It’s been 6 week since you had your baby and your doctor just cleared you to workout again. Yay! Before you laced up the running shoes or load up the weight on the squat rack, read my 3 tips for returning back to working out post baby.
1.) Take it slow at first– It maybe tempting to sign up for that hardcore boot camp class right after you’re cleared from your doctor but you need crawl before you walk and walk before your run. (Figuratively and literally) You body have spent the last 9 month growing a human and it needs time to heal. Postpartum recovery plus an intense workout could put your body under a lot of stress or even cause injury. Slowly get back into your workout routine. Start with body weight exercise or light weights for the first few weeks then work your way up. Most importantly, always listen to your body.
2.) Find a time to workout that works for you and your baby. – I see so many people in social media preaching about how you have to wake up 5am and get your workout done first thing. Sure, that’s all well fine and good but you have a newborn who probably isn’t a great sleeper…yet. If they are sleeping great, please tell me your secrets. 😉 Look at your day and your babies schedule and find the best time that works for you! My baby seems to sleep really good from his 4am feeding to about 7am and takes a pretty good nap mid-morning. Do you think if one minute I’m going to wake back up a 5am to workout? Nope. I’ll be sleeping and getting my workout in when my baby naps. Sleep is sooo important, get as much as you can! And if 5am works for you, go for it!
3.) Rehab your core- Pregnancy can cause abdominal separation and starting a workout program with traditional ab exercises like crunches and twists can make it much worse. It’s so important to take the time and rehab your core. Those muscles have been stretched out for 9 long months. It is so beneficial to re-strengthen and re-engaged them.
To know if you do have abdominal separation, know as Diastasis Recti do this: (it is best to check 6-10 weeks postpartum)
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, and the soles of your feet on the floor.
- Place one hand behind your head, and the other hand on your abdomen, with your fingertips across your midline-parallel with your waistline- at the level of your belly button.
- With your abdominal wall relaxed, gently press your fingertips into your abdomen.
- Roll your upper body off the floor into a “crunch,” making sure that your ribcage moves closer to your pelvis.
Move your fingertips back and forth across your midline, feeling for the right and left sides of your rectus abdominis muscle. Test for separation at, above, and below your belly button.
Signs of Diastasis Recti/Abdominal Separation
- A gap of more than 2 1/2 finger-widths when the rectus abdominis is fully contracted. (1-1/2 finger width gap is considered normal)
- The gap does not shrink as you contract your abdominal wall.
- You have coning along the length of you midline.
If you do have a separation, don’t freak out! It CAN be healed with the proper exercises. I personally have a 1 1/2 finger wide gap. Even though my separation is minimal my core is still weak from having to have a C-section and needs some TLC.
I’ve teamed up with my girls over at BeyondFit Life and will be doing a 12 weeks program to rehab my core!
Mom Tummy Rehab is all about healing the “mom tummy” by taking a three stage approach to healing your core.
If your core is in need of some rehab, this program is a must! You’ll have instant access and can start healing your core TODAY! To sweeten the deal even more, use code “25OFF” for 25% off! (Seriously, I love a coupon code!) Click here for more information on the program!