Four Crucial Exercises For New Moms
New moms are often confused but excited to jump back into activity. However, if you’re not sure where to start when it comes to exercising post pregnancy, before jumping back into routine, make sure you do some post baby rehab using the exercises below.
After months of waiting for your little bundle of joy she is finally here! The first few weeks post-partum are filled with wonder, adrenaline and time spent staring at the new addition. But eventually, getting back to exercise crosses your mind.
Almost immediately you’re overwhelmed, confused and have no idea how to “get back at it”. And to tell you the truth, there are a lot of ways to go about it! Much of it depends on your prior fitness level, how your pregnancy went and what kind of birth you had. So you may not be ready for something someone else is.
However, the four exercises below can be done by just about every new mom as soon as they’re feeling up to it. These exercises are not intense nor will they get your body “back” but they will get you started towards understanding your new post-baby body and help it work towards starting an actual fitness routine.
After going through the experience of birth, your body needs exercises like this in order to train it to be functional again as well as help it recover from pregnancy and labor. Before you ever jump into a full workout program your body needs to retrain both your breathing as well as your core muscles.Before jumping into a workout program your need to recover and retrain both breathing as well as core muscles.Click To Tweet
Most new moms breath through their upper body flaring the ribcage and moving and moving the chest and shoulders. This hinders posture (which is already a challenge carrying around a new born!) and core musculature as it’s not being utilized
Stretched, pulled, under activated. Pregnant and birth do so much to your core that it’s hard to know where to start. But start you have to. Since your core doesn’t consist of just your abdominals, exercises like crunches and planks will only impede your process. You’ll need to learn how to use deeper muscles to help recover and move forward from birth.
So what exercises should you be doing? Below are four exercises I think all new moms should work into their days before jumping into a fitness program:
Exercise #1 TVA/Pelvic Floor Activation
Learning to reactivate some of your deeper muscles will be crucial once you want to jump back into workouts.
To do it, lay on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. Think of lifting up the lower half of your bum so you feel as if you’re drawing your belly button into the floor. Think of tucking your pelvis under or bringing your hip bones towards your ribcage. Your upper body shouldn’t move, you are simply tilting your pelvic to stabilize. Hold for 5-10s and perform 8-10 repetitions.
This tilt is a crucial step and as you progress you can easily build on it from lifting the legs, move the arms and performing exercises like deadbugs/hollow bodies etc.
Exercise #2 Diaphragmatic Breathing
Retraining your body to breathe properly will help take some of the pressure off your upper back and aid your core muscles to recover.
To perform, lay on the floor with your hear supported on a pillow. Place one hand on your belly. When you inhale, you want to feel your belly rise under your hand. Your upper chest muscles should remain relaxed and unmoving (though you might feel the lower ribcage expand slightly). When you exhale, your belly returns to normal. Practice your breathing daily for 10-15 breathes.
Once you feel comfortable with the technique, you can progress from laying down to sitting and then standing. Making sure that it comes more and more naturally over time.
Exercise #3 Glute Bridge
Ensuring your glutes are firing is an important step post- baby as your glutes will aid in correcting your posture and relieve some of the tension from your low back.
To perform glute bridges, lay on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and arms at your sides. From there perform a pelvic tilt, push through the heels and lift your bum from the floor while squeezing your bum placing the hips into extension. Release the squeeze and low. Really make sure you are using your pelvic floor muscles and glutes as opposed to arching your low back to get higher. You can do 10-15 repetitions.
Exercise #4 Clamshells
Again, learning to activate and strengthen your glutes will inevitable help your posture and any low back pain. In the case of your hips though.. they’ve been through a lot. Regardless of your delivery, your hips have stretched and widened to carry a baby. They muscles surrounding them are normally feeling pretty low and weak.
To perform a clamshell, lay on your side with your legs stacked and knees slightly bent. Make sure your shoulders, hips and heels are in one line. Place your top hand on your top hip. Keeping your heels together, squeeze your glute while opening up at the knees. You should feel the muscles under your hand contract. Release back to starting position. Perform 10-15/side.
Don’t forget to pin these crucial exercises for new moms!
Make sure as you perform the exercises that you incorporate your breathing techniques every step of the way. Traditionally, you want to exhale on the hardest part of the exercise and inhale on the easiest (exhale on the lift in a bridge and inhale as you come down).
Note: most of these exercises can be performed as early as fourteen days postpartum so long as you had an uncomplicated delivery. However it is advised you check with your medical practitioner first. If you had a c-section, rest first before jumping into anything. Your incision will take longer to heal so check with your doctor before anything.
What was your first exercise post-baby?