Every body, every pregnancy and every birth is unique. Once your body has been through pregnancy and childbirth it’s important to respect the fundamental physical changes and hormonal changes that happen to our bodies, no matter when you gave birth. Carrying a baby around for 9 months and then the birthing process is no mean feat for your body and has a huge impact! Not only that when you become a mother your lifestyle changes too as you take on your new role.
Being a mother is so rewarding but it is both physically and emotionally demanding too so looking after your strength, body and health is vital.
These exercises, designed by Vicky Warr, founder of Bump and Beyond and pregnancy and postnatal fitness help you:
1. Improve flexibility in typically tight muscles.
2. Tone your tummy muscles, strengthen your core and back muscles.
3. Sculpt your bottom and tone your legs.
The exercises are taken from Vicky’s 7 Day Body Reset Guide, which is complimentary.
Grab your copy here (link to: www.bumpandbeyond.club).
By following these exercises, you’ll feel more balanced with less tension, more toned in your tummy muscles and stronger in your core. You’ll feel that your posture has improved and you’ll feel inspired to continue with strength and tone exercises and do them consistently for a healthier body.
Improve Flexibility, Posture and Ease Tension.
Being more flexible and supple leads to a healthier body, less pain and fewer injuries. These 2 exercises help relieve tension in your lower back, waist and hips to improve your flexibility and balance
1. Seated Side Bend – Stretches out and lengthens your waist.
Sit up really tall, on your sitting bones and stretch your arms out to the side with your palms facing down (A). Place your left hand on the floor next to your bottom and reach your right arm straight up, stretching your arm and fingers upwards. Inhale and then exhale whilst bending over to the left pushing the right side of your waist to the right. Inhale and exhale and hold this position for about 3 seconds (B). Inhale and bring the right arm back over your head to place it back on the floor next to you. Repeat this movement reaching up and over with your left arm to stretch the left side of your waist (C). Repeat the whole movement (1 stretch to the right and 1 stretch to the left) 4 times.
2. Hip Stretch – Improves flexibility and strength in your hips to help improve posture and reduce back ache.
Kneel on the floor and step forward about 2 feet with your left foot so that your left knee is at a right angle and your left foot is flat on the floor. You’ll be resting on your right knee, shin and the front of your right foot. Bring your upper body upright with your chest facing forwards and your shoulders in line with your hips. Place your hands on your hips (A). Exhale and raise both your arms upwards above your head and push your left knee forward, keeping your left foot flat on the floor until you feel a moderate stretch in the hip flexor area (front side of leg at the hip level). Squeeze your bottom muscles to enhance the stretch and keep your hips facing forwards (B). Hold this stretch for 5 seconds, inhaling and exhaling (avoid holding your breath). Repeat 5 times. Then change to kneel on your left knee with your right leg and foot in front and repeat the same movement with your right leg in front. Again hold the stretch for 5 seconds and repeat the stretch 5 times.
Redefine and Tone Your Tummy and Strengthen Your Core.
These exercises will help redefine, tone and strengthen muscles of your core (your mid-section). Most of them focus on targeting the deep inner most muscles to effectively tone and strengthen the tummy. They are suitable for you; whether you recently gave birth or had your child (ren) months or years ago. These exercises will also help you heal a mild abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti*).
1. Deep Tummy Muscle Activate – Tones and strengthens your lower tummy, deep core muscle and pelvic floor.
Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees bent (A). Exhale and hug your belly button in, so you feel slight tension in your lower tummy muscle and lift one foot off the floor, keeping your lower back flat. Inhale, then exhale hug in your belly button and lift your other foot off the floor. Your knees are now directly above your hips and your feet are in line with your knees. Place your hands just below your knees (B). Keep hugging your belly button in and down so you feel tension in your lower tummy and then push your knees away whilst at the same time, bring your knees towards your chest so you are creating a resistance pushing and pulling simultaneously. Do 3 small pushes (at the same time trying to resist the push) so that with each one, as you push your thighs away you’re aiming to resist by bringing your knees towards your chest (C). Hug your knees to your chest for a quick rest. Repeat this movement (a set of 3 pushes) 6 to 8 times.
