5 simple postnatal exercises for new mums

5 simple postnatal exercises for new mums

Most new mothers would love their body to ping back to its pre-pregnancy shape without any effort. But, just like parenting, it’s not that easy.

Fitness trainer Rosie Stockley, founder of MAMAWELL, an online postnatal fitness video series, stresses it’s important new mums don’t rush their drive to get back into shape.

“Exercise can be a great way to carve out time for yourself, generate a little more energy and keep you strong – for yourself and your baby,” she says. “But don’t rush it.

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Morning lovelies! 💕👋🏻 Hope you’re doing well on this grey Monday (in London anyway!) I’m focusing on leaning out today, after a very hectic weekend of both fun & work. I just have my Mamawell BOOTCAMP this morning (yay!) and then a couple of clients - so planning on chilled toddler time all afternoon if possible. Make sure you tune into tonight at 8.30pm for my chat with @clarebournephysio - we’ve had some great questions so far. 💕 Do you like my Mamawell Hoodie? These and new sweaters will be on my website very soon. They’re super comfy for exercise and sofa lounging alike, plus £5 goes to charity supporting women & children (currently @womens_aid) 💕 What are you up to today? Remember you don’t have to be super productive to be super worthwhile to many people.💋 #mamawell #mondaymotivation #smiles

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“You and your body have been on an intense journey carrying and birthing your baby – respect it and listen to it. When the time is right to get exercising again you’ll know.”

She says mums should start small and simple and find a type of exercise they love and are motivated to do. “Whether it’s yoga or spinning, weights or swimming, make this precious time you’ve carved out enjoyable for you.”

Stockley suggests the following exercises to help new mums get fitter and stronger, whenever you feel ready.

1. Hip raises

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Find your groove and you can do anything! 🙌🏻💫 And find the people to help you along the way... that was one of the primary driving force for making the MAMAWELL bootcamp. ••••••••••••••••• 🌳No women should be alone in their postnatal recovery. ✨You deserve to have expert knowledge to guide you, and not just expect to know how your body has changed whilst aiding you to grow and birth your baby. 🌳Finding energy for yourself will help in this mentally and physically challenging time. ✨Being part of a community who can support & uplift is vital. 🌳It’s NOT about the bounce back, but it is about being strong to OPTIMISE your day, and retaining strength for times when you need it - long days, and long nights. ••••••••••••••••• This is my community! Here in Putney - and online with YOU. I hope you all have managed to find some sisters, tag them here if you think they’d also enjoy MAMAWELL. 💕💋

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What it’s good for:  Great for activating and strengthening the core, back and glutes. You may also feel your hamstrings activating.

How to do it: Lie supine with your knees bent, legs hip width apart. Start the movement by tilting your pelvis, then continue by peeling your spine off the mat, vertebrae by vertebrae until your hips are high. At the top of the movement, squeeze your glutes and think of activating your abdominals (the phrase ‘belly button to spine’ helps). Hold for a count of three before coming down through your spine to the mat. Repeat for a count of 10.

2. Supine twist

What it’s good for: This is a lovely stretch for the back and hips, particularly useful for women in an over-inwardly rotated position with their upper back and shoulders due to feeding, holding the baby and pushing the pram.

How to do it: Lie supine (flat, face up) with your legs stretched, then pull one leg into your chest. On an exhale of breath, take this leg across your body, e.g. if your right leg is pulled in, take it over to the left. Stretch out the same arm as leg to the side and turn your head that way. Hold for a least 30 seconds, or as long as you want. Breathe into the stretch and let your body relax in this position before going to the other side.

3. Supported side plank

What it’s good for: This is a good abdominal activation without the intensity of a full plank. Postnatally, you should avoid planking until the gap in the abdominals has closed and you have strengthened these muscles.

How to do it: Kneel and stretch one leg to the side while supporting yourself with the opposite arm on the floor. Stretch the other arm high and elongate the body. Try and engage the stomach muscles so they’re supporting you and are active. Hold for a slow count of 10 before going to the other side. Do this around eight times on each side.

4. Transverse abdominis breathing

What it’s good for: This breathing and core activation is very beneficial for starting to feel the core engaging again in the early days after birth. It also focuses on starting to knit the abdominal muscles back together, so is useful for all postnatal women, particularly those who may have diastasis recti.

How to do it: Lie flat on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Allow your spine to have a natural curve, so don’t imprint your back into the floor. Inhale fully to the diaphragm. On the end of the exhale engage the core – feel like the belly button is connecting to the spine and the sides of the body are drawing in, like you’re wearing a tight belt. Hold for five seconds, then relax the core as you inhale fully again. This can also be performed on all fours. Repeat up to 10 times.

5. Dead bugs

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✨Delighted to be appearing on @just_chill_mama ’s Sunday Spotlight this week✨ 16 Dec @ 7.30pm. We will be talking about the importance of exercise and how it can support you, your body and your mind. We go through so much change both before and after birth, it is important to recognise this with your training. Rosey from Just Chill Mama is a certified paediatric sleep consultant and passionate about wellness throughout motherhood (like myself!). From pelvic floor to abdominals, cardio training to motivation and exhaustion. We would like to discuss the topics that are interesting to YOU. ✨✨✨ We will be opening the floor to questions of all sorts, so please give me a message with anything you’d like us to cover. Join in the conversation on @just_chill_mama Instagram live on Sunday at 7.30pm. Xx ✨✨✨ #mamawell #mamawellmethod #postnatalfitness #positivebodyimage #letstalk

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What it’s good for: Great for strengthening the abdominals and lower back.

How to do it: Lie on your back with your feet in the air, knees bent at 90 degrees, press your hands together in the air straight above you. Slowly move one arm back behind you until it nearly touches the floor, then bring it back together. Repeat with the other arm for a total of 10. It’s important you try and imprint your whole back into the mat to ensure there’s no arching in the back or doming of the abdominals. Hug your knees into your chest and relax, then repeat again for a total of three sets.

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