10 Easy and Safe Core Exercises For Your Postpartum Workout At Home | VIDEO

by Sep 12, 2018Best Of, Family Fitness, Postpartum, Postpartum Workouts10 comments

Tighten your core muscles and strengthen your postpartum belly with 10 of the best beginner postartum core exercises recommended by physical therapy after pregnancy for the safest recovery. (watch VIDEO below)

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

 

 

Are you six or more weeks postpartum and were given the green light from your doctor to begin exercising? Great! These 10 Physical Therapy recommended postpartum core exercises are the best for post baby core strengthening and toning that you can easily do at home. These exercises are a great start to loosing that post-baby weight and flatten out that postpartum pooch you have been waiting to get rid of. This is the exact routine that helped me loose the baby weight and flatten my belly after giving birth to 4 babies.

This abdominal workout will help you retrain your core muscles safely and carefully so that you will have a tighter belly after going through pregnancy and childbirth. A VIDEO is included at the end of the post to help you further understand how to properly perform each exercise I have listed in this article.

Tighten Your Belly and Have Strong Core Muscles

 

I named my blog Live Core Strong for a reason. I love working out my core muscles because they are so important (you can find out more about why my blog is named Live Core Strong here).

My core was the area on my body that I was most proud of when I was younger, but now it is an area of focus for me after just having my fourth child.

Why am I and so many other women so focused on getting the core toned and tight? Maybe because we just feel better getting those perfect jeans to fit just right. Or maybe it determines our own personal level of health.

For me, a strong core is important because it is exactly what the name is, CORE!

“Our core is the center of our body. It holds everything together. Without the core, our body would not work.” -Live Core Strong

We need a strong core to function properly and to move with ease. If it wasn’t for our core, our limbs would not perform at their optimal level and injury could occur.

Yeah, it’s always a bonus to have a strong core because we would obviously look better in whatever blouse or dress we pull out of the closet; but ultimately, the value of a strong core is far beyond what most people might be aware of.

6 Week Medical Clearance Before Beginning Postpartum Core Exercises

So where and when do you start? What is the safest and best way to start exercising after having a baby?

Medical doctors advise you to wait until your 6 week postpartum checkup before beginning any exercises. It is very important that you let your entire body heal and recover after delivery.

Once you consult with your doctor at the 6 week check-up, ask your doctor if you are ready to begin exercise.

Usually they say yes, but if for some reason they say no, follow your doctor’s advice.

Maybe you had a c-section that is not healing quite as quickly or maybe you are still having recurring pelvic pain.

It’s important to get medical clearance before beginning an exercise program, especially after delivering a baby.

Related: How To Test For Diastasis Recti During After Pregnancy | VIDEO

Once you consult with your doctor at the 6 week check-up, ask your doctor if you are ready to begin exercise.

Usually they say yes, but if for some reason they say no, follow your doctor’s advice.

Maybe you had a c-section that is not healing quite as quickly or maybe you are still having recurring pelvic pain.

It’s important to get medical clearance before beginning an exercise program, especially after delivering a baby.

START HERE: Abdominal Bracing (Beginner Core Exercise) 

Lie on your back and keep your knees bent with your feet on the floor. Suck in your belly!!!!

Yep, that’s right, bring your belly button down so it’s getting sucked in to the floor.

Hold that position. Hold it for 5 seconds, but make sure you count out loud.

Counting out loud helps you to breath while you exercise. Count slowly enough so 5 seconds actually equals 5 seconds. You know what I mean?

Rest and repeat. Easy peesy. Set a timer and do it for one minute.  It’s simple, it’s painless and it’s safe. This core exercise, called abdominal bracing, is the foundation for all core exercises. Once you establish a strong core with abdominal bracing and you feel you have mastered this basic exercise, you can progress to the next level.

Postpartum Core Workout:  Progression of Abdominal Bracing (AB):

1. Abdominal Bracing:

Lie on your back with knees bent (Starting Position), tuck in your belly as if you are trying to pull your belly button down towards the ground

2. Abdominal Bracing with Alternating Arms:

Starting Position, perform AB and maintain AB while you lift Right arm over head and keep Left arm at side about 2 inches from the floor. Now switch arm positions and keep alternating your arms while maintaining AB.

3. Abdominal Bracing with Alternating Knee To Chest:

Starting Position, perform AB and maintain AB while you lift Right knee to chest and keep Left foot on floor. Now switch leg positions and keep alternating legs while maintaining AB.

