Today, I thought I’d share answers to the 5 top frequently asked questions I’m often asked about the pelvic floor, so here goes:

1. SHOULD I PERFORM “SQUEEZE AND RELEASE” EXERCISES TO MY PELVIC FLOOR?

Pregnant woman sat down to excerciseYes and no.

It depends if you’re pregnant, postnatal and/or have issues in your pelvic floor muscles right now.

I’m not a big advocate for “squeezing and releasing” and/or “drawing up and holding” pelvic floor type movements, hence the reason I don’t teach them in my classes.

That’s not to say there’s not a place for them for some people, and certainly if you have zero signal or control over your bladder/bowel, then it’s at this point you’d be well advised to perform them (under the guidance of a Women’s Health Physiotherapist or similar).

In a lot of instances of where clients come to see me with sneeze wee, or that feeling of urgency to use the toilet at time throughout the day, it’s often a case of the pelvic floor being too tight.

So, what the pelvic floor needs is a good stretch out, the hamstrings need length, and the butt needs be strengthened.

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Have you had your baby recently?

This video walks you through 3 must-do exercises all new mums should be doing on a regular basis.

Caring for a newborn baby takes its toll on the upper and lower body, and, energy levels pending, exercise can really help reduce those aches and pains.

Covering upper and lower body exercise ideas, all you need is a resistance band, and off you go.

Give your shoulders, upper back, thighs, backside and core a workout now!

 

Want to learn more about postnatal exercise?

Check out Postnatal Pilates Worksheets which you can download and get started on straight away.

If your pelvic floor isn’t as strong as it was pre-pregnancy Your Pelvic Matters Exercise Class is your first port of call.

And/or the infamous indoor buggy workout Mummies and Buggies fitness classes where babies come too!

Your upper body takes a pounding as a new mum, and one of the things I don’t skimp on in my pregnancy fitness, pregnancy Pilates and Mummies and Buggies classes is shoulder and arm strength work.

Today, I’m going to share my top tips on preparing your arms for the real-life workout they’re going to get as a mum:

PRACTISE USING YOUR “BABE IN ARMS” MUSCLES

THE number one thing to do now, particularly if you’re pregnant and you’re reading this in preparation for motherhood, is to start carrying things in your arms – now!

If you realise that you ALWAYS carry objects like your gym bag, handbag, purse etc over your shoulder, or in your hands down by your sides, you are NOT working your upper body that effectively.

Do you travel a lot for work and trundle a suitcase behind you from venue to venue? Or, have you had your baby and you transport your baby around in their buggy?

Yep, well as soon as you add the word “convenience” IN to the equation (that’s the wheels on your suitcase/buggy there), you’re taking OUT natural body movement and muscle use.

Strengthening your biceps is easy – you just need to practise carrying more things using your arm muscles.

And, let’s face it – holding objects with your arms is pretty much mimicking the very action your body and baby is going to ask of you, isn’t it?

It actually seems so simple until someone points it out to you, huh?

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Expecting a baby and want to prepare your body for labour, motherhood and beyond?

Here are 3 easy exercises that are essential for every pregnant women to perform, at any stage of pregnancy.

Grab a resistance band for this workout, set your timer for 45 seconds work, and 15 seconds rest.

Get the heart pumping, tone muscles with weaken and stretch muscles which need releasing.

If you’re pregnant and want to learn more about how to align yourself, keep aches and pains at bay and decrease your symptoms of back and pelvic pain, click here to book your space on my next Pregnancy Pilates course in West Bridgford, Tuesdays at 6:15pm.

If you’re pregnant and want flexible attendance – never fear – my Bump to Babe pregnancy fitness classes allow you to start whenever you’re ready, and flexibility to switch classes if you need to.

Suitable for any stage in pregnancy, and a heck of a lot of fun – my pregnancy fitness classes offer you cardio, toning, Pilates, pelvic floor, stretching and relaxation, and if you miss a week here or there – it doesn’t matter.

Bump to Babe pregnancy fitness classes are held on Mondays at 6pm in Lady Bay.

If you’ve had your baby recently and want to know how to adapt movements and care for your newborn baby, check out my Mummies and Buggies (indoor) postnatal buggy classes.

And, at ClaireMockridge.com, you’ll also find Your Pelvic Matters: a labour-preparation, pelvic pain and pelvic floor rehab class suitable for women at any stage of pregnancy, and past their 6-week postnatal check.

Going on a long car or train journey here sometime soon to visit family and friends over the festive season?

Do you suffer with back and hip pain from sitting down, stationary for such a long time?

Ok, I have some great tips and stretches for you to do at the services or whenever your scheduled break is.

Try them out, and let me know how you get on!

Pilates is a brilliant form of exercise which helps you improve your posture, tone and strengthen your abdominals and back, increase flexibility, challenge your balance and coordination, release tension and help you de-stress after a hard day. What other session offers you all of this in an hour?

