Post Pregnancy Workout Series: Week 7-12

by Freydis
Post Pregnancy Workout Series: Week 7-12

If you have been following my bodywork and exercise program for weeks 1-6, you can continue here – but only if you feel ready. For weeks 7-12 you may be ready to increase the intensity a little bit, so that is precisely what we will be doing with more walks, strength training and yoga.

As a mom to a small child, I know how hard it can be to work up the energy to get anything done! And I urge you to always prioritize sleep over working out or doing house chores. That being said, you will find that if you do a workout in the AM, it will provide you with more energy for the rest of the day. This is because working out releases endorphins in your body, aka the ‘feel-good’ hormones – so it’s really a win-win situation.

Please remember that you need to follow your own body. Maybe you are not even close to being ready for this kind of exercise. These are merely general guidelines, so please be mindful of yourself.

Keep up the good eating habits

Avoid junk food and greasy and salty foods as well as sugar. Eat lots of fruits and veggies and make sure you’re getting some protein in each meal as well as healthy fats. Simply put: Eat healthy foods and remember to stay hydrated! Preferably in water.

Just like in week 1-6, it is extra important to eat healthily if you are breastfeeding. Make sure you are getting plenty of different kinds of fatty acids by taking a good quality omega 3 supplement and eating different kinds of seeds and nuts, avocado, coconut oil and organic butter, preferably from grass-fed cattle. If you prefer getting your omega 3 from eating fish, like salmon, make sure that it’s not bred, but wild-caught salmon, and that it’s caught in pure waters, nowhere near where factories lead their waste.

Bodywork and exercises

  • Keep doing pelvic floor exercises – every day!
  • Walk around outside for 15-30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week
  • Do basic stretching exercises and twists. Focus on stretching your body’s tight muscles and strengthening your body’s weak muscles, to align your body and gain a good posture
  • You can also start doing a gentle yoga routine
  • If you wish, start a post-pregnancy class
  • Start strength training your legs, buns and core

Your ligaments are still loose, so please take that in account when you start yoga or strength training!

PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES

Kegel exercises

Start Position: Lie on your back with your knees up and feet on the floor/bed

  1. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles – like you want to prevent yourself from peeing (and from expelling gas)
  2. Hold for 5 seconds
  3. Relax for 5 seconds
  4. Repeat 5 times

Pelvic tilts

Start Position: Lie on your back with your knees up and feet on the floor/bed

  1. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles and push your feet down while lifting your hips and squeezing your glutes
  2. Hold the lift and squeeze for 3 seconds, before lowering your hips to the floor/bed
  3. If you can, repeat this lift and 3-second squeeze 10 times
  4. Relax for 1 minute
  5. Repeat two more times

STRENGTH TRAINING (week 7-12)

Contract your pelvic muscles when contracting other muscles in strength training!

Start by warming up for 6-10 minutes to get your heart rate going and your muscles warm. This helps to prevent injury.

  1. 12 Squats
  2. 12 Shoulder rotations (rotator cuff)
  3. 12 Deadlifts
  4. Contracting the core muscles (see instructions here)
  5. 20 Single-leg Toe Taps (10 each leg)
  6. 12 Lateral leg raises
  7. 20 Diagonal lifts (10 each side)
  8. Plank 30-60 seconds

This program is built up as a circle program, so you can do it without brakes to save time. Do exercise 1-8 as listed, and when you are ready to increase the intensity do them all again, as listed, etc.

Start by doing the exercises one time. When you feel ready to increase the intensity, do them two times. And once that feels good, do them three times.

Make sure you’re not strength training every day and get at least 1 day break in between workouts, so your muscle tissue gets a chance to rebuild itself.

YOGA (week 7-12)

The following yoga program is filled with relaxing and stretching poses that feel wonderful for the new mommy body. Try to really relax and take at least five deep breaths in each pose. You are welcome to stay longer in the poses that are marked with a star (*), just follow your body’s cues. Staying for 1-4 minutes in those poses will give you the benefits of yin yoga, where the deep connective tissue in the body is stretched so it becomes more flexible and to increase circulation. You can, of course, stay in the savasana as long as you like (or as long as your baby allows you to).

When I do yoga I try to let go of any restrictions and do what feels good for my body. I encourage you to do the same – really try to become mindful of your body whilst doing the poses. Relax your face, and notice any tensions as you do the pose. If you become aware of any tension, avoid going deeper into the pose. Find the place in the pose where you start feeling the tension, but still feel comfortable. Stay here and take deep breaths. It should feel comfortable and the deep breathing, slowly helps to loosen the tension, so you can move deeper into the pose.

Yoga routine example

  1. Deep breathing
  2. Lying Twist*
  3. Cat-Cow
  4. Active Baby Pose*
  5. Mountain pose
  6. Standing breath (arjuna)
  7. Standing stretches
  8. Forward bend*
  9. Split stretches (low lunge → stretch backside of thigh)*
  10. Sitting twist
  11. Plow pose – do a rolling plow
  12. Fish pose
  13. Relaxation – Savasana

Feel free to modify your yoga routine as you wish, and as always, listen to your body and its needs!

I hope you are enjoying the Post Pregnancy Workout series! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below 🙂

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