For all my new mama’s out there wanting to get back into their pre-baby fitness routine, I’m right there with ya! I had such fomo during my pregnancy for all the different exercises I could no longer do that once I had Em, I instantly wanted to hit the ground running (literally & figuratively). Even though your mind may be ready to bust out those burpees and run that half marathon, over the course of the last 9 months, your body just grew and birthed a human and it needs some well deserved R&R to heal. Take some time to slow down and enjoy your new baby and don’t pressure yourself to get back into it right away (this was a hard concept for me). Once you get the green light from your OB and feel mentally and physically ready, I’ve listed below some of the best postnatal workouts that can ease you back into your routine comfortably and safely.
1. Barre: I know I might be biased on this one but facts are facts and barre is one of the most effective pre- and postnatal exercises as it targets the muscles that generally weaken during pregnancy. I can let you know first hand that barre helped me not only feel great throughout the entire course of my pregnancy but also aided in making my labor, delivery and recovery as seamless as possible. Barre is low impact and focuses on isometric holds and high reps of small movements. Isometric exercises are great for endurance so you can gradually build your way back up to where you were before getting pregnant (I’m looking at you, plank!). Barre can also improve your posture as maintaining proper alignment of your hips, spine, shoulders and head is crucial for the majority of the movements. Also, stronger core=better posture.
2. Gentle Weight Training: Weight training helps to tone your muscles and strengthen your core. I personally always prefer to use light weights with higher reps but if you’re a heavy weight kinda gal, I suggest you start out using lighter weights and gradually build your way back up. Most importantly, make sure your form is correct and stop doing any movement that just doesn’t feel “right”. I’m going to create a pre & postnatal strength training workout series–shoot me an email if you want more deets on this!
3. Light cardio: Whether or not you were a huge fitness fanatic before getting pregnant, I’d suggest starting back up again with some brisk 30-60 minute walks a few times a week. Walking is low impact and can give you a good baseline for where your endurance is at post baby. Once you feel ready, start to incorporate 5-10 minute jogging intervals and see how you feel. Cycle classes (again, I know I’m biased) are also great for low impact cardio but I suggest walking first and building your endurance before jumping into a class as they’re much more strenuous.
Emmy loves a nice stroll outside!
4. Pelvic Floor Exercises: The pelvic floor muscles are the muscles that support the bladder, bowel and uterus and they come into great strain during pregnancy and childbirth. After birth, pelvic floor exercises help strengthen these weakened muscles and can also help you heal quicker as they improve circulation to the pelvic area, thus reducing bruising and swelling. Some examples of pelvic floor exercises include kegels, squats, glute bridges and birddogs.
5. Yoga: Yoga is a great postnatal workout as it not only helps to strengthen your core but also encourages relaxation during a time period that might not be too relaxing for new mamas! It’s also a great opportunity for moms to meet and socialize with other moms as there are many facilities that offer postnatal classes you can bring your baby to.
Email me if you’re interested in joining my postnatal workout program or if you have any questions on these exercises or anything else, I’m here for ya!
Take it one day at a time and go at your own pace, you got this mama!