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5 Exercises after Pregnancy to help you recover better

  • April 26, 2018
  • Pregakem
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exercise after pregnancy

You've brought your baby home and you're ready to get back to your pre-pregnancy form. The best way to speed up your recovery post pregnancy and come back stronger and healthier than ever before is through regular exercise. If you’re wondering how to go about this, here are some of the easiest and most effective exercises that even a beginner can try!

So, the following is a list of exercises after pregnancy to help you recover better: 

1. Exercise after pregnancy - Kegel exercises 
Focus: Pelvic muscles

What to do:
The only equipment you will need here is a bench or a chair. Sit on the bench, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Now, imagine that you’re trying to control passing urine by contracting your pelvic muscles. This movement is called “Kegel”. Holding the Kegel, stand up. Then, go back into a sitting position and repeat from the beginning. Do around 2 sets of ten reps each. 

Why:
Kegel exercises are excellent to strengthen the pelvic muscles, which in turn help you regain the loss of bladder control, make you more capable of controlling urine leakage and the urge to pee, as well as giving you relief from haemorrhoids. 

2. Exercise after pregnancy - Floor bridges
Focus: Hamstrings and butt

What to do:
You’ll just need a yoga mat here. Lie down on your back. Keep your arms by your sides and bend your knees, with your feet flat against the floor. Now, tighten your core (abdomen) by squeezing your belly inwards, squeeze your butt, press your heel into the ground and slowly lift yourself up. This is the bridge position. Once you’re in this position, do a “Kegel” (as mentioned above). Stay this way for up to 3 seconds and then slowly bring yourself back to the floor. Once you’re down, release the Kegel position. Doing this once is one rep.

Why: 
Pregnancytakes quite a toll on the pelvic floor, which is something that takes longest to recover. The only way to ensure your pelvic floor recovers well and in time is by exercises that target these areas. This exercise tightens your pelvic muscles, helps you tone your butt, strengthen and add flexibility to your hamstrings, as well as work on your abdominal muscles. Do three sets of 10 reps each. 

3. Exercise after pregnancy - Forearm plank
Focus: Abs, obliques, thighs, butt

What to do:
Lie down on your belly, put your elbows under your shoulders, tighten your core, keep your back straight and in line with your butt. Now, supporting yourself on your forearms and toes, lift yourself up such that you’re in a plank position. Remember to breathe and keep your butt and abs engaged, while keeping your back in a straight line. Don’t strain your neck, shoulders and back. Hold this position for anywhere between 30 and 60 seconds. Then, slowly bring your knees to the floor, rest for 30 seconds and resume the plank position. You can do this up to five times, based on your endurance and comfort levels. 

Why:
One of the most stubborn problem areas many mommies struggle with after pregnancy is the belly. If you want to bring your belly back to its original form, planks are an excellent exercise. It directly targets your abdominal muscles, strengthens your back and butt, and helps you balance your body too, without having to move too much!

4. Exercise after pregnancy - Hamstring curl
Focus: Hamstrings and butt

What to do:
You will need a stability ball for this. Lie on your back, with your face looking at the ceiling. Keep your arms on your sides, but slightly outwards. Place your legs on the stability ball such that the calves are in the centre. Now, slowly lift your hips up, squeeze your abs and try to pull the stability ball towards you, by bending your knees. Then, with your hips still raised, push the ball and your legs back out. You can do up to 3 sets of 10 reps each. 

Why:
Hamstring is a muscle located on the under-side of the thigh. The strength of the hamstring is directly connected to stronger pelvic floor and lower back. Moreover, during pregnancy, the leg muscles experience cramps, loosening and pain. This exercise is a great way to fix all of that and improve lower body strength.  

5. Exercise after pregnancy - Wide stance deadlifts
Focus: Lower back, butt and legs

What to do:
You will need 5-pound dumbbells to do this exercise. If you don’t have dumbbells, then you can use water bottles of equivalent weight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, place your feet hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Slowly bend forward, push your butt out, and make sure your back is not arched.  Now, lower the dumbbells to your shin level. While you’re in this position, tighten your butt muscles and get back to standing position. Repeat from the beginning. Do up to three sets of 10 reps each. 

Why:
The best part about this exercise is that it requires movements that are similar to your daily duties such as lifting the baby up, putting it in the cradle, or lifting things around the house. Therefore, it teaches you to maintain your perfect posture all the time, while also strengthening your back and lower body. 

All said and done, every mom’s body as well as recovery period is different. Consult on the safest post-pregnancy exercises with your gynaecologist and perform them under the supervision of a trainer. 

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