The other day we talked about what exercises to avoid during the postpartum period.
I wanted to follow that discussion up with what effective core exercises you CAN do postpartum to begin to restore your inner muscles.
If you are like me, postpartum, you were restless to start feeling like your ‘old self’again. Not moving at all sort of made you feel like a blob. At least, that was my word for it.
So if you are wanting to start to gradually moving back into exercise the first step in the process should be focused on retraining the core muscles that are currently very unstable. They are lax, weak, and in a totally different state now that they are not stretched tightly over your baby.
The other reason it is so important to first focus on restoring the muscle connection is because if you don’t you are not going to ultimately see much improvement in the way your stomach looks. Even with exercise and diet, if the muscles are slack, your tummy isn’t going to lay flat. You will have that lower pooch we all try to will away.
Exercises That Are Safe Postpartum:
I would start out with doing these once a day for 10 repetitions each.
Lift your butt and hips slightly off the ground. Be sure to keep your spine neutral- meaning you aren’t over aching it too much forward or backward (this is hard for me, I’m working on this neutral spine thing!) Hips and knees shoulder with apart and feet flat on the ground. You can have your arms out at a 45 degree angle as well for stability. Hold for 30 seconds, rest. Repeat
- Lie down on the floor or the bed with your leg flat.
- Slowly begin to slide your heel toward your butt, keeping your heel on the floor or bed. Your knee will begin to bend.
- Continue to slide your heel and bend your knee until it becomes a little uncomfortable and you can feel a small amount of pressure inside your knee.
- Hold this position for about 6 seconds.
- Slide your heel back down until your leg is straight on the floor or bed.
3-Side Plank I would do this with both knees bent, the bottom knee bent and top leg straight to start. Eventually you can work up to both legs straight or even the bottom knee bent and the top knee raised. But start slow here and modify. I recommend using your elbow for support and your knees bent at first. Hip your hips stacked, with your top hip ever so slightly leaning forward. engage your core and don’t forget to breathe.
This Summer I will be releasing a 12 week Core and Restore Program for Pregnant and Newly Postpartum Moms so that you can safely start to recover after pregnancy. If you’re interested in this program, contact me so I can make sure to let you know when it is available!