A postpartum fitness trainer has revealed three core exercises that can help mothers lose their ‘mommy pooch’ and heal their abdominal separation.
Leslie Santos, founder of LeslieAnn Fit, has more than 14,000 followers on TikTok, where she offers fellow moms tips and workouts to ‘get their body back’ after giving birth.
The Canadian content creator went viral after demonstrating her 10-minute routine designed to heal diastasis recti, a separation of the ab muscles that can occur during pregnancy and result in a stomach pooch.
Leslie flashed her flat abs for the camera before lying down on a mat to begin her quick core-focused workout.
Leslie Santos, a postpartum fitness trainer, went viral on TikTok after demonstrating the 10-minute workout that helped her lose her ‘mommy pooch’
The mom transformed her own postpartum body by doing the three core exercises
She noted in the on-screen text that you should do each exercise for 45 seconds and repeat the sequence four times, which takes about 10 minutes.
Leslie began with glute bridge marches, a move that targets the core and buttocks.
Lying flat on her back with her knees bent and her arms by her side, she pressed her feet into the floor and raised her hips until they were in line with her knees and shoulders.
After rising onto her heels, she alternated raising her knees to her chest.
Leslie next performed a series of single-leg glute bridges.
She remained lying on her back with her arms by her side, but this time she extended her right leg and pushed into her left.
The trainer lifted her hips until her extended leg was nearly in line with her back.
She then lowered her hips back down to the floor and repeated the move for 45 seconds before switching legs.
For Leslie’s final exercise, she did supine reverse marches.
While lying flat on her back with her arms by her side, she lifted her knees so that her thighs were perpendicular to the floor.
Leslie, who welcomed her daughter via C-section in 2022, recently shared a photo of herself pregnant (L) alongside a picture of herself with a toned waist (R)
Leslie lowered her knee until her foot tapped the floor and then raised it back up before repeating the move with her other leg.
She continued alternating legs until she completed the 45-second round.
Leslie’s video has been viewed 1.9 million times and has received more than 120 comments since it was posted on October 13.
‘Can confirm these exercises work. They saved me from surgery,’ one fan wrote.
‘Been trying to get rid of my mommy pooch after having three kids. Doing this right now,’ someone else shared.
‘I tried it all for many years. Abdominal muscle [separation] for me is lifelong,’ another insisted.
Leslie began with glute bridge marches, a move that targets the core and buttocks. She alternated raising her knees to her chest while in the glute bridge position
The trainer next performed a series of single-leg glute bridges. She extended her right leg and pushed into her left before lowering her hips back down to the floor
For Leslie’s final exercise, she did supine reverse marches. She lifted her knees so that her thighs were perpendicular to the floor and alternated lowering her feet toward the ground
Leslie responded to questions in the comments, saying mothers who had vaginal deliveries can start doing core workouts around six weeks postpartum with clearance from their healthcare provider.
She noted that it will take mothers who had C-sections longer to heal.
‘Everybody responds differently,’ she explained. ‘But strengthening your deep inner core muscles is a great step towards your goals.’
Leslie, who welcomed her daughter via C-section in 2022, opened up about her own postpartum progress in September.
She shared a photo of herself pregnant alongside a recent picture of herself with a toned waist after ‘four months of dedicated fitness and nutrition.’
Although my C-section incision hurt for nearly eight months, I chose an active recovery lifestyle and fueled my body with nothing but the good stuff,’ she explained.
‘How, you wonder? I knew my WHY. My why was my mountaintop wedding in a sleek wedding dress. The hustle was real,’ she added.
‘Find your WHY and it can make your journey much more successful. And remember to love your body every step of the way.’