Hello there boys and girls!
We here at Fit & Fed hope that you are all having a great summer and enjoying that much needed vitamin D after a lengthy winter. This article comes to you as per request by a few of our clients that have become recently new mums! Now this article is not to be taken as gospel as there will always be individual circumstances and exceptions to the rules, BUT these exercises are generally safe and used by most physical therapists to help address common postnatal issues. These exercises are predominantly ones that target the pelvic floor and the abdominal musculature.
Now the great thing about these ten exercises is that there are regressions and progressions. The mark of a good therapist/trainer is they can be uber creative in terms of making an exercise easier, harder or just simply changing the medium in which the exercise is being applied. So if the following exercises are too easy or too hard, consult a qualified professional and see how you can gradually make the exercise harder/easier accordingly. So without further ado let’s go to our Top 10 Safe and Challenging Exercises for new Moms!!
10. Hook – Laying March. In this exercise, you begin by laying on your back with both feet flat on the ground. Next, you draw your belly button into your spine. Imagine you are trying to sink your belly button to the ground as close as possible. Next, raise one leg off the ground and pause for 1 – 3 seconds and bring the leg back down. Before you raise the leg, you should inhale a fairly deep breath. When your leg lowers back to the ground, exhale.
9. Hip Bridge. In this exercise, you will also be laying on your back with both feet flat on the ground. Next, you are going to go into what therapists and trainers call a posterior pelvic tilt. This can be accomplished by squeezing your butt cheeks together and tilting your butt towards the ceiling. Here you will drive your heels into the ground and lift your lower back and butt off the ground (all the while squeezing your butt). If you are doing this correct, your knees will flare out to the sides slightly.
8. Quadruped Leg Raising (Bird-Dog). With this exercise, you will have to start in a quadruped position (On hands and knees). You begin by going into a posterior pelvic tilt (squeeze your butt and drop your belly button in with a half deep breath). While maintaining tension in the core, raise one leg . Simultaneously raise the opposite arm so that the arm, torso and leg are all in line with each other. Hold for 2 – 5 seconds and bring back to starting position.
7. Swiss Ball Sit with Leg Lift. With this exercise, we start moving to an upright position. We start by sitting upright on our swiss ball with hands extended straight out or folded and up to shoulder height. Next, brace the abdominal musculature by breathing in and drawing your stomach in but maintaining an erect posture. While maintaining tension in the core, slowly lift one leg off the ground and hold for 5-8 seconds.
6. Wall Ball Squats. Begin by placing a swiss ball behind the lumbar region of your spine and press it firmly against the wall. Take care not to hyper-extend, and to maintain an erect spine. Place feet slightly ahead of your hips so that when you squat down, the knees to not extend past your toes. As you lower yourself, maintain core stability and be sure your knees do not collapse towards each other. Once you have reached a 90 degree bend at the knee, raise back up by pushing from the heels and exhaling.
5. Banded Scapular Retraction. This exercise specifically targets your upper back and the muscles of your rotator cuff. Begin by wrapping a thera-band around a pole. While in an upright position, grab both ends with each hand and pull towards the sternum. The important points heer are to make sure the shoulders do not ‘shrug’ up as you pull your shoulder blades back. The end position for the pulling of the thera band should feel like you are trying to pinch a pencil with your shoulder blades.
4. Wall Push Ups. This exercise is meant to be progressed and regressed very easily. You being by standing arms length away from the wall. Place both palms against the wall at chest (nipple) height. Slowly ‘lower’ yourself into the wall while tucking the elbows in close to the torso. Press yourself away from the wall with the elbows still tucked in.
3. Single Leg Hip Hinge. Begin by standing upright with feet shoulder width. Slowly raise your right leg (whilst keeping it in line with your spine) and reach for your opposite foot. Only lower yourself to the point where you can still maintain a straight back along with the leg that is raised. Return to starting position while maintaining a straight back and leg. Before tilting, remember to squeeze the core to maintain core stability.
2. Side Plank. Begin this exercise by laying on your side with your elbow placed underneath the shoulder. Brace your abdominal muscles and lift your hips so that your torso and legs are in line with each other. Hold for at least 10-15seconds.
1. Walking. This one may seem obvious, but going for walks of 30+ minutes does the body amazing in terms of increasing blood flow, improving proprioceptive awareness, stability, etc. So lace up those shoes and enjoy the sun!
Thanks for dropping by and we here at Fit & Fed hope that you have found these exercises helpful! If you have any questions, you can email the team at email@example.com! Once again, congratulations to all the new moms out there!
Team Fit & Fed