You did it. You made it through 40 weeks of nausea, increasing bodyweight, aches and pains, mood swings and finally you have a beautiful new baby to show for it.
You were diligent throughout your entire pregnancy, exercising and doing your absolute best to keep yourself in the best possible shape so you and your baby could start the best life together. Now you want to get back to your previous level. Where do you start?
At DC Health Performance, we have helped a huge amount of mothers get back not only to their pre-pregnancy fitness but also exceed it. Here are some of the guidelines we have found most useful to help our clients come back to exercise.
- Exercise your patience
This is never popular advice but is always a good idea to go into anything with realistic expectations. It took 40 weeks to get you to have the baby, it is probably realistic to expect it will take around 40 weeks to get you back in shape.
2. Wait for your bleeding to stop before attempting loaded exercise
We will need to ensure you have had a full recovery before we do exercises that add load (Think barbell squats, deadlifts etc). Anytime we increase intra-abdominal pressure we put pressure on these recovering tissues and it isn’t worth pushing your recovery back a few weeks for one or two sets of squats.
3. Walk it off
Walking is literally the most effective rehabilitation exercise there is. The more you can walk it will restore joint function, abdominal function and kick start the fat loss process.
4. Floppy joints? Lift to lock them in
When preparing for childbirth, your body releases a hormone called relaxin to allow the joints to move apart for delivery. After childbirth, the effects of this hormone reside and can contribute to loose joints. The best two remedies for this are the appropriate stability exercises for you and strength training exercises. As part of training any client at DC Health Performance, we screen every single client who comes through our doors to make sure we give them the best possible exercises.
5. The dreaded Diastasi
Diastasi Recti is a condition in which the abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy. It is extremely common and is normally identified at your 6 week check up.
If you do suffer from this condition it is imperative that you avoid crunches and other traditional abdominal flexion exercises and focus on stability drills. As mentioned before we have used our screening process at DC Health Performance to help many Mothers overcome this condition and return to full training as quickly and safely as possible.
If you follow the 5 tips mentioned above your return to training post-partum will be as painless and effective as possible. If you ever need any help please drop us a lune, we are here to help.