Think of the typical posture of a pregnant woman – the butt is tucked under, hips jut forward as we adjust to the weight of carrying a baby in front. The upper back in turn sways back. This shifts our center of gravity and we start to look like the woman on the right.Then, we have our baby and it's hard to turn off this posture. The butt and pelvis remain tucked under and it gets harder to reconnect to our abs. In addition, we are holding our babies and feeding them so often in the first few months that our upper back stays in a hunched over, shoulders rounded position. The “mom butt" is actually the result of muscular imbalances. Basically, the back side of our body becomes overstretched and the front becomes shortened and tight. We stop using our booty muscles and our upper back muscles and they become weaker and harder to connect to. Why do we need strong booty muscles? The glutes are the largest muscle in the human body and we need them to stabilize our pelvis (critical when pregnant), give us balance, and prevent pelvic floor muscle dysfunction such as pelvic pain and incontinence. We need our butt muscles to drive our legs forward as we walk and we need upright shoulder muscles to breathe well, otherwise we compress the space for our lungs. Makes sense, right? So how can we stop this cycle from even happening? Strengthen your booty and shoulder blades while pregnant. Here's 3 exercises that can help you. 1. Booty Buddy I love monster walks; they are your butt and hip stabilizers (important for postpartum recovery) best friend. Take an 8" resistance band loop and put it around your ankles. Keep feet wider than shoulder width and walk forward, knees bent. Walk till it burns. Build up to 3 sets, 1 minute each, 3 times a week. 2. Sexy Back Take a standard 5 foot long piece of thera-band (any resistance level). Attach it to your doorknob and perform rows. First, practice proper shoulder placement before you start this exercise. Instead of jamming your shoulders backwards, which thrusts forward your ribcage and chest, try this:
- Lift shoulder upwards towards your ears.
- While lifted, bring them backwards.
- Drop them down.