The Ultimate Post Pregnancy Workout Guide
Your Doctor cleared you for exercise… Now what?!
Slow your roll – hot momma!
Let’s put the burpees, crunches, and intense exercise on the back burner for now.
Getting clearance from your doctor is like a sprinter waiting in the starting blocks for the gun to go… “Pow!”
Before you sprint out of the starting blocks and into exercise, PLEASE make sure you read this post pregnancy workout guide from START to FINISH.
Not All Exercise Is Created Equal
First, let’s discuss the 5 most common mistakes I see new moms make when returning to exercise.
1. High Intensity Exercise Too Soon: Upon returning to training, new moms are excited to lose the baby weight and start exercising at a strenuous level too soon.
2. Not Addressing Core & Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: During pregnancy, labor, and delivery, the pelvic floor has taken a beating and underwent a ton of stress.
3. No Assessment of Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA): Common separation of the abdominal muscle (6 pack muscle). I’ll show you how to assess this yourself, later.
4. Performing Crunches & Other Harmful Exercises: Some exercises will actually do MORE harm than good because certain exercises create more internal pressure which pushes out the belly even more. Causing the infamous mummy tummy pooch.
5. Not Seeing A Physical Therapist or Physiotherapist: Within 2-6 weeks after delivery, physical therapist/physio’s can check moms for prolapses (uterine, rectocele, cystocele). They can also check for dysfunctions of the pelvic floor.
Good thing for you, I’m going to help you AVOID these common mistakes so that you don’t create long term damage or complications.
Because just in case you haven’t heard… Postpartum is forever! I’ve helped moms with middle-age children regain core stability and function.
Unlike you, those moms didn’t have access to these post pregnancy workouts I’m sharing with you.
So, learning this information has long-term benefits.
After Birth, Your Body Is New, It’s Incredible, and it’s Different. You must manage it differently with proper exercise but you LOVE it the SAME as you did your pre-baby body. It’s still worthy of the self-love and care you gave it pre-pregnancy.
Can I just be REAL with you for a moment…
I’m so sick and tired of seeing these popular workout magazines claiming, “Get Your Body Back With This Celebrity Workout”.
Everytime I’m in the checkout line at the grocery store it’s always, So and So got her body back in 2 weeks.
Because it gives other moms the false impression that they should bounce back quickly after giving birth.
I’m sorry, but that’s not the case in the REAL world.
So when the mom doesn’t bounce back quickly, she’s flooded with negative self-talk and body image issues.
The workouts in the magazines are counterproductive and downright DANGEROUS for new moms! You have to realize that pregnancy does effect your postpartum exercise routine.
After reading this ultimate guide for postpartum fitness you’ll see exactly why they make your stomach worse.
My intention for you with this guide is to help you understand what’s going on with your post-baby body and how to go about healing it properly.
I’m going to help you reconnect with your inner core muscles to AVOID…
· Back Pain
· Leaky Pelvic Floor
· Hip Pain
· Looking Like Your Still Pregnant (but you’re not)
I want you to IMAGINE…
Going through your day-to-day activities and not feeling any back pain.
Not being afraid to sneeze, cough, or laugh because you think you’re going to wet yourself.
Let’s restore your core and flatten your stomach but let’s also restore your CONFIDENCE in the process.
I’m REALLY excited to share this information with you!
We have a lot to cover, so let’s get to it.
Let’s assume you have been cleared by your doctor for exercise.
Here’s the exact process I use for my one-on-one clients and online clients.
I’ll apologize upfront… Sorry, you won’t be doing hundreds of Kegels in hopes of flattening your belly! 🙂
The sooner we can get you to move after the pregnancy the sooner you will help speed up your healing process.
When I say, “move”. I’m not talking about signing up for a marathon or signing up for your local bootcamp.
I’m talking about performing breathing exercises to connect with your core (yes, it’s still there), walking, and glute activation exercises.
First, we must restore proper function to that area to expedite the healing process.
START HERE TO ASSESS YOUR DIASTASIS RECTI (Main cause of post-baby belly)
It’s when your abdominals separated down the mid-line of your stomach. 2/3rds of women experience this. Every case is different, but it is important to know how to assess your situation.
It’s when your Linea Alba is stretched to provide more room for the baby but also because of internal pressure. This separation usually occurs during your third trimester.
Why should you care if you have diastasis recti?
When the Linea Alba stretches, it softens and compromises your core. As it stretches, it takes the Transverse Abdominis (TVA) and other support muscles with it.
The consequences of diastasis include:
· Protruding stomach (post-baby pooch)
· Back Pain
· Pelvic organ prolapse
· Pelvic or sacroiliac (SI) joint pain
· Increased risk of injury and improper core function
There’s a huge percentage of women who have DRA. It’s very important you test yourself so that you can avoid any future complications as stated above.
Exercises to AVOID if you have a Diastasis Recti
· No Crunches
· No Planks
· No Pushups
· No Sit-ups
· No Pilates 100's
With these traditional core exercises the core is working AGAINST gravity and actually creates MORE internal pressure which increases Diastasis Recti. So now you know why to stay away from those magazines.
Told you… I got ya back!
Will a post pregnancy stomach wrap help my DRA heal faster?
I’m going to explain this really quick…
When using one of these wraps – you’re telling your TVA muscles to sit on the sideline and take a passive approach.
Unfortunately by doing that, you’re not allowing your inner core muscles to work as they are designed to work.
