3 Bits of Exercise Advice Your Post Baby Body Will Thank You For

junge huebsche mutter trainiert ihren koerper gemeinsam mit ihrem 7 monate alten baby  

 

When I found out I was pregnant with our first

child, I set out to train for this birth like it was

a marathon.  I respected my body by cutting out

high intensity training and kept my heart rate in

a safe zone, but I was determined to prepare my

body like it were a competition.  And the prize at

the end. . . my sweet bundle of joy!

 

My goal was to be flexible, strong, and agile

enough to make it through this season of my life

with as few battle wounds as possible.

 

I was surprised though that despite my work to

stay strong through pregnancy, I shared the

same experience as all new moms.  My muscles

felt weak in my midsection, I acquired bad

posture, my body aches, and I experienced

general fatigue.

 

There are three strategies I recommend new

moms incorporate into their exercise routines to

regain strength, an optimal level of activity, and

remain pain free.

 

The "12 weeks to a Rockin' Post Baby Body"

(or whatever plan you can find on Pinterest) can

wait until you master these areas first.

 

 1. Gently work your core and pelvic floor

For many moms, the first sign of lack of strength

comes when your back starts to ache while

holding that tiny baby.  Since the abdominal

muscles aren't providing support, your back is

working overtime to keep your body upright.

 

Before hitting the floor for crunches or planks,

we must first work on abdominal bracing.  Lying

on the floor with  knees bent and feet flat,

contract your stomach muscles while pulling

your belly button in toward your spine.

 

The hard part. . . don't hold your breath!

From this same face up position on the floor, try

a pelvic tilt by pressing your low back into the

floor.  Hold this position for five seconds and

then repeat.

These may sound "too simple" but they are the

best way to tighten, tone, and strengthen the

weak core muscles.

2. Retrain Your posture

It’s natural and normal for your posture to

change during pregnancy.  Post partum feeding,

changing, and holding a baby affects your

posture as well. So be sure to incorporate

exercises to strengthen the back and postural

muscles.

To find a good sitting position, sit with your feet

flat on the floor using a stool if necessary. It is

helpful to use a rolled towel or pillow across your

low back to help hold the natural curve of your

back.

 

To improve standing posture, work on gentle

wall or ball squats with a straight upright

posture. This is also the posture you want to

maintain when lifting your baby.  Improved

sitting and standing posture will improve

aches and pain, as well as decrease injury.

 

 3. Involve breathing in exercise

 

I know we breath during all exercise, but I am

talking about intentional breathing.  Belly

breathing involves allowing your stomach to

expand and contract while you actively inhale

and exhale as deeply as possible.

This is a great exercise in itself.  It sends

relaxing hormones to tense muscles and can

help manage stress.

In addition, the diaphragm is the top of your

abdominal cavity and plays a role in assisting

core and pelvic floor muscles to do their job

correctly.

Progress Your Training

As your body recovers and you progress your

training, don't forget about these basics.  You

can continue to utilize these techniques as

part of a warm up or cool down for a strength

or cardio session.

When cleared to exercise, I recommend new

moms consider yoga, Pilates, or Barre classes

that often address all three of these areas.  If

you experience pain during a class, or any

post partum exercise please know this is

NOT a normal part of recovery.

Back, hip and pelvic pain can often be easily

addressed by a physical therapist to allow you

to continue with your favorite exercise program.

Your efforts will be more effective and you will

feel results more quickly.

Speak with a physical therapist TODAY about

any of your post partum exercise, pain, or

movement questions. Just click HERE.