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Where do I start.....?

That feeling of wanting to get back into exercise but not knowing where to start can happen at any time of life but after having a baby can come with more to consider; Should I go straight back to using weights?

When should I start running again?

I need to strengthen my core but what exercises should I do?

I'm shattered, should I exercise at all?




The answer isn't straight forward but there are a few failsafe exercises you can add in as early as 2 weeks after birth: (recovery dependant)


  1. Breathwork!

Sounds 'airy fairy' but honestly take it from my own experience if your diaphragm isn't functioning properly neither is your tva or pelvic floor and they're important components within your core unit that you need onside.

Follow my 'how to' here


2. Thoracic mobility

Back to your friend the diaphragm, if your thoracic spine is as stiff as old boots then your ribcage can't move freely (yup your ribs are supposed to move as you breath, imagine a concertina!)

Which ultimately means your diaphragm isn't moving through its full range, so all that breathwork will be in vain.

Add in some:

Thread the needles - https://youtu.be/mFqjcNbEYAs


3. Pelvic floor isolation

Now you've got your breath tip top lets move down the chain, your pelvic floor is a magnificent muscle that most of the time works seamlessly without you paying any attention to it.

It works alongside the Diaphragm and abdominals, lower back muscles and also gets support from the glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings and quadriceps.

After pregnancy and birth a few things happen that might mean you become more aware of your pelvic floor, the obvious one being child birth; 75-85% of women who have a vaginal birth will experience some level of grazing, tearing or episiotomy and although some heal and function well afterwards, some may need a little extra help :-)


The other being during pregnancy your pelvic floor has lengthened and stretched to accommodate a growing baby, after all that lengthening it may be in need of extra focus to get it contracting and relaxing correctly.


Even if you're asymptomatic its always good practice to establish a connection with your pelvic floor to ensure a strong and well functioning pelvic floor before heading into perimenopause and menopause (more on that in another post!)

Learn how to do a Pelvic floor (aka Kegel) exercise here - https://youtu.be/q_Z9sCQ1DSA


4. Glute Activation

Ever heard the term 'Mum Bum' as hideous as it that term is, during pregnancy we tend to take on an anterior pelvic tilt, which sadly leaves the glutes a little deflated and more important than aesthetics those Glutes are mates to your pelvic floor, so if they're not pulling their weight it leaves the pelvic floor doing more than it needs to.


So getting those Glutes fired up and stronger is a MUST postnatally.


A Glute bridge is a great place to start as it not only engages the glutes, it works the abdominals and pelvic floor too. In fact the humble glute bridge gets 53% more activation of the pelvic floor than just Kegels alone, in this video I go through how to engage the pelvic floor whilst doing a glute bridge for maximum pelvic floor, glute, abdominal synergy (woop!) - https://youtu.be/2eBVeuZ4wY0




I hope that's given you a little bit of guidance and info, if you've found it useful please share with friends, family and anyone who you think would benefit :-)

Make sure you follow me on Instagram or Facebook for more Postnatal, Pelvic floor, Abdominal related content in the future.


And, If you would like any further advice or help returning to exercise after having a little one/one's then drop me an email shani@strongmamafitness.co.uk

I run postnatal rehabilitation courses throughout the year alongside weekly classes, PT sessions and Program building.


Shani x


And as for Running postnatally here are the 'Back to running' guidelines published in 2019 returning-to-running-postnatal-guidelines.pdf (absolute.physio)



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