Postpartum Exercise for New Moms

Nursing Mothers / Exercise Guide

Daily Gentle Beginnings

Warm Up. Begin each workout with a 5 to 7 minute warm up. March in place, moving your arms and shoulders up and down and in small circles. Then continue your warm up with stretching. Hold each stretch for approximately 15 seconds and repeat each stretch twice.

Head. Tilt your head to one side, then the other. Then, front to back.

Hamstrings and Glutes. Lie on the floor, bend one knee and pull your knee to your chest. Hold. Then repeat with your other leg.

Thighs. Stand up, bend one leg until your heal touches your glutes. Hold. Then repeat with your other leg.

Back. Wrap your arms around your torso as if you were hugging yourself and squeeze.

Kegel Exercises. Consult with your health professional on the proper technique and repetitions.

Cool Down. Repeat the “Warm Up”.

MommySlim® Easy 8: A total body workout for New Moms

The following exercises should be completed 3 to 5 times a week. Try to exercise early in the day to ensure you fit it into your new demanding schedule.

Several of the following exercises include your baby. Holding your baby while exercising is suggested as an advanced option for these exercises. First, practice the exercises without your baby. When you are feeling totally comfortable, include your baby to increase the difficulty of the exercise. Never place your baby or yourself in a compromising position. If you are not completely comfortable, do not attempt these exercises with your baby. If you want to lift weights instead,use ones that allow you to complete 10 repetitions per set, but avoid straining or lifting too much too soon.

Baby Plie Squat

Strengthens legs and glute muscles to aid with lifting and carrying.

  • Stand tall, feet wider than hip distance apart, toes pointing out.
  • Bend knees lowering hips about 12 to 18 inches from the ground depending on your comfort level. At full bend, knees should be over heels.
  • Slowly straighten legs squeezing the glutes. Make special effort to keep knees pressed out.
  • Complete 10 repetitions. Increase to 15 and then 20, when ready.

Once you can do 20 repetitions, consider incorporating your baby for weight or use a bag of groceries. If you include your baby, hold him/her securely with both arms; make sure the baby's head is supported.

Grocery Rowing

Strengthens back and arms to aid in posture and lifting to counter the effects of the rounded posture most mothers have when feeding a baby.

  • Stand astride, bending forward from your hips. Keep your back straight.
  • Hold a half-gallon container filled with water in your right hand.
  • Bend right elbow up. Slowly lower arm. Complete 10 repetitions. Repeat with your left arm.

Increase to 15 and then 20, when ready. Increase container size after you can comfortably complete 20 repetitions.

Baby Kiss Downs

Strengthens chest and arms to help with picking up and lowering your baby into their crib.

  • Place your baby on the carpet and position yourself on your hands and knees.
  • Bend your arms lowering yourself to give your baby a kiss. Complete 10 repetitions. Increase to 15 and then 20, when ready.

As you improve, you can progress to a modified push up position on the tops of your knees and finally on the toes. Since you have more body weight to push in these positions, placing the baby underneath you is not recommended.

Baby Kiss Ups

Strengthens abs and neck, which aids in back support and improves posture and muscle tone.

  • Place your baby on his/her belly, on your tummy. Maintain a firm hold of your baby. Be sure he or she has good neck control before doing this exercise!
  • Lift your head and shoulders to kiss the baby's head. Tighten abdominal muscles and exhale as you lift. Slowly lower your head and shoulders. Complete 10 repetitions. Increase to 15 and then 20, when ready.

Once you can do 20 repetitions, consider incorporating your baby for weight or use a bag of groceries. If you include your baby, hold him/her securely with both arms; make sure the baby's head is supported.

Pelvic Tilt

Strengthens abdominal and glute muscles, improves posture and decreases low back strain.

  • Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise your hips off the floor starting with your tailbone and slowly lift one vertebra at a time until your waist is off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Slowly return to a starting position. Complete 10 repetitions. Increase to 15 and then 20, when ready.

As you improve, you can progress to a modified push up position on the tops of your knees and finally on the toes. Since you have more body weight to push in these positions, placing the baby underneath you is not recommended.

Posture Pulls

Strengthens back and arms to combat poor posture.

  • Lay face down on the carpet.
  • Place your forehead into the floor or tum your head to one side.
  • Extend your arms out to your sides with palms facing the floor.
  • Squeeze shoulder blades together and raise arms 6 inches from the floor. Make a special effort to keep shoulders pressed down. Hold for a count of 5 then lower arms.

Complete 10 repetitions. Increase to 15 and then 20, when ready.

The Clam

Strengthens hips and glutes, which can be weakened during pregnancy.

  • Lay face down on the carpet.
  • Place your forehead into the floor or tum your head to one side.
  • Extend your arms out to your sides with palms facing the floor.
  • Squeeze shoulder blades together and raise arms 6 inches from the floor. Make a special effort to keep shoulders pressed down. Hold for a count of 5 then lower arms.

Complete 10 repetitions with each side. Increase to 15 and then 20, when ready.

Heel Slides

Strengthens abdominals and decreases low back strain.

  • Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles as you slide one leg straight out on the floor.
  • Tighten your abs muscles as you slide the leg in. Repeat with other leg.

Complete 10 repetitions with each leg. Increase to 15 and then 20, when ready.

Select Your Plan

This program and any of its materials do not constitute medical advice or substitute for medical treatment.
Because every mother and her baby have unique needs it's important to get approval from your OBGYN and/or baby's pediatrician before beginning any exercise program.

This program and any of its materials do not constitute medical advice or substitute for medical treatment.