After you give birth, you can start making a slow transition to normal workouts, that include activities you might have not been able to do, whilst you were pregnant (Cycling, certain exercises, etc.)
The workouts will begin with low intensity, gradually reaching your previous feats of strength and endurance. Keep in mind though- Reaching your previous shape won’t take one or two days- it takes time.
How soon after giving birth, can a woman start doing regular workouts?
In our humble opinion, the correct question is “What would restrict a woman, who recently gave birth, from working out?”. The most common answer – Complications during the pregnancy and the birth giving.
C section is a perfect example of a medical premise, that wouldn’t physiologically let a mother start physical workouts of any type.
Many mothers have a wrong understanding of the term “Workouts”. When they hear or read that word, what immediately pops up on their minds is heavy dumbbells, barbells and hard to use gym equipment.
However, here are some types of workouts that SHOULD pop up on your mind, if you’re a mother that recently gave birth and is looking to get back in shape – Resistance band workouts, stretching, walking in the park, riding a bicycle, light Pilates, etc.
If we need to go deeper into the misunderstanding of the term ‘workouts’, lifting the big pot from the stove, taking the dinner out of the oven, or even just putting your kid in bed- Those are all examples of small, everyday exercises, which we do not perceive as such, simply because they are things we do on a daily basis.
We recommend and encourage mothers that recently gave birth, to start some kind of a physical activity immediately. This way, you will be able to get back to your previous weight and/or shape, and even achieve a body shape that’s better than the one you were in, before the pregnancy!
There’s a psychological plus to that, and it’s the fact that regular workouts help mothers fight the post-pregnancy depression.
A healthy diet is an important part of every post-pregnancy regimen.
How frequent and long should your workouts be when you first start training?
Usually, we would recommend you to workout 3 to 4 times a week, if you are doing conventional workouts (At a gym or home workouts).
The time spent training should be according to your inner desire to complete the workout with a full-on motivation mindset.
Do not force yourself to work out – Train for as long as you’re comfortable doing it.
Do workouts have a negative effect on breastfeeding?
That’s something very individual that you should track for yourself. It all depends on the types of workouts, intensity of training and the equipment used. Everything must be measured and done gradually.
Do not go full-on beast mode from the get-go, ladies! That would be a premise to eventual medical issues, even if you haven’t given birth recently.
Which is the first zone that every mother should start working on?
There isn’t such zone. All of them are equally important. Spending more time on glute kickbacks and squats won’t grant you better results on that spot! The body is a complex machine that works optimally when there’s BALANCE.
Post pregnancy home exercises for women who have no time to visit the gym
The exercises, that can be done at home are countless.
Every woman, that hesitates between the gym and home workouts, because of their efficiency, should know that home workouts are nearly as effective as the weight workouts in the gym, especially for new mothers.
Below, we will give you our TOP picks for exercises you can do at home.
Thighs, glutes, calves, hamstrings, lower back
This is an exercise that mainly targets the glutes. You can even do it with an additional weight, by letting your baby sit right below your belly!
Another wonderful exercise that targets the glute muscles, no additional weight required- Watch out for a good muscle contraction.
Bodyweight squats/half squats
The most basic exercise that mainly targets the thigh muscles. Other muscles involved- Hamstrings, glutes.
If you want to target your butt by doing squats, simply contract the glute muscles at the top of the exercise.
Bodyweight walking lunges
A great exercise that puts strain on the thigh muscles and hamstrings. You can add a glute kickback at every transition to the next step.
Bulgarian split squat
A one-legged squat, that is the perfect exercise, if you’re looking for a significantly bigger amount of strain on your legs.
Standing calf raises- Toes forward, inward, outward
The calf raises can be done on an edge- Try to achieve full contraction at the top.
Good mornings with a small bar/stick
A perfect exercise that will strengthen your lower back muscles (Spinal erectors)
Below are some exercises, which you can do at home if you have basic equipment (Dumbbells, kettle-bell)
Standing dumbbell curls
This is a nice exercise to target the bicep muscles and give them some tone.
Standing hammer curls
This exercise, will target your forearms and bicep.
Overhead one arm dumbbell triceps extension
Another great pick for an isolated movement that will target your triceps muscles
Bench triceps dips
For this exercise, you can either place your legs on the ground, or lift them up on a chair, if you want to use your full bodyweight.
This exercise will target your chest and triceps muscles, without any significant, dangerous strain. The closer your arms are- The more tension you will put on your triceps.
Dumbbell shoulder presses, lateral and front raises
These 3 shoulder exercises are the perfect combination to give some tone to the deltoid muscles.
Kettle-bell upfront raises
Another great shoulder exercise, that can even be combined with a squat, before the actual upfront raise!
Plank hold, regular crunches, vacuums
Very basic exercises that will help you strengthen your core muscles. Our top pick for an abdominal exercise would be the Vacuums- Exhale completely while contracting your abs, then try to suck in your stomach. Do not go too hard though!
Flexing your musculature
This is a great workout that doesn’t require any kind of equipment or number of reps and sets. It can be done for any muscle group. Simply- Hold the isometric contractions. You can read our article on the benefits of isometric contractions.
What’s the basic equipment every woman should have at home?
There are three types of equipment you can ALWAYS use to complete an efficient workout, either outdoor or indoor.
- Dumbbells (up to 4-5 kg) – This weight is sufficient, as you won’t need anything heavier than that.
- Resistance bands – The most basic of equipment you can get. Pick a couple of bands with a different amount of resistance. Make sure to purchase quality, strengthened bands, as there are many products out there that might be of low quality, meaning they will not last as long!
- Swiss ball – Can be purchased at any sports related store.
Workouts and healthy nutrition
We have mentioned this in other articles on our website, but when it comes to physical development- You must not neglect your nutrition, as it’s mandatory to have a healthy diet, if you want to achieve certain results, especially if you’re a mother that recently gave birth.
Correct eating habits are the fundament of staying in shape, and if someone tells you otherwise- Do NOT believe them!
Every person is different, which implies an individual, in-depth approach when it comes to picking the foods and their quantity for each meal. Balance is key when you build a personalized nutrition plan.
Which foods to avoid?
There isn’t a list of “bad foods”. There are unacceptable quantities and combinations of foods. Olive oil is healthy, but no one drinks liters of it, right? Bring diversity and creativity into your diet.
Should you believe in “Quick diets”?
The short answer- NO!
There isn’t a quick diet that will provide you with long-lasting results. Most quick diets rely on low-calorie foods like fruits and veggies.
However, those are the exact diets that can easily damage your metabolism, simply because fruits and vegetables cannot provide your body with the full set of calories, macronutrients, vitamins and minerals that it needs to maintain a healthy inner environment of the organism.
During-pregnancy and post-pregnancy workouts are safe, if you did not have complications or medical prohibitions.
Our goal with this article is to just provide you with useful information on the given topic, and not completely influence your choice and/or diagnose you!
Before starting any type of workouts, consult with your doctor and stick to their advice!