So after 9 months of intense care & love from everywhere and everyone finally your bundle of joy is here in your arms, Congrats !! You must be enjoying hourly feeds, sleepless nights & unlimited cleaning. Amidst all these getting back into shape is always in your mind but from where to start is the dilemma.
Research says that starting a regular exercise program soon after giving birth is not only good for your overall health, but can also help in reducing the risk of postpartum depression. But with so much of pressure to get back in shape mothers unnecessarily put lot of pressure on themselves which brings in lot of negativity.
Every body is different and you should totally appreciate that temple of yours which helped you get that little wonder this world. Honestly feel the healing process, don’t push or drag yourself too much. Let that mother in you come out gracefully & when you feel you are ready just start it.
While starting to exercise depending upon the type of delivery – c-sec or vaginal, exercise and timings may differ. Your doctor is the best person to give you a go ahead depending upon the medical conditions during and post delivery.
How to start
First few weeks of starting the exercise should include the emphasis on light stretching, easy, low impact cardio and strengthening the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. No running and skipping. Once your body is adjusted to the new routine it’s time to shift to little advance exercises. Below are my favorite post natal exercises to reduce that belly fat. They worked well for me and therefore sharing it here. But before starting don’t forget to warm up your body. Read – https://sassymomworld.com/2018/07/11/importance-of-warm-up-cool-down/ to know more
1. Floor bridge
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart.
- Arms by your sides palm facing down.
- Slowly push through your heels, lifting your hips off the floor ( as in picture)
- Hold this position, then slowly lower your hips back to the floor.
- Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
2. Single leg raise
- Lie flat on your back. Squeeze belly button in and fold one leg (as in pic 1)
- Lift the other leg to 90 degrees and bring it back down again avoiding contact with floor.
- Make sure your back is implanted on the mat and there is no pressure on it.
- Repeat 20 times on single leg and change legs. One set includes 20-20 each leg. Do 3 sets.
3. Curl ups
- Lie flat on your back. Squeeze belly button in and place both your hands above the chest (as in pic 1)
- Pull your shoulders up half way without changing hand position and putting pressure on your tummy. ( pic 2)
- Go back from their again on floor.
- Try doing 3 sets of 20 each.
- Make sure there is no undue pressure on neck, engage your core.
4. Donkey Kicks
- Turn on your mat placing both your knees shoulder width apart in dog position.
- Lift one leg and bring it inside towards your chest and then out straight.
- This exercise is superb for those having back aches.
- Repeat each leg 15 times in 3 sets
- Lie down in push up position.
- Lower your forearms to the floor with elbows positioned under your shoulders and your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Maintain a straight line from heels through the top of your head, looking down at the floor
- Engage your core and hold it for 30 seconds.
- You can start with 10 seconds also depending upon your fitness level and go upto whatever time you can manage.
- PS – Don’t stress your back by lowering your pelvis. Try engaging your core, If your core is engaged your forearms will easily handle your weight.
6.Curl & Leg hold
- Lie flat on your mat squeezing belly button in.
- Lift one leg off the floor using both the hands and shoulders also off the floor (as in pic)
- Other leg is also in air.
- Bring the first leg down and hold the other one in same position.
- Try doing it little fast in sets of 3 with 20 repetitions.
Post these basic exercise don’t forget to cool down your body. Hope this will be of some help to all the new mommies who are struggling to get back in shape.
Will be sharing advance level ab exercises very soon. Till then enjoy motherhood and don’t stop loving yourself a little more everyday.
NOTE : Please consult your physician before beginning this or any other exercise program. As with any exercise if at any point you begin to feel dizzy, faint or have physical discomfort you should stop immediately. These exercises worked well for me and hence I mentioned them.