2. Roll Back – Strengthens and tones your lower tummy and pelvic floor.
Sit up tall so you can feel your ‘sitting bones’, with your knees bent up in front of you and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your arms straight up above your head (A). Exhale and hug your belly button in to feel slight tension in your lower tummy, aim to ’scoop’ your belly button down so you are really activating the muscle. Continue to exhale and roll back gently rounding your lower back and lowering your arms down in front of you. Lower as far as you can and pause for 3 seconds, inhaling and exhaling (B). Then slowly roll back up to a tall seated position, keeping the roundness in your lower back and raising your arms up above your head (A). Repeat the roll down 8 to 10 times.
3. Side Plank – Tones and defines your waist and strengthens your shoulders.
Lie on your right side, resting on your right forearm with your right elbow directly under your shoulder and your knees bent with your hips facing forwards. Support your bodyweight with your knees and right forearm (A). Bring your right shoulder in towards your body, exhale and hug your belly button in to feel tension in the lower tummy muscle and lift your right hip and waist up keeping your body in a straight line (B). Raise your left arm straight up in line with your shoulder (B). Keep your hips still (avoid rotating your hips) and your hip lifted and in line with your knees and shoulder. Hold for 1 count, inhale and bring your hip and waist back down to the floor (A). Repeat 10 times on your right side. Then switch to lying on your left side and repeat the movement. Repeat for 10 times on your left side. Tip: Be sure to bring your shoulder in towards your body when you lift your hip and waist to avoid feeling this move too much in your shoulder.
Lift, Tone and Strengthen Your Bottom and Legs.
Many of us want to tone up our bottom and legs! It’s also important to keep these muscles strong as they surround and support your pelvis. Our bottom muscles hold our pelvis level and steady, extend our hips to move us forward and keep our pelvis, legs and torso aligned. These exercises will help strengthen your bottom muscles to help reduce the risk of injury or pain when you walk or run.
1.The Bridge – Strengthens and tones the deep muscles of your bottom.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and hip width apart, your feet flat on the floor and your arms resting on the floor by your sides. There should be a very small gap between the floor and your lower back, only enough of a gap to slide an envelope through (A). Exhale, squeeze your bottom muscles together and then lift your hips up pushing into the heels of your feet and the backs of your upper arms (your triceps) (B). Hold this position for 2 seconds then start to lower your hips to the floor, stopping when you are half way down to the floor. Then lift your hips back up again (B). Repeat this movement 10-12 times. On the last repetition, keep your hips high and pulse up and down by just 2 cm’s for 12 pulses. Then repeat another set of the single raises and another set of pulses.
2.The Clam – Strengthens the outsides of your bottom muscles and hips to help improve balance.
Lie right down on your right side, with your right hand just behind the back of your head and your left hand rests on the floor in front of you. Bend your knees bringing them both up in front of your hips with your feet flexed and behind your knees and your heels and toes together (A). Exhale and lift the top (left) knee up towards the ceiling, keeping the heels and toes of your feet together and the hips still and facing forwards. Your top hip needs to stay directly on top of the hip closer to the floor (B) so you avoid rotating the hips back. Inhale and lower the left knee back to meet the right knee. Repeat 10-12 times. Then switch sides to lie on your left side and repeat the same action lifting your right knee. Repeat 10-12 times.
Do another set (10 to 12) of the movement again on each side.
3. Step Back with Rotating Arms – Tones your bottom, improves your posture and eases shoulder tension.
Stand with your right foot just forward of your left foot with your left heel slightly lifted. Raise your arms up with your palms facing away from you so your elbows are bent at a 90 degree right angle and level with your shoulders (A ). Step back with the ball of your left foot, keeping the left heel off the ground. Bend forwards slightly from the hips so your upper body is slightly forwards. Rotating from your elbows, lift your forearms up so the palms of your hands and forearms are facing away from you, keeping your elbows up level with your shoulders (C). Then step forwards with your left foot as you rotate your hands and forearms back down, pushing your palms away and keeping your elbows up level with your shoulders (D). Repeat the move 15 times. Then switch so you step back with the ball of your right foot doing the same arm action and repeat the arm move 15 times again stepping back with your right foot (heel lifted).
Make this exercise easier! Hold onto a chair and step forwards with the leg closest to the chair and when you turn, turn towards the chair.
7 Day Body Reset For a Fit and Healthy Motherhood. FREE Guide!
This mini guide has top exercises to:
1. Improve muscle tension.
2. Tone, tighten and trim your waist and flatten your tummy.
3. Sculpt and Tone Your Bottom and Legs.
The exercises are easy to do at home at anytime. With easy to follow instructions and technique tips.
Download your guide here: bumpandbeyond.club/