Yes, you will see a temporary fix but in the long-run you’re doing you and your stomach a disservice.
There are some cases where a wrap may be necessary. But don’t wrap it so tight to where it feels like a corset.
It shouldn’t restrict your movement or core breathing.
Also, if you use a wrap, make sure you wrap from bottom to top - not top to bottom. Wrapping top to bottom will increase the downward pressure on the pelvic floor which is a No-No. We’re trying to relieve internal pressure, not increase it.
- Check to see if you have a DRA and how many fingers you measured.
- Check the tension of your DRA. Is it soft and squishy? Or is it tense?
Make note of these items and jot it down on a sheet of paper.
Now you're ready to implement my... SIMPLE ABC Checklist Formula for Postpartum Fitness!
STEP 1: ALIGNMENT
The first and easiest step to flatten your stomach is to release some of that internal pressure by making sure your body is in proper alignment.
Alignment is our first step because if things are not lined up properly… you will not be able to make a connection to those areas for proper movement and function.
What does proper alignment look like?
Start from the ground-up…
Make sure your feet are hip-width apart.
Distribute your weight evenly through your feet. You shouldn’t feel like you’re going to fall forward or fall backwards.
Position yourself in neutral alignment. As you can see – the mom on your right… has a tall upper torso. She’s not slouching forward or rounding her shoulders. Her ribs are stacked over her hips.
As you can see, Mom on the left has improper alignment… which will cause pain in the areas where the red dots are located. Neck pain, shoulder pain, lower back pain, hip pain, knee pain… and much more.
Remember: Maintaining proper alignment allows the inner core muscles to communicate.
- Get in a bathing suit and take a picture from the side to check your alignment.
- Do a mental check throughout the day to correct your alignment while sitting at a red light, standing in the grocery line, or during your other daily activities.
Once you position your body in proper alignment, then you’re setup to breathe properly…
This brings us to step 2 and letter B of the ABC checklist.
STEP 2: BREATHING
Let’s first, take a look at your inner core muscles:
Your inner core muscles are a group of muscles that support your pelvic floor, spine, and stomach.
After giving birth, your inner core muscles are weakened and creates intra-abdominal pressure.
This internal pressure and core weakness has been proven to cause back pain, neck pain, constantly feeling like you have to go to the bathroom, diastasis recti (abdominal separation), pelvic girdle pain, and the dreaded mummy tummy.
These are the muscles that make up your inner core:
- Diaphragm: Your breathing muscle that’s located in the lower half of your ribcage.
- Transverse Abdominis (TVA): Your deepest layer of abdominals muscles that act like a corset for your core. This is the muscle that needs special attention after birth.
- Pelvic Floor: It’s the floor that keeps everything up and in. Women have three holes in their pelvic floor… bladder, uterus, and rectum.
- Multifidus: Your muscles that support your spine and provide trunk stability and strength.
Now let's discover how to breathe PROPERLY:
Once you’ve mastered Breathing Inhalation and exhalations…
Then it’s time for Step 3 and letter C of our ABC checklist.
STEP 3: CONNECT
It doesn’t matter how long ago you had a baby.
If you had a vaginal birth or c-section… things do not feel quite the same down there.
If you had a natural birth, your pelvic floor may have leaks when you’re playing with kids, coughing, or sneezing.
Or, if you had a c-section there may be scar tissue and adhesions which has resulted in lack of sensation or inability to connect to that area.
The simple checklist I just shared with you is how I coach my in-person clients as well as online clients.
It's As Simple As... A - B - C
Top 5 Healthy Eating Tips For Moms Who Are Breastfeeding
1. Drink Plenty Of Fluids: There’s no hard studies indicating excessive amount of water will increase breast milk. Not maintaining your hydration levels may affect your breast milk volume. Try to drink water the majority of the time. Shoot for ½ your bodyweight in ounces.
2. Don't Drop Your Calories Drastically: Rapid weight loss can reduce milk supply. Gradually decrease your calories.
3. Eat Well Balanced Meals: Make sure you're consuming enough of protein. Also, eat foods with fiber to decrease the risk of constipation and help keep you satisfied longer.
Include foods that have Omega-3's (essential fatty acids), which promote brain development and function, benefit heart health, and may reduce postpartum.
4. Avoid Alcohol and Limit Caffeine: Both can appear in breast milk. I know you may need coffee to get through your day of being a new mom but make sure you're drinking plenty of water along with it. Try to keep caffeine to a minimum.
5. Commit Yourself To Gradual Change: It took you nine months to put the weight on. Don't expect to get it off in 2 weeks. Give yourself some time to make changes for lasting results. Be patient, you have a new body and a new baby - enjoy them both!
If you’ve kept up with this information and you’ve enjoyed it and found value in it, I encourage you to take the next step with me and join my ToneAfterBaby program...
Tone After Baby Core Restore System
Where I go in much more detail about how to get rid of your 'post baby pooch' with proven smart core training AND full body post baby workout videos to burn belly-fat!
As an added BONUS: I even give you a nutrition guide that helps you choose the best snacks for weight loss and energy.
Now, because you’ve sat here and read through this post-pregnancy workout guide, it shows me that you’re motivated and dedicated to being back pain and hip pain free, leak-free, and not looking like your still pregnant.
So what I’m doing is offering you a very special opportunity to join my 6 week - ToneAfter Baby Core Restore System!
All you have to do is click the button to learn more about the program.