Sick of wondering whether the exercises you’re doing are right for moms, or even worth your time?
Will they actually get you the results you’re hoping for?
I mean you only have so much time to workout so you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, right?
That’s why I’m sharing a few of my favorite tried, trusted and true exercises that can help you feel stronger post-baby.
These are exercises I’ve done or are currently doing after having my babies and they’re exercises I’ve prescribed to dozens of other women as well.
Bottom line? They work.
And one of the reasons they work is because they focus on 3 key body bits that all moms need to focus on in order to recover well and feel strong.
Your pelvic floor, your back, and your booty.
Working on these 3 essential areas is a must if you want to feel awesome and strong enough to do all the mom things you need to do throughout the day + all the fun things you want to do too!
Your pelvic floor needs some loving to recover and feel strong again after pregnancy and giving birth (yes – even if you had a c-section).
Your back could use a boost because it’s getting contorted and compressed and achy from all those awkward, weird lifts and movements that we need to do as moms.
And your booty is in need of some TLC because it’s BFFs with your pelvic floor and your back. The stronger your glutes are, the stronger your entire core will be and the less likely you are to have to deal with not so fun things like leaking, back pain, and even diastasis recti and prolapse.
The truth is that these crucial 3 areas are all part of our core system. A system that went through an insane amount of changes in a very small amount of time. That means that the more we focus on rehabbing and strengthening these areas, the stronger and better we’ll feel.
So let’s dive in!
Pelvic Floor Protectors
Legs Up Ball Squeezes
Kegels can be a great option for some moms to help rebuild pelvic floor strength.
But it’s really not about squeezing your vagina 100 times at a stoplight every few days or so.
We want to build dynamic strength in our pelvic floor. That means it works well when we need it to, not just when we’re doing our kegels at the stoplight.
We want it to be able to support and stabilize and stop us from experiencing pain, leaking or discomfort as we move and lift and do all the things.
That’s why I incorporate some core building exercises into my and my client’s workouts that have a kegel built into the movement.
So – when you do this exercise – as you squeeze the ball between your legs do a kegel. Focus on gently lifting your vaginal and anal muscles in and up. It’s like you’re stopping gas or pee from coming out.
Remember you don’t have to squeeze with all your might. A gentle pull in and up is great.
Squat & Squeeze
Squats are one of the best movements you can do to help rebuild pelvic floor and core strength.
And with this variation we again can build the kegel right into the action so it’s a more dynamic kegel that will better translate into everyday life.
As you squeeze that ball between your hands, do a kegel. Gently pull your vaginal and anal muscles in and up like you’re picking a bead up and bringing it inside you.
Beautiful Back Builders
Split Stance Band Row
I love a great split stance – especially for newer moms – because it can feel really stable. It’s a great starting point if you’re just getting back into strength training after having a baby.
With this movement you want to focus on keeping your chest stacked over your hips – so avoid puffing your chest out. And you want to keep your shoulders dropped down as you squeeze your shoulder blade into the middle of your back.
I like this option because it’s a two-fer. Because you’re leaned over slightly you need to engage your abdominal wall – the front part of your abs – to stabilize yourself. So you’re working your back as well as your abs.
That also means that this is a more advanced movement. I wouldn’t prescribe this to a new mom who’s just getting back into exercise.
So after you’ve worked on some core and pelvic floor rehab – and you’re not getting any signs or symptoms of a weak, or unstable core (like coning or doming in your abs when you lean over) – this is a great option for you.
Focus on keeping your back neutral – butt untucked, chest over top of your hips – and core gently engaged without sucking your belly button to your spine.
Best Booty Boosters
How can such a simple movement be such a burner?
Bridges are one of the simplest, safest exercises for most moms, while helping you build so much strength and stability.
Keep your booty untucked throughout the entire movement (don’t tuck it under as you rise) and feel the burn! 😉
The thrust is like the bridge’s big sister.
She’s also a butt burner but she takes it to the next level.
Like with the bridge, I want you to keep your booty untucked throughout the whole movement. Act like you’re bringing your hip bones up to the sky.
When & How Much?
You can add 2-3 of these moves into a workout you’re already doing – just add them to your circuit.
Or you can go through some or all the moves on their own as a mini core circuit. Do 1-3 sets of 10-12 reps of each move.
If you’re just getting back into exercise, make sure you check in with your doctor or midwife before you start to make sure your body is ready for this.
Go ahead and do the moves 1-3 times a week – or as much as your time, energy, and ability allow.
Remember, Consistency Is Key.
And let’s be totally honest.
Yes these movements can work wonders and help you feel great.
But they only work if you do.
You can’t expect to do them all random-like here and there for 3 weeks and see life-changing results.
The more consistent you are, the better results you’ll get.
So aim to complete these moves at least once a week (ideally 2-3 times a week) and within the next 1-3 months you should see and feel some awesome changes.
I hope these movements help up your postpartum fitness gains and help you feel strong, confident and capable.
Just remember, there’s no rush.
Do what you can with the time and energy you have and slowly but surely you will get there.
P.S. Have a mom friend who’s looking for some great postpartum exercise options? Send her this post!