instagram, supermodel Anne Vyalitsyna, 29, who is known professionally as Anne V, has transitioned from chronicling her growing baby bump to flaunting her incredible post-baby body. Posing in her latest image in a orange bikini top, which leaves very little to the imagination, she shows off her tight tummy just two months after giving birth. 

So, what is Anne V's secret? According to one group of fitness and wellness experts, who revealed their secrets for post-baby weight loss to Yahoo Health, there are a variety of options for new mothers eager to flatten their abs and lose the post-pregnancy pooch.

Amazing! Anne Vyalitsyna, 29, shows off her toned body in a recent Instagram snap, taken just two months after giving birth
Throughout Anne's pregnancy she flaunted bump images on the social media app

Amazing! Anne Vyalitsyna, 29, shows off her toned body in a recent Instagram snap, taken just two months after giving birth (left). Throughout her pregnancy she flaunted bump images on the social media app (right)

And while all of them have different theories about the best ways to shed the post-baby pounds, they all agree that it's essential for new mothers to know what to target.

According to OB/GYN Alyssa Dweck, M.D, co-author of V is for Vagina, the post-pregnancy pooch is a combination of residual fat gained during pregnancy, elongated abdominal muscles, and excess skin - all of which need to be targeted in order to eliminate the pooch once and for all.

Unsurprisingly, diet and well-targeted exercise are the keys to recovery - and it's not just the regular muscles that new moms need to be working. 

Trainers agree, the most important areas to focus on in your workout are the pelvic floor and the deep abdominal muscles, called the transverse abdominis.

'If your deeper muscles are weak, you will not be able to 'lose the pooch,' says Jacquelyn Brennan, certified strength and conditioning specialist. 

And when it comes to abs, many may think that classic crunches are the best way to target this area; but Meka Gibson, a certified strength and conditioning specialist at DavidBartonGym, actually advises against them. 

Tight and toned: Fitness experts say to get a body like Anne V, the best way to target the flab is with exercises that bring your belly towards the spine, like bridges and planks

Tight and toned: Fitness experts say to get a body like Anne V, the best way to target the flab is with exercises that bring your belly towards the spine, like bridges and planks

She suggests that exercises should focus on 'bringing the belly toward the spine, and not pushing out as you do with endless crunches; stay away from these post-pregnancy'. 

To find the transverse abdominis, Meka recommends two easy moves. 

'First, lie on your back, place one hand on your belly and the other by your side,' she explains. 'Take a deep breath in and fill the belly with air, then exhale and flatten the belly in toward the spine. Repeat five to 10 times.' 

Model Sarah Stage is also known for her incredible post-baby body. The 30-year-old mother of one first made headlines for maintaining her six-pack and a tiny baby bump while eight months pregnant. 

Nine days after giving birth she shared photos on Instagram flaunting her flat belly.

But physical therapist Jaime Quinn, and mother of a 15-month-old baby girl, reminds women to not be too hard on themselves if core exercises are a bit difficult at first.

'Perform pelvic tilts, bridges, and planks in order to get your core muscles working again. But integrate them back into your fitness routine gradually,' she says. 'It’s important to remember that most of these muscles have been compromised for the duration of your pregnancy.' 

Dare to bare: Model and mother of one, Sarah Stage, 30, shows off a toned post-baby middriff
Pregnant and buff? Model Sarah Stage maintained a six-pack while eight months pregnant

Dare to bare: Model Sarah Stage, 30, gained worldwide fame after sharing images of her pregnancy six-pack (right). Weeks after giving birth she was back in a bikini, flaunting her trim and toned physique (left)

After giving birth, the uterus is stretched and the pelvic floor needs to be whipped back into shape. Janet Hamilton, certified strength and conditioning specialist, recommends holding Kegel contractions while doing abdominal exercises. 

'I find that performing Kegels during exercises like planks, lateral planks, and bridges are best to start with.' 

When it comes to dieting, experts recommend not to go too crazy with calorie cutting, 'most women should not go below 1,800 calories per day when breastfeeding'

'This can reduce your milk supply, and it can also signal your body that you aren’t getting enough calories so it will hold onto everything you eat,' says Kendra Perkey, M.S., R.D., mother of an 18-month-old son.

To reduce bloat, nutritionist Alex Caspero, R.D. and owner of Delicious Knowledge, suggests drinking plenty of water in order to stay well hydrated.

'Drink eight glasses of water a day, and fill up on water-packed fruit,' she says. 'This will help prevent bloating and provide extra hydration, which is essential in keeping up milk supply.' 

And breastfeeding will actually help with losing the baby-weight, Alex insists, explaining: 'Nursing does expend about about 500 calories a day. While that’s not targeting the midsection directly, it will help in overall weight loss.'

Supermodel Anne V is also a fan of breastfeeding. It has enhanced her already ample chest, and her toned tummy is truly something to aspire to. 

Alongside another gorgeous bikini selfie, Anne commented: 'Thank you breastfeeding lol.'

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