This past week, I sat down with Gold’s Gym to talk about the best exercises for postpartum moms, and for us moms who are still trying to loose the baby weight years later! I met with Erin Adamson, Certified Personal Trainer, who is also a prenatal and postpartum fitness specialist. We discussed key areas to focus on that all moms need help with like a stronger core, a strong back, and hip alignment (hello, carrying around a small person 24/7!).
First let’s state the facts: it takes time for your body to fully recover from pregnancy and giving birth.
After having a baby, you are left with a stomach that looks like you’re six months pregnant, at least. When you get the all-clear from your doctor, you may be eager to start working out again to loose the “mom tum,” but you may not be sure where to start or how you will even have the energy to exercise. Erin’s first recommendation is to reacquaint yourself with your own body. Your body has been through so much this past year — you went from being not pregnant, to pregnant and growing a human being (carrying around 25+ lbs.), to now re-learning your body.
To reacquaint yourself with your body, start with slow moving cardio and stretches.
If you had a c-section, Erin recommends to start with walking or the stationary bike before moving onto the elliptical for cardio. It’s important to start slowly with exercise after a c-section because your body went through a major surgery. After 12 weeks, you can start to add weights with leg and arm movements. Erin recommends waiting at least six months before adding weights to any ab work. If you had a vaginal birth, you can start with slow-moving cardio and, if you feel ready, ab work like basic crunches.
After feeling comfortable with slow-moving cardio, move onto holding exercises like a plank to build your strength and prevent injury. In the beginning, hold for 10 seconds and then over time increase your hold incrementally until you reach one minute. At this point, you are ready to move onto body weight exercises.
Overall, Erin recommends that moms focus on making their core stronger. Not only will it provide you with better balance for carrying your baby and all-the-things in your diaper bag, but it will help your back and hips be stronger and more stable.
Top #10 exercises for a stronger core
Beginner moves for a stronger core:
Advanced moves for a stronger core:
Top trainer tips:
- Hydrate: Did you know that dehydration can cause muscle cramps? Lots of moms have serious back pain, which is not only from carrying around your baby, diaper bag, car seat, purse, “you-name-it,” but also from not drinking enough water. I realized I do not drink enough water; many mornings my cup of coffee will be all I drink until lunch, and that’s if I even get to finish that cup of coffee.
- Start slow and steady: Find balance and strength before diving into toning exercises or weight training in order to prevent injury. Squeeze in workouts by stretching in the morning, taking a stroller walk, or going to the gym (Gold’s Gym provides daycare!) to have a trainer help you.
- Reacquaint yourself with your body: Your body just grew, delivered, and now is taking care of a human being! You may not feel like it, but you are so strong, and you will love your body again and feel stronger everyday.
I have been going to Gold’s Gym for six+ months. Since then, I have lost four inches from my waist. I’m excited to try these tips from Gold’s Gym because I have been avoiding ab work. I was not sure where to start since my abs are so weak (thanks, c-section). I have learned a strong core means more than a flat stomach — it means less back/hip pain and more strength to carry my toddler.