Find out more about my beginners or improvers Pilates classes in Nottingham here.

Are you pregnant? Bump to Babe Fitness and Pregnancy Pilates classes are every busy pregnant woman’s answer to staying fit, active and healthy throughout their pregnancy.

You can come along and exercise at any stage of your pregnancy, right up to full term, and the best bit is – you’ll be giving your unborn baby the BEST start in life.

Been performing traditional pelvic floor exercises with little to no results?

Check out Your Pelvic Matters pelvic floor exercise class for a full-body approach to pelvic floor rehab to help you get the muscles that support the pelvic floor working better.

Have you had your baby recently and feeling like your posture is getting worse?

Get your posture back on track, tone muscles which have weakened during pregnancy, and burn some fat in the process.

Here’s a circuit-style workout suitable for new mums to do which include 3 functional exercises that will not only help with the functional day-to-day tasks of being a new mum, but will get you back into shape, fast!

 

Want to learn more about safe postnatal exercise?

Check out my Postnatal Pilates Worksheets you can perform in the comfort of your own home, or book on my Mummies and Buggies fitness classes in Nottingham on a Wednesday at 11am.

And, if you’ve been performing traditional pelvic floor exercises with little to no results, check out Your Pelvic Matters pelvic floor exercise class for a full-body approach to pelvic floor rehab to help you get the muscles that support the pelvic floor working better.

When it comes to exercising during pregnancy and after birth, I’m a pretty big advocate for it, as you know.

Exercising during pregnancy provides not just you, but your unborn baby with many benefits.

And, one of the best things you can do as a new mum is workout safely after birth, because it not only makes you feel better about yourself, but it sets a great example for your newborn baby too, doesn’t it?

Today’s article is two-fold, as it’s aimed at:

  1. staying fit during pregnancy and,
  2. losing the baby weight after birth.

I’ve narrowed it down 5 top things you need to be doing to increase your fitness level and burn fat, so here goes:

1. INTERVAL TRAINING
One of the BEST forms of exercise to increase your fitness level and/or melt fat fast, is interval training.

I do interval training in ALL of my prenatal exercise classes, Pilates and Mummies and Buggies classes.

I even run a hot and sweaty, ‘next-step after baby’, higher intensity level class here.

If you’re wanting to NOT have to clutch your chest every time you walk up the stairs because you’re getting out of breathe, maybe a bout of interval training is what your system needs, huh?

Interval training is bursts of higher intensity, followed by lower intensity exercise, training the heart, lungs, arms, legs and core.

Think of it as a full-body workout which is over and done with quickly.

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Banish the bingo wings and get sexy shoulders in this circuit-style arm workout for new mums.

It’s a great way of burning fat, and strengthening your arms to help prepare you for the physical demands of motherhood.

Looking for something more?

Want an hour of targeted exercise where you can get a sweat on, tone up and bring baby with you?

Join a mum and baby fitness class – Get fit, have fun, make new mummy friends and bring baby with you!

If you don’t do something NOW to get back into shape after birth, it may be even longer before you’re your old self again. 

Even when you’re at your worst, I’m certain with a bit of willpower and a change in mindset, you can find 10 minutes in your day to exercise with these tips.

Want to learn more about what exercise is safe to do post-birth?

Check out my Postnatal Pilates Worksheets, Your Pelvic Matters Exercise Class if your pelvic floor isn’t as strong as it was pre-pregnancy, and/or my indoor buggy workout Mummies and Buggies fitness classes.

In a word, no.

According to various studies, roughly a third of postnatal women suffer with some form of pelvic floor problem post-birth, but in my experience, I believe this figure to be much higher.

Put it this way, there are a lot of women suffering in silence with “sensitive bladder” issues as it’s now commonly termed (annoyingly coined, shall I add, as though it’s a perfectly normal issue for women to suffer with).

Don’t get me started on those “whoops moments” adverts – they drive me nuts and the actor portrayed is actually quite young.

Wetting (or indeed pooing) yourself whilst going about your day-to-day activities is NOT normal, alrighty?

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What's better when sick: movement or bed rest?At the time of writing this, I’d just come back from a short 4-day break in Malta (great weather and scenery) and because planes, trains and automobiles were involved in the journey there and back, I’ve been exposed to germs from countless air conditioning units.At the time of writing this, I’d just come back from a short 4-day break in Malta (great weather and scenery) and because planes, trains and automobiles were involved in the journey there and back, I’ve been exposed to germs from countless air conditioning units.

To be fair, it was first time this year I’d been unwell *touches wood*, so I can’t really complain, eh?

If you haven’t known me long, I can tell you now, whenever I get sick – it always – without a doubt – affects my voice.

I teach 10+ pregnancy, postnatal and mainstream Beginners and Improvers Pilates classes per week, and up to 6 personal training clients too.

Exposure to germs is part of my job being in contact with people and babies (which seem to just be tiny little carriers of big loads of germs, huh?).

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