You just had baby, Congratulations! Whether it is your first or your fifth birth, chances are you are completely off your workout game and having a hard time adjusting back to ANY consistent routine- let alone leave your newborn for longer than 30 minutes. Don’t worry, you are not alone!
Here are 10 of the best exercises you can implement as soon as you get the doctor’s clearance to workout (bonus: no gym- required!).
It may seem obvious, but getting outside is not only good for your body but also great for your mind. Hormones are raging and you may not be feeling quite like yourself. This is normal! One way to beat the post baby blues is to get outside, move and catch some vitamin D rays! Even if it is for 10 minutes, getting outdoors and walking around can do wonders for you body, mind and spirit.
Bridges are a great way to not only strengthen your pelvic floor but also strengthen your hamstring, glutes and quads. Try doing 2x10-15 to start. Check out how to progress the simple bridge by adding a “march” with your feet here.
Clamshells are a great way to strengthen the glutes without taxing the central nervous system. After the baby, you should be doing a lot of mobility and activation work to prepare the body for the bigger movements you will be starting to get back into. (i.e squats, deadlifts) To add more resistance, try clamshells with a shown here.
5. Modified plank
Planks are one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your core. Post baby, (depending on how you delivered) your core maybe so weakened or maybe you're not 100% healed post labor so a modified plank maybe a perfect place to start to strengthen the core. Try these with your knees on the ground or on a bench to decrease weight and pressure on the pelvic floor. Check out the different ways you can regress (and later) progress the basic plank here.
6. Modified side plank
The side plank is great for strengthening the oblique’s and entire pelvic floor. Try these on your knees or on a bench to decrease the angle of the plank. Make sure you are contracting your glutes and trying your best to engage the core. Check out this video for different side plank variations. Start with knees on the floor, then progress accordingly from there.
7. Single Leg bridges
Single leg bridges, (similar but more advanced then the normal bridges) can be done while holding one knee in toward your belly or simply crossing one ankle right above the opposite knee. Make sure you do not feel these in the lower back at all and make sure normal bridges are easy before attempting these. Check out how to do a SL glute bridge here.
8. Body-weight Sumo Squats
Squatting is one of the most practical movement patterns we do on a day-to-day basis. When you begin to feel a bit stronger and feel ready to take it up a notch, try the body weight squat. Begin with 2 sets and progress week to week. Try putting a target beneath your butt so you have a goal as to how deep you should be going down. Make sure you are contracting your glutes at the top. Check out how to do a BW sumo squat here. Add a mini-band before you add weight for additional resistance.
9. Body weight reverse lunges
Body weight lunges are a great way to get the legs back into shape and work on your balance. You can modify them by decreasing your ROM (not dropping down as low to the ground) or decreasing your reps and sets. Always make sure your contracting your core and staying as tight as possible throughout the movement. If and only if you are ready to take it a step forward, try these progressed reverse lunges by adding elevation as shown here.
10. Monster walks w/mini band
Monster walks are great for activating the glutes and strengthening the hips- both which are very important to focus on post pregnancy. Place a resistance band or continuous exercise band just above your ankles. The feet should be shoulder width apart with gentle tension on the band. Make sure to engage your core and stay tight! Take 10 steps to the right, and then reverse to the left as shown here.
*For more variations and ways to work your entire body at home, I suggest you buy a large resistance band you can have in the house to get more work done while the baby is napping! The beauty of bands is that they are super versatile and easy to carry around. You can get a great total body workout in using just a band and your own body weight!