2.5 weeks into postpartum life with Miss Liv and things are going pretty well over here. She is such a chill baby who at this point basically eats and sleeps with about 30 minutes of opening her eyes to look around each day.
I forgot that babies while challenging with the whole waking up overnight business, are actually kind of easy.
3 year olds on the other hand. Lord help me.
With all the nursing and rocking that I’ve been doing with Liv my body is feeling STIFF and a little sore at times. I have muscle knots in new fun places which is super fun.
At this point, I’m excited about returning to exercise, but absolutely not ready to start for a few more weeks. When I do I’ll be following my 8 Week Postpartum Program, but in the meantime, I’m simply trying to get a little stretching in each day. I have put together 7 of my favorite postpartum stretches!
Here are 7 stretches that are feeling really good in my body right now.
While not a stretch, still super important to connect your breathing to your pelvic floor during the early postpartum time period.
I know focusing on your breathing can feel a bit boring, but its incredibly important for strengthening your deep abdominal muscles and restoring function to your core.
2- Chest Opener on a Foam Roller
You’ll need a long foam roller with this stretch. If you don’t have one, trust me you’ll want to get one if only for this stretch.
It feels glorious.
Lay so the foam roller runs along your spine, goal post your arms and let them fall to the ground. Breathe.
HERE is an option for a simple foam roller.
3- Banded Hamstring Stretch
You’ll need either a long resistance band or a towel for this stretch.
Extend one leg long, loop the band or towel around the other leg and send it toward the ceiling. With your foot flexed toward your face and a soft bend in your knee relax and breathe. On each exhale you can pull your foot closer toward your face if it feels good.
4- 1/2 Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
If you are looking for stretches for postpartum hip pain, try this! From the 1/2 kneeling position, square your hips forward. Shift forward slightly. Reach the same arm as the leg behind you high and on an exhale reach to stretch. If you feel any pain or pulling in your pelvis/core/pelvic floor reduce your range of motion or omit.
I walk you through this postpartum stretch completely in the video at the top of the page.
5- Squat to Stand
Take a wide legged stance and come to a deep squat. Grab your toes with your hands and then send your hips high. Legs will maintain a soft bend and you’ll feel a good stretch in your hamstrings (back of your leg). Return to your squat. One of the best postpartum stretches.
Move through this range of motion for 30 seconds.
6- Supine Twist
From the supine (on your back) position pull your knees to your chest, send them off to one side. Arms will be goal posted, gaze opposite direction of your knees. Hips and knees will be stacked. This is one of my favorite postpartum back stretches.
Hold and breathe for about 30 seconds each side.
7- Figure Four Glute Stretch
From the supine position lift your knees and feet to tabletop position. Cross one ankle over your knee, flex your feet. Wrap both hands around your thigh and gently pull your leg toward your body as you breathe. One of the more relaxing postpartum stretches!
These are by no means the only postpartum stretches you can be doing,, they are just the ones I’ve found to work best for myself and my mom clients.
If anything seems confusing you can see the full walkthrough video at the very top of the page.
Ready to return to exercise postpartum?
The Postpartum Athlete will help you regain strength and recover function in your core and pelvic floor. The program is 8-week program and can be done from the gym or your home.
All the details can be found HERE!