Not sure how to begin your first postpartum workout after giving birth? Learn from an expert physical therapist what exercise you should start with and when.

postpartum workout plan




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




Are you not sure how to get started with your first postpartum workout? You are probably wondering how soon you can workout after pregnancy.

There are a lot of unanswered questions that come to mind after leaving the hospital. You’re probably spending every minute of the day trying to figure out how to take care of your newborn, but in the back of your mind you are just a bit curious on how to get back to feeling normal again and postpartum workouts are your next step to getting there.

But definitely do your research and make sure you get approval from your doctor before trying anything new after pregnancy. In this article I will give you clarity on your first postpartum workout and my physical therapy recommendations for you as you venture into your new fitness mom journey.

Can I Start Exercising After Giving Birth?


Can I Start Exercising After Giving Birth? No, it is not recommended to start exercising after giving birth. Complications from childbirth do arise, sometimes hours or days later.

Before beginning any postpartum workout, your body needs to completely heal. You might not have pain the first day or two after childbirth, but in time the pain may arise.

Plus, you want to save your energy for the duties you now have as a new mom (a.k.a. childcare).

How Soon Can You Start Exercising After Giving Birth?


How long should a woman wait to exercise after giving birth? The general consensus between most American doctors is 6 weeks after giving birth.

Anything sooner than 6 weeks postpartum is too early to begin working out after pregnancy.

This is a time for healing, resting and relaxing which is a great way to simply say let your body recover. Your body went through trauma and cannot recover without rest.

Exercise can be therapeutic, but with every childbirth and delivery being unique and different, it’s best for the doctors to simply recommend waiting 6 weeks across the board. 

What Workout Can I Do Week 1 Postpartum?

Beginning a postpartum workout a week 1 is not recommended by doctors or physical therapists.

This is a time to bond with your baby and let your body heal. If you are extremely motivated and desperate to do some kind of exercise week 1 after childbirth, my best recommendation for you as a physical therapist is to do breathing exercises.

Breathing exercises are completely safe to do after childbirth and will help with relaxation as you strengthen your diaphragm. My favorite beginner exercise to do week 1 after childbirth is Winged Arm Breathing

Can You Work Out One Month Postpartum?


If you plan on beginning a postpartum workout plan at one month postpartum, I highly recommend you seek approval by your doctor first.

It is not recommended to start at 1 month postpartum. Rather, 6 weeks postpartum is encouraged because that is the optimal time for your body to fully heal internally. The bleeding should be completely stopped by then and your muscles have had time to recover.

Some doctors do approve working out at one month postpartum, but I recommend starting with a program that is specifically targeting postpartum individuals, and not just a random beginner program on YouTube. Walking is always a great starting point for your first postpartum workout at one month postpartum.

What Should Be Your First Postpartum Workout?

Your first postpartum workout should be one that you enjoy, one that you think is rather easy and not too strenuous and one that you know is safe to do.

Postpartum exercise for your tummy is my best recommendation as a physical therapist. Your core region is what went through the biggest change during pregnancy and your abdominal muscles are probably the weakest overall. So begin there.

Plus, your core is the center of your entire body, the most important part. Without a strong core, the rest of your limbs (a.k.a. arms and legs) will not function properly or optimally. So start with your core, strengthen it and restore it to its fullest potential and gradually move out from there. 

I recommend starting with my Postpartum Abs Simplified program which maps out your first 10 weeks of postpartum ab exercises. This program is also available in book format which is not as extensive but definitely a great starting point for your first postpartum ab workout regime.

Visit to learn more about my eBook, Postpartum Ab Rehab. Both programs (course and eBook) are based on my physical therapy expertise and off my own experiences as a mom of 4.


When To Start Core Exercises Postpartum


If you are wondering when to start core exercises postpartum, I recommend starting at week 6.

In my eBook and course I have my program begin at week 6; by the time your baby is 4 months old your stomach will be flat and your abs will be fully repaired.

If you start too early, you are likely to injure yourself. When doing postpartum exercises for your tummy, be sure to consult with your doctor first.

It’s so important to get their approval to begin exercising at the 6 week postpartum check-up. And just a little tip, don’t start with crunches as your first postpartum workout, begin with abdominal bracing. Learn more about abdominal bracing in my FREE Restore Your Core email course.

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. Always warm up thoroughly and stretch after all workouts. and Jena Bradley will be not be responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at home, gym or elsewhere. Perform exercises at your own risk.

postpartum workout plan

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