First of all, we’re hoping you took as much time as possible to rest, relax and recover after birth. No matter which way your bundle was delivered into your arms, you had plenty of recuperating to participate in—and plenty of newborn sweetness to savor.
But if you’ve started to feel a bit more mobile, it may be tempting to exercise using whatever methods you were familiar with before and during pregnancy. (We love a good HIIT workout, too, but we’re not quite there yet, mama.)
What’s important to know is that the type of delivery you had (vaginal birth or cesarean) and any additional complications (such as a tear or diastasis recti) will dictate when it’s safe for you to resume physical activity and what your exercise routine should look like. So, secondly, get the green light from your healthcare provider beforehand to ensure everything is on the mend and ready for action. (Your doctor will routinely check for this at your six-week checkup.)
Once cleared for exercise, these at-home moves make for a great postpartum workout.
This gentle activity promotes abdominal restoration and relaxation. Begin by lying on your back in a straight line with arms by your side. Inhale and fill your abdomen with air, then exhale as you press your lower back into the ground.
Pelvic Floor Exercise
Heard of Kegels? This move is encouraged pre- and post-pregnancy (really, anytime) to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These important muscles support the pelvic organs and help aid in your ability to avoid incontinence.
Work on restoring stability by tightening and holding your vaginal muscles (almost like you’re trying to stop urinating) for 10 seconds at a time. Repeat these Kegel exercises often throughout the day.
The humble glute bridge works the entire back of your legs and glutes. With coordinating breath work, it can also strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent. As you audibly exhale, tighten your core and squeeze your booty as you raise your hips off the floor; inhale to lower.
This total body exercise helps heal your core and bolster the upper body. A standard plank can be performed after a vaginal delivery (C-section mommies will need additional time to heal), or you can modify this move by doing it on your hands and knees.
To perform a plank, lie face down with your toes and forearms on the floor and your elbows directly underneath your shoulders. Engage your abdominal muscles and draw your navel to your spine. Avoid arching your back, and keep your head and neck neutral while looking at the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds before releasing. Increase duration over time, working up to 60 seconds.
Simple, easy and effective. Walking is one of the best low-impact, postpartum exercises to increase cardiovascular strength and help regain your post-baby stamina. Plus, it’s an activity you can do with baby in the stroller, so there’s no reason to skip it! Bonus: Stop every 10-15 minutes and do bodyweight squats for some extra burn.