I don’t know about you, but when I first went through this, I felt postpartum confused about what to do. This is a huge reason why I started researching like crazy and working on a post baby bodybuilding plan. A lot of people told me what NOT to do, but didn’t give me options for things I could do instead. For example, I knew that sitting down was probably a bad idea right away, but I wanted to substitute safe options in my workouts and classes. Over the past five years I’ve learned a lot about prenatal and postpartum fitness and I’m excited to share it with you all. It is important to remember to consult your doctor and respect your body before making any form of changes. Our body tells us what it needs; our job is to listen. I thought I’d share with you a little list of the worst exercises you can do in the immediate postpartum period (once you start exercising again) and what to do instead.
1) Sitting or squatting. Why it’s not a good choice now: Sit-ups and crunches can cause intra-abdominal pressure and strain the linea alba (connective tissue that stretches when the abdomen expands). Although everything works to recover, it is better to cancel them. Great customization options: toe pleats and heels. 2) Solid boards. Why it’s not a good choice now: This exercise can put a lot of stress on the linea alba, which can worsen diastasis recti (abnormal level of diastasis recti) or prevent it from healing. Great conversion option: cat/cow or spinal balance. As you begin to regain strength, you can try some modified planks and make sure you don’t feel any stress or pressure in your lower abdomen. 3) Resistance or dumbbell exercises. Why it’s not a good choice now: They can put pressure on the pelvic floor while everything is working on healing and in. A great option: Hold light weights at or below chest height. For example, if you want to shrug your shoulders, try upright rows or lateral raises instead of overhead presses. For triceps, do bent-over triceps extensions instead of overhead triceps extensions. ) HIIT training. Why it’s not a great choice now: Because HIIT is an advanced workout option, we don’t want to jump back into it once we get a new workout (although I know, it’s really tempting). The impact can put pressure on our pelvic floors (which are still weak and recovering from birth) and the cardiovascular workload can be too much to recover from. It is wiser to do moderate resistance training consistently before jumping into intervals. Great conversion option: walk, walk, walk, walk. Pop in your headphones with a great podcast, attach your baby’s stroller, and go for a walk. Focus on increasing duration (up to 30 minutes, most days of the week) before increasing intensity (speed training or hill training). 5) Wide and heavy squats. Why it’s not a good choice now: They can also put pressure on the pelvic floor. Even after giving birth, the body still has laxity, which can make us more prone to overstretching and injury. Great Editing: Hip Lift for the win. They will further challenge your glutes and strengthen your core and facilitate recovery. So tell me, friends: what did you do after giving birth that felt great? For me, the simple act of wearing real human clothes and feeling the sunshine on my skin from being outside did wonders. If you have any questions about the baby plan, please email me. I’ll be happy to help and let you know if I think it’s a good fit for you.