Posted in Super Momma

Toning up after giving birth: When &How?

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5 ft 4 inc 115lbs pre pregnancy
Most pregnant moms (99%!!!) cannot wait to get back to pre-pregnancy size; a smaller waist and firmer butt & thighs after giving birth. We lose a lot of strength in our core due to the over stretching of our abdominals and we lose core stability. Even though a new mom loses about 10- 15 pounds after delivery, the million dollar question remains to be “when can I start working out again?”

Once you are discharged home, the first week you will be very busy with your newborn especially if you’re a first-time mom. Healing time frames differ for vaginal delivery versus cesarean section. If you had a vaginal delivery, you feel very sore on your bottom for about 3 weeks. If you had a C-section, you feel pain on your incision site. I am sorry to say this but after a C-section, most activities will be achy. Every time you try to sit up, get in/out of bed, reach for something etc., you will have some aches/pain that will last for about 4-6 weeks.A vaginal delivery helping time is 6 weeks where a C-section is 8 weeks. Since many women experience abdominal separation, it is advised to wait out 6-8 weeks before you start any abdominal exercises. Best exercises to focus on initially are the ones that are going to keep you up right first.

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Still 5 ft 4 inc 155 lbs at 32 weeks
You can first start working on your mid back, shoulder stabilizers and your gluteals. These muscle groups will help you with proximal strengthening. What does that mean? These muscles will keep you upright, resist the pull of gravity and reverse the adverse effects of bad posture(s). Some shoulder exercises to perform are shoulders squeezes, wall slides, airplanes, angels and horizontal adductions. Some gluteal strengthening exercises you can do at home are clamshells, side lying straight leg kicks, squats (form is important for proper activation), butt busters and fire hydrants.

You can start in your core stabilization exercises with transversus abdominus activation(TrA). Very important ladies!! TrA is a deep stabilizer in your core that needs to be active to support a healthy good posture and protect your spine from any injury or simply prevent back pain. Waiting about six weeks on average after vaginal delivery is optimal before you start with any aggressive abdominal training that can include sit ups, crunches, reverse crunches, straight leg lowering etc. If you had a C-section, that time frame stretches to eight weeks to ensure soft tissue healing.

What exercises helped you the most to recover and get fit? Which exercises you liked? Which exercises you hated? Please comment below and let me know!

Stay awesome!

 

 

Posted in pregnancy, Super Momma

Essential exercises of the second trimester

good-pregnant-posture-Due to your growing baby and increased amount of relaxin in your system, your posture, your laxity and the way you move will start changing. You all have heard of Newtons third law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When you are carrying a baby in your belly, the weight of the baby will change the way your spine is. You arch will get exaggerated, your core stabilizers will be inhibited, then your hamstrings will tighen up to put the “breaks on” to stop that forward pull. These are just some of the changes in your lower half.

Even though, we refer to our spine as neck, mid back and low back, in reality, our spine is made up of 33 bones that are interconnected via ligaments, muscles, and fascia. The point is if your curvature in your low back changes, it will eventually change your alignment in your neck. That is one of the reasons why pregnant women tend to suffer a forward head posture that also accompanies rounded shoulders and tight chest. As the weight you are carrying in the front increases, you can imagine the increased stress on your joints and muscles.

Following a program that consists of both stretching and strengthening is essential especially during your second trimester since your body is going under more stress as your baby keeps growing inside of you. If you have not started with a workout routine, this is the time for it! Do it asap.

If you can spare 20-30 minutes daily, performing couple stretches and strengthening exercises will be helpful during your pregnancy, labor as well as postpartum. You can either alternate your days as upper and lower half, or you can dedicate stretches to one day and leave strengthening exercises for the next day.

Upper half

Some stretches to focus on should be for your neck and chest. Doorway stretches are really good for your neck while seated stretches for both right and the left side of your neck will alleviate muscle tightness and spasms. After stretching what is tight, the next step is to strengthen what is weak. My favorite muscle groups to focus on are your triceps and upper back. You can either use weights or an elastic band for both exercises. Another choice is simply using your body weight. Tricep dips on the edge of a couch, modified push ups or regular push ups if you are able to, and/or planks will help you strengthen your upper back.

 

Lower half

When it comes to stretching, keeping your hips mobile and unrestricted will aid your low back pain and prepare you for labor. Hip flexors, adductors, hamstrings and calves are the muscle groups that need to be stretched. Holding 30-60 seconds shall be adequate hence it will allow muscle to start relaxing. Strengthening your abs is out of the question and crunches make it to the top of the exercises that you need to avoid while pregnant. Whet you can do instead is focusing on your deep pelvic muscles and gluteals. Kegel exercises, double leg bridges that you can advance to single leg later on, clamshells and again planks are great exercises. As the exercises get easier, you can also add 5-10 seconds holds for each rep.

deep-breath.jpgAn important tip to keep in mind to avoid holding your breath during exercising since it can also affect your blood pressure. You cannot vocalize, without taking a breath so  easiest trick is to count out loud while you are exercising.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Tune in for more information and instructions on detailed exercise programs, until then stay awesome!

 

 

Images retrieved from:

http://nataliacoretraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/good-pregnant-posture-.jpg

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http://www.pregnancyexercise.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/New-pregnancy-exercise-stretches-078-260×300.jpg

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/stretching-for-weight-training_05.jpg

http://www.stretching-exercises-guide.com/images/doorway_stretch_90.jpg

http://www.bloomingfit.com/userfiles/image/kneelhip1.jpg

http://images.agoramedia.com/wte3.0/gcms/stretching-while-pregnant-722×406.jpg

http://pluslifestyles.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Setu-Bandh1.jpg

http://img.aws.livestrongcdn.com/ls-1200×630/cme/cme_public_images/www_livestrong_com/photos.demandstudios.com/getty/article/69/110/482640294_XS.jpg

http://snowbrains.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/deep-breath.jpg