Are you Ready to Return to Intense Exercise Postpartum?
So the doctor says you’re “cleared for exercise” at your 6 weeks postpartum check. Does that mean you’re ready to jump, run, kip, burpee, or any other intense exercise postpartum?
Well that depends, but probably not.
At least not yet.
Real Quick, are you earlier than 6 weeks postpartum? You might find these 7 stretches super helpful during this time.
- Stayed super active throughout your pregnancy.
- Worked out right up until the end
- Your birth was easy peasy.
That’s awesome and I’m so happy for you. Buuuut you still need to set a solid foundation before you head back to the intense exercises after pregnancy.
Think of your return to exercise like building a house.
- First you pour the foundation
- Then you frame up the walls and roof
- Drywall/paint and finish the inside
- Last you move your furniture in
Intense exercise postpartum is like moving your furniture in, you do it last. Before you go bringing your new west elm sofa in you’ve got to make sure your walls and roof are solid.
So how then does returning to exercise look from a practical perspective?
When you’re ready…
1️⃣Start with the foundation.
Bodyweight movements, core strength, breathing. Dial in those exercises. Notice how they feel. Do they produce any symptoms for you? Do they feel good?
2️⃣Add some light load (weight) and make sure you are able to control that.
Things like resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, working your way back to the barbell. What does control mean? Moving with good form, not having pain or symptoms during or after the movements.
I have an entire 8 week program that will walk you through those foundational movements and regaining strength. It’s called The Postpartum Athlete and you can learn more about it HERE.
3️⃣Last comes intense exercise postpartum and its best added back into your fitness routine incrementally.
A few examples of how to do that:
- Run for 20 seconds, walk/rest for 20/30 seconds
- Start with a low volume sets of box jumps/jump rope etc, giving yourself ample rest in between
- Work on strict pull ups before you jump right back into kipping.
When you begin to include more intensity in your workouts you’ll want to monitor how your body is responding.
Red flags to watch for:
- Leaking of pee
- Doming/coning of your abdomen
- Pressure/heavy feeling in your vagina
You might find that 5 or 10 reps of something feels great, but 20-30 makes you pee or causes pain. That’s actually great information. It’s telling you to keep the reps lower and gradually increase.
Of course, with any red flags or symptoms get in to see a PFPT right away. Find one in your area HERE.
I know intensity is often the fun stuff that you really miss (me too). This slower pace isn’t forever. It’s just for now. Practice patience, you’re getting there girl.
Want more guidance on returning to intense exercise postpartum? Grade my A-Z guide for the first 16 weeks postpartum! Learn more here.