4. Abdominal Bracing with Alternating Arm and Leg:

Starting Position, perform AB and maintain AB while you lift Right arm and Left knee to chest and keep Left arm about 2 inches from the floor and R foot stays on floor. Now switch arm and leg positions and keep alternating arms and legs while maintaining AB (tip: opposite arm and leg are moving up together).

5. Abdominal Bracing with Heel Slides:

Starting Position, perform AB and maintain AB while you slide your Left heel up towards your buttocks, thus bending your knee. Then return back to starting position by slowly sliding your heel back down. Perform in a slow, controlled manner. Once you complete a full set on the Left, repeat on the Right.

6. Abdominal Bracing with Leg Lift:

Starting Position but place your Left leg straight and flat on the floor, perform AB and maintain AB while you lift your Left heel up towards the ceiling, keeping your knee STRAIGHT and only lift to the same level as your Right thigh (Right leg remains in starting position/knee bent), then slowly lower Left leg down to starting position. Complete a full set on the Left side, then repeat with the Right leg.

7. Abdominal Bracing with Bridge:

Starting Position, perform AB and maintain AB while you push through your legs to lift your buttocks off the ground. Your goal is to lift as high as you can tolerate while maintaining a strong and flat back. Hold position for 2 seconds. Slowly lower back down to starting position and repeat.

8. Abdominal Bracing with Bridge and Leg Lift:

Starting Position but with Right leg straight in the air (same level as your Left thigh), perform AB and maintain AB while you push through your Left leg to lift you buttocks off the ground. Your goal is to lift as high as you can tolerate while maintaining a strong and flat back. Hold position 2 seconds. Slowly lower back down to starting position and repeat. After completing one set, switch legs.  

9. Abdominal Bracing with Bicycle:  

Starting Position, perform AB and maintain AB throughout exercise.  Lift both legs slightly off the ground with knees bent. Then bring Right knee to chest and then switch positions so Left knee comes to chest while Right leg is lowered to starting position (with feet never touching the floor). Keep alternating back and forth like riding a bike.

10. Abdominal Bracing with Double Leg Lower:

Starting Position, perform AB and maintain AB throughout exercise. Lift both legs straight up into the air with knees straight. Then slowly lower both legs together at the same time, heels together, as far down as you can tolerate while maintaining a flat back. Then slowly lift legs back up so the bottom of your feet are pointed towards the ceiling. Repeat exercise.

Follow along with the video and get a better understanding of how to perform these exercises properly. Click to watch. 

Postpartum Core Workout Routine: Frequency and Duration 

Beginner (Roughly 6-8 weeks postpartum): Exercises 1-4

Intermediate (Roughly 8-12 weeks postpartum): Exercises 5-8

Advanced (Roughly 12 weeks+ postpartum): Exercises 9 & 10

Jena’s Tip: Instead of counting reps and sets, perform the exercise “UNTIL FATIGUE”. What that means is do the exercise until you can’t do it any more. That is one set! Rest then repeat and do a second set “Until Fatigue.” Perform as many sets as you can tolerate until fatigue. This is a good way to listen to your body and stop when your body says “I am in pain”.

Abdominal bracing is important to maintain during all the exercises mentioned above.

In order to maintain a strong core during abdominal bracing, check your body alignment to see if your lower back is flat on the floor.

If it is not flat on the floor and your back is arched while doing the above exercises, you are probably not ready to progress and you may injure yourself.

If you can fit your hand under your back while doing the exercise, then you are doing it incorrectly.

You should not be able to slide your hand under your back while lying on the floor. Go back a level and master that exercise (with a flat back and tight core) before moving on to the next level.

    Powered By ConvertKit

    On day one, do the exercise for one minute. Pretty simple.

    Come day two, now what?

    Set some goals!

    How many days a week do you want to workout? How much time will each workout last? Be realistic. Keep it simple at the beginning and work up to a bigger goal.

    What is an ideal workout duration for your lifestyle? Is it 30 minutes or is it 10 minutes twice a day?

    Whatever amount of time you decide on, stick to it.

    I recommend at least 20 minutes a day. Twenty minutes can be broken up into two-10 minute workouts or maybe even three-7 minute workouts. Whatever you decide, stay consistent and stay on a schedule. You will have more success that way.

