It may be getting cold (really, really cold) outside. But that’s no excuse to skimp on your workouts. If you recently gave birth, especially, you may want to get that pre-baby body started ASAP. Well, we’ve got news for you: you won’t do that unless you get moving. So forget about braving the elements. We’ve got the perfect postpartum workout routines for you to do in the comfort of your own home.
If your doctor or midwife gave you the green light to exercise, now is the time to work on getting that former body back, with your baby by your side. The following moves are designed for the early stage of postpartum fitness and focus on exercises that work the core, the shoulder girdle, the hips and the pelvis in a safe way. Plus, your baby will be front and center during these moves, so the two of you can bond while you’re breaking a sweat.
Here’s a new-mom workout routine, with 7 postpartum moves that you can do alongside your baby.
Begin on your mat on all fours, with the baby lying between your palms and below your chest:
1. Cat and Cow stretches
Inhale and drop your belly, look up towards the ceiling. Exhale and round your back looking down and back towards your legs. Each time you come through the transition, you can lock eyes with your little one and smile as you inhale before exhaling long again. Do about 10 breaths like that.
2. Child’s pose to kneeling push-up
You are still on all fours, and the baby is still between your palms. Move your hips back to a child’s pose and extend your arms to stretch your back. Then rock forward to where your shoulders are above your wrists, and bend to a push-up. If you want, you can lean as far down as you can to give your baby a quick kiss before rocking back to child’s pose. Do this 10 times.
3. Kneeling press-up
Start kneeling on your mat, with your mat doubled up or folded to support your knees. Sit back on your heels and reach for your baby. As you pick him up, straighten your hip and lift him up above your head, extending your hips fully. As you sit back on your hips, you can lay baby down on your thighs before you lift up again. Do 10 to 15 repetitions.
Transition to your back, lying with your baby on your chest.
Plant your feet firmly on the mat with the heels close to the hips. Then press your lower back into the ground as you exhale long. Inhale and arch your back before you exhale and press your entire lower back into the ground. Hold the baby on your chest and don’t lift your hips. Focus on tilting your pelvis up, which engages your transverse abdominus muscle and activates your deep core. This exercise is especially effective in repairing diastasis recti. Do this 15 times.
5. Glute bridge with pelvic stabilization
In the same position as above, keep the baby on your chest, then press your hips up to a full extension. When you’re up, relax your glutes and the back of your legs as you lift the baby from your chest up. Hold for 10 breaths and slowly lower back down. First the arms, then the hips. Ten repetitions of 10 second holds. If your glute muscle is really relaxed, eventually you will feel other muscles in your lower back starting to heat up or shake slightly to support the pelvis. That’s the desired effect and lifting the arms with the baby gives you an additional upper body exercise.
For the last two exercises, come up to a standing position and hold the baby with both arms.
6. Squat with chest press-up
Holding the baby securely and your feet parallel and hip-width apart, slowly lower down to a squat. Focus on keeping your weight mostly in the heels. As you come up to a standing position, press the baby up in front of your forehead. They will like the up and down, maybe you will even get them to giggle. Do 10 repetitions.
7. Backward lunge pulses
From a standing position with your feet hip wide, step the left foot back and bend your front knee. Make sure your front knee doesn’t push past the toes, and balance on the ball of your back foot. Either hold the baby above the front knee or seat him on the leg. Bend your back knee to where it hovers just above the ground. Pulse up and down for up to 30 seconds, then switch legs. Do 3 repetitions on each side.
These postpartum exercises should provide a good base to get back into exercising when you have just been cleared to resume a fitness routine. You can do this workout several times per week and supplement it with walking for cardio and a gentle comeback. Please let us know in the comments how you got back in shape and what your go-to exercises were to get fit again.