The post-natal recovery period is a key moment for all mothers. You’ve been through the intense challenge of carrying and delivering a baby over the last nine months, and now you can start getting things back to normal.
From a physical perspective, you’ll look and feel very different. Parts of your body have changed, and certain muscles have weakened; it’s all part of pregnancy. Starting a regular exercise routine is the top way to get back into shape and tackle some of the ongoing concerns you may have. Speaking of which, here are the top three exercises to do after pregnancy:
A glute bridge is a simple exercise that can be performed as follows:
- Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor
- Tighten your core and focus on flattening your lower back by tucking your pelvis in
- Squeeze your glutes and push through your feet to lift your body off the floor, keeping your shoulders in contact with the ground
- Keep squeezing and hold at the top without arching your lower back for a moment
- Lower back down and repeat
It’s a wonderful exercise for post-natal recovery for two key reasons. Firstly, it’s often seen in a typical Brazilian butt workout because it strengthens your glutes. Your bum muscle can be weak after giving birth, so this helps you build up that strength. Secondly, it forces you to tighten your pelvic floor, which also gets very weak when you give birth. Working on improving pelvic floor strength is crucial for new mothers as it prevents things like incontinence.
Squats are easy to perform and most people will know how to do them. The key is really sitting back into the squat, which is why it can help if you put a box or bench behind you and focus on sitting down on it.
Much like a glute bridge, this targets your bum and pelvic floor muscles. At the same time, it helps to develop leg strength, which will be necessary when you spend the next few months/years carrying your baby around or pushing them in a buggy.
Finally, you should try doing planks quite regularly to strengthen your core. The abdominal muscles get super weak and stretched when you give birth, which can lead to chronic back pain. Protect your back by holding a plank for as long as possible.
Start on your knees, ensuring you keep your back as flat as possible the entire time. Don’t let it arch! If it does, stop the plank, rest, and go again. Try to beat your time every workout and slowly build up to a full plank once you have the strength for it.
Generally, staying active during and after pregnancy is important for your overall health. However, after giving birth, there will be elements of your body that demand some extra attention. Specifically, you need to do exercises that focus on your pelvic floor, glutes, abdominals, and legs. The three exercises above are great starting points to do exactly that.