Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Post-Pregnancy Conditioning

You have gone through the miracle of childbirth... Congratulations!  Now that it has been over 8 weeks from that special day and you have found a more normal sleeping schedule, it is time to start thinking about your body.  
*Important: Make sure your doctor has given you the green light to start working out again.

Time to strength your pelvic floor and restore your core muscles!  During pregnancy the abdominal muscles will stretch to over 50% of their original length and create a diastasis after about 20 weeks.  This means your core has separated (can be several inches) and it will take patience before you will have the strength prior to pregnancy.  

This picture shows how the core separates to make room for the baby

Ease into working out again gradually and always listen to your doctors restrictions.  Make sure you take time to review all the Pilates principles such as breathing and scooping.  I suggest starting off with privates before jumping back into a group class.  This will ensure you are working efficiently and safely.  Basic warm ups will feel different since your body has changed rapidly in the past few months.  In time you will begin to feel more connected in your core and confident.  Below is a sample mat routine to use as a guideline.
Prenatal Mat Workout:
  • Neck rolls (standing/seated)
  • Modified Roll Up/Down (curl ups/bridging)
  • Modified 100 (kneeling or only one leg at a time in tabletop)
  • Spine Stretch
  • Saw
  • Rowing 1-4 (arm weights optional)
  • Spine Twist (standing/seated)
  • Cat/Cow
  • Thread the Needle
  • Chest Expansion (standing/seated)
  • Mermaid
Click here for more Pilates for new moms.

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