Breathing exercises to gently work your abs, muscle strengthening exercises to get back into shape every day and regain a toned figure: discover the best postnatal fitness moves to do at home to build muscle from head to toe after pregnancy.
Do you want to gradually regain a nice figure after your pregnancy?
Some breathing exercises can be done even before the rehabilitation of the perineum (with medical advice), and targeted muscle strengthening movements to do at home can help you regain tone in the legs, buttocks, arms and abdominal strap … Let’s go?
Gently strengthen the abdominal muscles after childbirth
After a pregnancy, it is important to focus on exercises targeted at the abdominal muscles. This is simply because this part of the body has been the most solicited and transformed during the months of pregnancy, but also during childbirth.
To regain a toned figure after the arrival of the baby, and to get back to sport, it is therefore essential to strengthen the abdominal muscles: “This is step number 1, so that you can then resume a more sustained physical activity”, encourages the sports coach.
The abdominal muscles can be strengthened in the first few weeks after the arrival of the baby, when you return from the maternity ward, as long as you do gentle exercises adapted to the post-pregnancy period (always seek medical advice before starting and before resuming any physical activity, as there may be some contraindications).
Some very gentle breathing exercises can indeed be practiced even before the rehabilitation of the perineum, they offer both a breathing work with a synchronized engagement of the perineum and the abdominal strap. A good way to reconnect little by little to your perineum and your abdominal strap.
Some seemingly very simple exercises, can however be complicated just after a pregnancy, but don’t panic, you have to practice gently, and progress at your own pace, the sensations will come back little by little.
“Young mothers find it difficult to do inhalation and exhalation exercises to connect to their perineum, and this is normal! After giving birth, the perineum is still weakened and the “brain/muscle (perineum and transverse) connection” is complicated. It usually takes a while to come back, you have to be patient and not hesitate to do it, do it again, regularly, and little by little this nervous connection will come back naturally…”, recommend the experts.
Resuming sports after childbirth: choosing the right exercises!
The choice of exercises and the level of intensity are important to take into account if you wish to resume sports after your pregnancy.
We will not opt, for example, for classic exercises like the plank.
“In the postnatal period, there is often a diastasis (separation of the abdominal muscles), which is in the process of closing up, and you should not worsen the situation by doing exercises that exert strong intra-abdominal pressure. Moreover, the transverse muscle is not yet strong enough to support gravity, and the belly is drawn downwards”, explains a sport coach.
Strengthening your buttocks, legs and back after pregnancy: why is it important?
In your little sports program to regain tone after childbirth, don’t forget to include exercises to work the buttocks and legs.
Muscling the lower body is, in fact, very important for a young mother, because having strong legs will help her in everyday movements, especially when she bends down or carries the baby.
Here again, we are careful with the exercises we choose, and we go at our own pace.
“In postnatal, don’t set the bar too high, and take the time to do the movements correctly, even the simplest ones, like the squat. This exercise of muscular reinforcement must be mastered to be effective, without risk of pain”, specifies the sports coach.
During your sessions, take the time to feel everything that happens: do you manage to engage your abdominal strap well? Do you feel that it “pushes” down a little at the level of the perineum and that it is not comfortable? Does your back hurt? Taking the time to assess your body and adapt the intensity of the exercises and the number of repetitions is essential for a safe return to sports!
In the same way as squats, back lunges are ideal for toning your figure and optimizing your daily movements (to pick up a toy from the floor, to pick up your baby from the play mat, etc.).
Here again, you must master the exercise of lunges, take the time to bend down correctly, and get up while controlling and putting the weight of the body in the heel of the front foot.
Finally, an area that absolutely must be strengthened after pregnancy: the back!
“The strengthening of the back is essential, because we often carry baby, we often adopted bad postures during pregnancy related to imbalances. Back pain is the most common pain in young mothers, and the only way to avoid it and to relieve it is to strengthen this area”, advises the coach.