Monday, July 25, 2011

3 Must do Exercises Post Pregnancy

Why is post pregnancy exercise so Important?
If you do not do corrective exercise post pregnancy then you have a very high chance of developing lower back and hip pain and you will find it almost impossible to correct diastasis-recti abdominal separation which happens during late pregnancy. You will also find it harder to lose your baby tummy.

After the birth of your baby you no longer have your baby inside to support you. You need to activate the muscles around your torso for support and sooner rather than later.
If you leave it for too long it becomes much harder to activate the weakened muscles. These muscles support you, you need them and you need them to be strong.

You cannot hold good posture with weak core muscles.
Poor posture alone is enough to increase back pain and stop you from seeing results around your mid-section. The exercises will also help with your post pregnancy posture.

Doing the exercises below and following the full 12 week post pregnancy exercise program could save you a fortune in physiotherapist and doctors’ fees!

Unless you have had a ‘C’ section you can start these exercises 4-5 days after giving birth. If you have had a ‘C’ section you can visit my website for more info or contact me . I normally suggest to start exercising 3 weeks post a 'C' but activation of the T.V.A muscles is needed before that. I have more post natal exercise guides on my website:

Exercise 1: Lower abdominal activation: 4 Point Kneeling

The 1st Exercise you need to do post pregnancy is Activate your T.V.A muscles-transverse abdominal.
The best way to activate the muscle is in this 4 point kneeling position:
Hands shoulder width apart and knees hip width, maintain neutral spine as in the photograph.
Now completely relax your tummy muscles, let them hang down but don’t relax your good posture so don’t sink into your shoulders. This position helps your brain activate the weakened muscles.
Next draw your belly button up-towards your spine, do this very slowly. Can you feel your tummy muscles working? You should feel and see your tummy lift up and feel your waist narrow slightly. Try to hold for 3-5 breaths then relax your tummy back down. Repeat this 3-5 times and do 2-3 times a day. You can do this exercise whilst you’re changing your baby on the floor or playing with them.

Don’t forget to think about your posture during the day, activate your T.V.A muscles every time you pick your baby up or carry them. More information on how to activate your T.V.A muscles:

Side Leg Raises

Exercise to strengthen weak hip stabilizing muscles-Gluteus Medius
This exercise is simple to do however you need to get this exercise right so you target the weak muscle and don’t use the stronger dominant leg muscles -your quadriceps. It is best before commencing this exercise that you perform a leg stretch. I suggest a side lying quadriceps and I.T Band stretch. Stretching a dominant muscle puts that muscle to sleep for a short period so you can activate the weaker muscle a little easier.

Exercise: Lying on your side stretched out. Bottom leg underneath you is bent for support lift the top leg up, lifting it backwards slightly. Keep your hip bones vertical as you lift making sure you are activating your T.V.A, abdominal and oblique muscles to stabilize your spine. Place you hand on your glute muscle so you can feel the muscle activating. Don’t feel this exercise in your quads-the front of your legs. Lower down and repeat 8-10 times completing 2-3 sets. Don’t do more if you are using the wrong muscle group. With good form and technique less is better.

Hip Extension

Exercise will target Core muscles and glutes
Activate your T.V.A muscles, rectus abdominal and oblique’s. Place more of your body weight into your heels. Push through your heel and lift your hips up. Keep your hip bones level.
You should not drop your hip to one side, nor should you feel your hamstring muscles cramping or dominating the exercise. Lower back to the floor, you need to feel that you are using your glute-butt muscles
If you do feel the exercise in your hamstring muscle, stop and stretch

The 3 exercises above are just a sample of the exercises that are included in the Post Pregnancy 12 week Program that I offer on the website. The 12 week program is less than $4.20 a week and you can buy it on the site today

Do the above exercises 3-4 times a week. This is just a brief guide so any comments or questions please post

If you feel any pain or discomfort whilst exercising, stop. If pain continues consult you L.M.C or G.P.
The information included in this article has been written by Lorraine Scapens: She is not able to provide you with medical advice; information is used as a guide. You cannot hold Lorraine liable in any way for any injuries that may occur whilst training.

Lorraine has 20 years’ experience training pregnant and post natal women. She is a Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist email: