15 Best Mommy & Me Postpartum Exercises With Baby | VIDEO
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Congratulations!! You have a new baby. You are truly blessed. I bet you are here to find some fun, creative exercises to do with your baby.
First off, I’m proud of you for getting motivated to work out after just having a baby. That’s amazing. Having a baby is a lot of work. I understand what your are going through because I have given birth to 4 babies, and it is exhausting, but so worth it.
I want to motivate you to have fun, get fit and spend some good quality time with your newborn. Working out does not have to be boring or miserable but can be the most exciting part of your day.
I’ll be honest, I really do enjoy getting a good workout in, uninterrupted and in a private space in my home so I can focus solely on my routine. But, that rarely happens now a days in my house. During the waking hours, there is always a kid somewhere in the house who needs me or is talking to me about something. I don’t get a lot of alone time anymore, but if I do, I probably am trying to write my newest blog post!
My workout space is set up in my basement. The steps are steep and long to get down there. It’s dark, dangerous (slippery wood steps) and a bit creepy to be honest. I really don’t feel comfortable with my little kids coming down early in the morning (when it’s dark) being panicked to find me because they need help going to the bathroom first thing in the morning.
I also don’t want to have to keep sprinting up two flights of stairs after just running for 20 minutes on the treadmill to a crying baby who needs to be nursed and I’m all sweaty and sticky. Sometimes it’s easier on most days to just workout in the playroom with the kids near by for those “I Need You Mommy” moments
You might be in the same boat as me, kids running around all over the place and needing you every minute of the day. Hey, that’s ok. It’s our job as moms to be available. Some day when they are older and all moved out, you will likely miss the times when your little ones needed you.
Anyways, you have a newborn right now, and he or she really needs you. They need you a lot. Sometimes you feel like your little one can’t be put down without him or her crying or maybe they just need to know you are in the room talking to them to feel comforted.
Start Exercising Only After You Are Cleared By Your Doctor
That’s why I have created my all time favorite Mommy and Me Baby Workout Routine for you to have during this new stage in your life. But I do want to caution you. You need to be cleared by your physician before beginning an exercise routine postpartum. Usually after your 6 week check up is a good time to start exercising.
Make sure you are physically ready to start (and emotionally ready to start). Are you having any pain anywhere in your body after giving birth? For example: abdominal pain, vaginal pain or back pain? If so, consult your physician and maybe you might want to have a consult with a women’s physical therapist (click HERE to learn about women’s physical therapy).
I am a physical therapist, so if you have any questions that you need a quick answer to, please comment below (caution: all readers can see comments below) or you can privately contact me and fill out a private contact form.
You Were Cleared To Exercise-Now Let’s Begin!
So you got the clearance to exercise and you are feeling good physically. Fabulous!!! Let’s get started:
My all time favorite Mommy and Baby exercises: (don’t forget to read all the way to the end to get tips on the proper way to progress your exercise routine) Did I mention there is also a VIDEO of the exercises at the end!
15 Best Mommy & Me Postpartum Exercises With Baby
1. Baby Squats
Hold baby facing out for comfort of the baby. Separate legs to be shoulder width apart. Gradually squat down like you are sitting in a chair. Go down as far as you are comfortable and then slowly rise up to starting position. Repeat and perform 3 sets until fatigued.
2. Baby Shoulder Press Standing
Hold baby facing you and keep her near your chest. When you are ready to lift your baby, slowly lift her high in front of you above shoulder height level and extend elbows. Then return back to starting position. Repeat and perform 3 sets until fatigued.
3. Baby Lunge
Hold baby facing away from you and keep her tight against your belly. Start by stepping forward with your Right leg while your Left leg is stationary. Once in this position, go up and down by bending both knees comfortably. Remember your front knee never bends past 90 degrees and that knee stays right over top of your toes. Perform 3 sets to fatigue on each side.
4. Cat Camel Stretch Over Baby
Place your baby down on the floor in a comfortable place. Position your body over top of hers. You will be in a quadruped position which means being on all 4’s (hands and knees). Arch your back to make it rounded (like a scared cat) and then dip your back down to create the curve of a camel’s back (as seen in picture). Repeat this 10-20 times to improve flexibility of the spine.
5. Baby Plank
Place your baby down on the floor in a comfortable place. Position your body over top of hers. You will be on your hands and toes with knees straight for the full plank position. If this is too difficult, position yourself on your knees for a semi-plank position. Align your body to be as straight as possible and hold for as long as tolerable. Make sure you tighten your belly while holding the position. Perform 3 sets until fatigued.
6. Baby Push-Up
Place your baby down on the floor in a comfortable place. Position your body over top of hers. You will be on your hands and toes with knees straight for the standard push-up or you can go on your knees for an easier version of the push-up. Slowly lower your upper body down to your baby and then push up to the starting position. Perform 3 sets until fatigued.
7. Baby Mountain Climbers
Place your baby down on the floor in a comfortable place. Position your body over top of hers. You will be on your hands and toes with knees straight for the starting position. You will be quickly alternating your legs back and forth by pulling one knee at a time into your chest and then quickly switching back so your other knee will move to your chest. Try to maintain a position with your hips closer to the ground. Perform 3 sets until fatigued.
8. Baby Leg Extension Quadruped
Place your baby down on the floor in a comfortable place. Position your body over top of hers. You will be on your hands and knees in a quadruped position. Maintaining a 90 degree angle at the knee joint, extend the hip joint back as if you were trying to kick the ceiling. Next, you bring your knee back down but in a way so your knee doesn’t touch the floor and then repeat. Perform 3 sets until fatigued on each side.
9. Baby Fire Hydrant
Place your baby down on the floor in a comfortable place. Position your body over top of hers. You will be on your hands and knees in a quadruped position. Maintaining a 90 degree angle at your knee joint, lift your leg off to the side as high as tolerable and then bring the leg back down (without your knee touching the floor). Repeat and perform 3 sets until fatigued on both sides.
10. Baby Bench Press
Lie on your back while holding your baby in a comfortable position where your baby is facing you. Gently and slowly lift your baby up towards the ceiling as if you were doing a bench press with a barbell. Extend your elbows and then slowly lower baby back down towards you. Repeat and perform 3 sets until fatigued.
11. Baby Russian Twist
In a sitting position with knees bent and feet in front of you, hold your baby in front of you with your baby facing you. Lift your feet off the ground but maintain a bent knee position to start (straightening the knees is a great way to progress this exercise when you are stronger!). Take your baby from Right side to Left side lifting her over top of your knees while you twist at the spine. Remember to engage your core by contracting your abdominal muscles. Perform 3 sets until fatigued.
12. Baby Bridge + Kegels
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your baby sitting on your belly facing you. Slowly raise your bottom off the floor to perform the bridge. Hold that position and perform a Kegel exercise for your pelvic floor muscles (as if you are “stopping the flow of pee”) at the same time. Then return back to starting position and release the Kegel. Repeat and perform 3 sets until fatigued.
13. Baby Straight Leg Raise
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your baby sitting on your belly facing you. Straighten one leg and slowly lower it to the floor. Lightly tap your heel on the floor and then raise it up to the height of your other thigh. Repeat and perform 3 sets until fatigued on both sides.
14. Baby Sit-Ups
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your baby sitting on your lower belly facing you. Slowly curl your upper body up to do a sit-up and then slowly lower back down to the starting position. Repeat and perform 3 sets until fatigued.
15. Reverse Baby Curl Up
Lie down on your back with your knees bent to 90 degrees, feet in the air and your baby lying on her belly on top of your shins so your baby is facing you. Slowly curl your pelvis and lower body up as you perform a pelvic tilt (your back will become flat on the floor) and then slowly lower back down to starting position. Repeat and perform 3 sets until fatigued.
9 Important Tips To Remember When Performing A Mommy & Me Postpartum Workout
1. Keep in mind that when you are exercising, you don’t want to overdo the exercises. You are still healing after delivering a baby (whether it’s vaginally or via c-section)
2. Take your time losing weight. If you are working out too hard in order to lose weight, you are more likely to sustain an injury. Slowly have your body adapt to the changes after having a baby.
3. Gradually progress your exercise routine. Start with maybe only three exercises from the above list and then work up to 6 exercises the second week. Add one or two new exercises once a week. I would never advise you to do all the exercises in this routine on day one.
4. Also, feel free to pick a variety of exercises throughout the week. Maybe on Monday you do exercises 1-3, on Tuesday you do exercises 4-6, on Wednesday you take a break and on Thursday you do exercises 7-9.
5. Customize the program to your needs. Doing a variety of exercises can make it more fun and enjoyable for you and your baby.
6. Never hold your breath while exercising. To assure that you are not holding your breath, I recommend counting your reps out loud in order to force yourself to breathe while talking. Or consider saying sweet things to your little one to further interact with them while exercising.
7. If you start to have pain from an exercise, I always advise you to stop what you are doing. Maybe the technique is wrong. Maybe you did too many reps or sets. Maybe you have an old injury that is getting re-aggravated from a particular exercise. Whatever you do, do not follow the philosophy “No Pain, No Gain”. That’s wrong and dangerous. I strongly stress as a physical therapist for everyone to perform “PAIN FREE” exercises.
Pain free exercises means that you should not have significant pain in your body when you are doing an exercise, but it is ok to have muscle soreness during the exercise. It’s also normal to have muscle soreness for up to 2 days after an exercise routine. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness. If your muscle soreness lasts longer than 2 days, then that’s a sign that you probably did a little too much too soon. Your body is telling you to slow down and cut back on your routine.
8. Keep in mind that these exercises are advanced and you may need to start doing Beginner Level Postpartum Exercises before attempting these Mommy & Me exercises. If you find these exercises are too straining, you might really enjoy my 10 Easy & Safe Postpartum Core Workout. Once you feel strong enough in your core, you will definitely be ready for these Mommy & Me Exercises.
9. If you have been diagnosed with Diastasis Recti (DR) or may suspect you have DR, be sure to consult your doctor before attempting these exercises mentioned in this article. Most exercises in the plank position (on hands and toes) is straining to women with DR. Again, listen to your body, and if you notice discomfort, pain and bulging – you should stop doing that particular exercise.
5 Tips On What To Do With Your Baby During Mommy & Me Workout:
1. Place you baby on a soft mat or carpeted surface for comfort
2. Interact with your baby, look into their eyes, talk to them and make it a fun experience for them
3. Have fun, enjoyable music that you and your baby both like to listen to during the workout routine
4. Exercise during “Baby Alert Times”. Do your exercise routine with your baby during a time of the day that your baby is usually awake, playful and happy. Don’t pick a time when you baby looks sleepy and is ready for a nap. Also don’t pick a time when your baby is ready for a feeding. You might want to feed your baby before the workout routine begins.
5. Be creative and consider incorporating some baby toys into the routine. For example, have your baby hold a rattle while you lift them up and down during the shoulder press exercise so your baby’s rattle can make noise with every movement.
Now Let’s Workout
Again, I am so proud of you for taking the initiative to read this post, to get educated and start exercising.
Exercise will build your self-esteem and relieve stress, give you energy, help you to sleep better and of course will help you achieve a stronger body, thus preventing possible injury. Don’t forget to watch the VIDEO of these 15 exercises which is at the end of this post.
Also, continue reading to find out what the 17 Best Exercises For Your Total Body Babywearing Workout are and have fun exercising while wearing your baby in your favorite baby carrier!
Do you have a favorite exercise from this list? Which exercise does your baby like the most? Do you have another exercise that you love to do with your baby that’s not on this list?
Comment below, because I would absolutely love to hear from you.
Also, if you have any questions regarding postpartum exercise, women’s health/women’s physical therapy or anything related to your postpartum body, leave your question below or you can write me privately by clicking HERE. I am here to help!
Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
**You must consult a doctor before performing these exercises and be cleared after your 6 week postpartum check-up. Perform these exercises at your own risk. If diagnosed with Diastasis Recti, do not perform these exercises unless cleared by a medical professional.