Weight training, strength training or resistance training as it’s sometimes called is a brilliant form of exercise for new mums, mainly due to the toning and fat-burning effects it has on your muscles.
Not convinced? Being a new mum is pretty hard work, not just emotionally, but physically too. Your body is under an enormous amount of physical pressure every day. If you have a clingy baby who just wants to be held all the time, or one that’s suffering with colic and need winding all the time, don’t your arms, shoulders and neck know about it, eh?!
New mums need to be strong machines to perform day-to-day tasks, caring for their newborn, and in case you’ve had your head stuck under a rock recently, babies get heavier, eventually turn into toddlers, and then small children. At every stage of your child’s development, they’ll want to be picked up, held and comforted, whatever the reason, so it’s particularly important that you keep your legs, arms and back strong to withstand all of the lifting that comes along with your work as a mum.
If you’d like to perform some strength training exercises, here are my top tips for doing so after birth:
• Make sure you engage your core and pelvic floor first,
• Chose a weight/resistance that allows you to do a set of 10-15 reps with good form,
• Add a second and third set as you get stronger,
• Progress and modify the exercises to keep your muscles challenged,
• Focus on good form and posture,
• Breathe out on the exertion, breathe in as you return to the start position,
• Don’t neglect your upper-back muscles, so add plenty of exercises that work your trapezius muscles like: bent over row, one-arm row, or seated row into your program,
• Avoid overload/straining – things like breath-holding, shaking, imperfect form and poor posture are all reasons you need to decrease the weight or number of reps you’re performing,
• And finally, if you’ve had a caesarean section, have an abdominal separation or any continence issues, expect to re-commence strength training later and progress more gradually.
And there you have it – my top tips for strength training after birth.
If you want to see some sample exercises check out my Full body, fat-burning postnatal circuit video here.
Looking for something more, join a mum and baby fitness class – get fit, have fun, make new mummy friends and bring baby with you!
Want to exercise without your little one my Little Black Dress Workout is a baby-free zone, and operates on Mondays in West Bridgford at 8:30pm (perfect time to get the littlies in bed), and postnatal options are provided.