    Let’s go with my recommendation of a 20 minute workout 4 days a week. Build up time gradually until you meet that 20 minute mark.

    Related: 15 Best Mommy & Me Postpartum Exercises With Baby | VIDEO

    Maybe week one you work out for 5 minutes 4 days a week.  Then week two you increase to 10 minutes 4 days a week. And so on and so on.

    It’s hard to fit a workout routine into the busy schedule of a mom with a newborn. That’s why starting small is a great way to achieve better success.

    If you succeed at something, you are more likely to be motivated to keep doing it and push harder the next time. If something is too difficult to do, there is more of a chance you might quit.

    Start slow, keep it simple and have fun. You can do it!

    Can I Help You With Your Questions? Contact Me!

     

    At any time if you have a question about this workout or any exercise you may be doing for that matter, you can always contact me HERE or comment below.

    I want you to know that I am here to help you so please don’t be afraid to contact me with any physical therapy or mommy related questions or concerns. 

    I hope you enjoyed this postpartum workout. If you want to get a notification of all my newest posts, including new workouts and fitness tips for moms,  you can simply sign-up HERE. This way you will never miss a post and it will just get sent straight to your inbox!

    What are your struggles when it comes to losing the postpartum pooch? Comment below with your postpartum weight loss concerns and questions.

    Up next is the 11 Physical Therapy Recommended Diastasis Recti Core Exercises For Your Postpartum Belly + Video.

    Keep Smiling,

    Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT

    This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

    *It is important to always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program and get medical clearance. Perform exercises at your own risk.

     

    About Dr. Jena Bradley

    About Dr. Jena Bradley

    Jena is a mom of 4 darling little girls, a physical therapist and founder of Live Core Strong, a blog focusing on motivating moms to live a life that incorporates fitness and fun throughout their motherhood journey.  She aims to be the friend you always wanted to have who could guide you through the “fog” when faced with an “I don’t know what to do” mommy moment. At the most inconvenient time of her life, she embarked on a journey of sharing her story and expertise to inspire the next generation of healthy moms. You can learn more about Jena by visitng her ABOUT page. 

    Are You Ready To Embrace A Healthier Lifestyle To The Core?

    Now's The Time!

    You May Also Like…

    Please leave a positive and uplifting comment or ask a question. I am here to help! After I read and approve your comment, it will appear. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to hearing from you!
    -Jena

    10 Comments

    1. Megan Baumler

      Are these exercises safe even if diastasis recti is present? Thank you!

      Reply
    2. Halee

      So my back hurts when I tuck my pelvis…aka when my back is flat on the floor. Why is this? Am I doing something wrong?

      Reply
      • Jena Bradley

        Halee, if your back hurts with this position/exercise then I would avoid doing it for now. A few questions: how severe is the pain? And does the pain last long (how long)? I can not diagnose through a message but some back conditions may worsen with “flexion” which is the position you are referring to. Try to do exercise in a neutral spine position that is pain free if able. Feel free to write me a direct message on my contacts page and we can chat more of you’d like.

        Reply
    3. penyakit

      Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site.
      You have some really good articles and I believe I
      would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really
      like to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.

      Please send me an email if interested. Thank you!

      Reply
      • Jena Bradley

        Thanks for your inquiry. At this time I am currently not looking. Take care.

        Reply
    4. Praveena

      Hi im veena rite now im postpartum 8 months I have a DR 4 fingers with umbilical hernia can i do these execises..pls reply to my mail id [email protected]

      Reply
    5. Hena

      Hi, thank you for sharing this. Just a suggestion but a follow along video on you tube would be great. You have training in this field. There are so many vids on YT but very few with progression.

      I have downloaded the 30 day ab challenge. Thank you for making it available.

      Reply
      • Jena Bradley

        Hi Hena, Thanks for that suggestion. I actually do have a video on YouTube for this workout and it’s linked in this post. If you missed it, here it is again: https://youtu.be/sCPzOcG5-Gs. I’m glad you have found these exercises helpful. You’ll love the 30 day ab challenge by the way, it’s very effective.
        If there is anything more specific you would like in a video, please let me know. Thanks, Jena

        Reply

    Submit a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Hi there, friend! I’m Jena, a mom of 4 and a Physical Therapist with a passion to motivate moms! I want to inspire you to be your best self by sharing my experiences and trusted advice on motherhood, health and fitness.

    Read My Story ->