Exercising post-pregnancy is a topic we get a lot of questions about from both moms themselves, and coaches and trainers who work with moms. Everyone wants to know when it’s safe for a woman to return to exercise, which exercises are safe, which aren’t, and why. In this video, pre- and postnatal expert and GGS Advisory Board member Jessie Mundell walks Amanda Graydon through exercises that are safe to do almost immediately post-pregnancy, and exercises that should be avoided in the weeks immediately post-pregnancy.
Exercises To Do (Almost) Immediately Post-Pregnancy
- Connection Breath
- Glute Bridge
- Heel Slide
Exercises To Avoid Immediately Post-Pregnancy
- High-Impact Exercises
- Traditional ab exercises (crunches, sit-ups, double leg raise)
- Front-loaded exercises (front plank, push-up, etc., although quadruped or “all fours” position is OK)
- Pulling your abdominals “in” (belly button toward the spine)
- Standing or being on your feet for too long
Some Thoughts About Crunches and Sit-Ups
After watching this video, you may be wondering, “Are crunches and sit-ups really that bad?”
This, and so many other questions for which women often can’t get a definitive answer, are why we have created our upcoming Moms Gone Strong program (coming March 28th, 2017!). We want to dispel myths about exercise and post-pregnancy and help women, as well as the coaches and trainers who work with them, know exactly what exercises to do before, during, and after pregnancy to have the healthiest, strongest, and safest pregnancy and postpartum experiences possible.
This excerpt from the Exercise FAQ in our Moms Gone Strong program is just one example of the lengths to which we’ve gone to marry the latest research with our experts’ 140+ combined years of practical and clinical experience, offering women the best information available on this subject:
“While our aim is certainly not to demonize those exercises, or to suggest that no one should ever perform a crunch or sit-up if they are pregnant or after they’ve had a baby, the reality is that you’re likely already performing enough of these movements in your daily life. Maybe not daily, (especially while pregnant or immediately postpartum) or for many reps at a time, but surely at some point.
For example, you are going to perform a sit-up to get up out of the dumbbell bench press. When you’re lying in bed, you are going to crunch up to check the baby monitor. You are going to do a sit-up every time you get up off of the floor after playing with your kid(s).
Historically, one of the main concerns with the crunch and sit-up has been the belief that they will cause too great a degree of intra-abdominal pressure, which could mean they are not safe for the pregnant or post-pregnancy body. However, the research suggests this is not true for everyone. For many people, standing up out of a chair creates more intra-abdominal pressure than doing a crunch. Crunches and sit-ups are not inherently bad for everyone. They are unlikely to automatically and spontaneously cause core and pelvic floor dysfunction. They may not even magnify the severity of your diastasis recti or cause any harm to its healing. They may not cause your pelvic organ prolapse to become more symptomatic.
Whatever the case, when it comes to training your core before, during, and after pregnancy, we believe it’s important to focus on the deep core musculature that supports your spine and helps you develop strength throughout your your entire body. Doing so is critical to keeping you comfortable and reducing your pain through pregnancy as well as enabling you to carry your kicking and crying 30-pound toddler out of the park when it’s time to go home.
It’s for reasons like these that we didn’t include the crunch and sit-up. We know your time is limited, we know pregnancy and parenting place many other demands on your body, and we don’t know your specific core and pelvic floor health background. Thus, we have tried to keep the workout programming as safe as possible, while still physically challenging.
However, we know these crunch and sit-up movements will occur naturally at different points throughout your life, so we want to teach you how to perform the crunch movement properly. This will prepare your body to handle the intra-abdominal pressure that occurs during the crunch and will help protect the pelvic floor and spine as much as possible.
(If you enjoyed this video, you’ll absolutely love the free download we are giving away this week, shown below!)
Exercises To Do And Avoid During And After Pregnancy
There are so many myths about exercising during and after pregnancy, it can be hard to know if you’re doing the “right” thing. Our education materials are carefully vetted by OB/GYNs, PhDs, Registered Dietitians, Women’s Health Physiotherapists, and Pre and Postnatal Exercise Experts, and we have put together this FREE handbook where you’ll learn:
- The best exercises to do during and after pregnancy
- Exercises to avoid during and after pregnancy
The post Video E-Course #3: Exercises To Do and Avoid Post-Pregnancy appeared first on Girls Gone Strong.