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3 of the best exercises for new mums

Published Oct 29th, 2020 by

Meli Comaschi-Cordoba

During pregnancy, our posture changes and that continues after giving birth – before you know it, you are assuming "the Mum Posture". Meli Comaschi-Cordoba takes us through 3 of the best exercises for new mums to help improve posture and function.

3 of the best exercises for new mums

You had a baby a few weeks ago now, or maybe a couple of months, and you feel ready to do something for yourself (yass!!)

Considering that you are coming from your off-season (AKA pregnancy) you must take it easy. During pregnancy, our posture changes and that continues to happen after giving birth and, before you know it, you are assuming the “Mum Posture”.

The Mum Posture: Forward head, bum tucked under and rounded shoulders are three of the most common signs, which results in:

  • Weak glutes
  • Tight chest muscles
  • Weak back muscles

To help you improve your posture and function, I’m going to give you 3 of the best exercises for new mums (this is when we raise our cup of coffee…!)

1. Squat

A well-performed, good old squat is the most functional movement you can do! When done correctly, you improve your entire lower body (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes) and back and core.

How to perform a squat:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and straight back.
  • Start lowering yourself by hinging at the hips and bending the knees while keeping them behind your toes. Feet flat on the ground at all times.
  • Start ascending, driving through your heels.

Correct breathing and pelvic floor:

  • Inhale on your way down as you relax your pelvic floor.
  • Check for pelvic floor relaxation and contraction at the bottom of your squat.
  • Exhale on your way up as you switch through your pelvic floor.

2. Row

Rowing is excellent for your back muscles after all those hours feeding, holding, and rocking your baby! The row is a super versatile exercise and can be done in many positions, such as standing, seated, and bent over.

Today we are doing seated rows to relax a bit after the squats (you are welcome).

How to perform a seated row:

  • Sit on the floor with your back tall and chest up, legs extended, or with a mini flexion at the knees and your toes pointing up towards the ceiling.
  • Pass a resistance band behind your toes and hold it with both hands.
  • Pull the elastic towards your ribs while you maintain shoulders back and down away from your ears and elbows close to your body. Slowly and with control, extend your arms at the front.

Correct breathing:

  • Inhale when you pull the elastic.
  • Exhale when you extend your arms.

Tip: Make sure you are not pushing your pelvic floor out at the most challenging part of the row (when you do the pulling) and keep it relaxed when you let go of the elastic.

3. Chest stretch

We follow the principle of strengthening what’s weak and stretching what’s tight. Our chest muscles tend to get tight, so here’s a good stretch for you to do at any time.

  • Find a door frame and place one palm nice and low on it and turn to look away from it. Keep your shoulder down.
  • Face the frame again, take your palm at the shoulder level and look away from the frame one more time.
  • Go back to your initial position facing the frame and now take your palm nice and high while maintaining your shoulder away from your ear and turn away from the frame to stretch the last portion of your chest muscles.
  • Swap to the other side

Tip: when stretching, always stay in each stretch for at least 30 seconds to allow the muscle fibres to relax.

I hope you enjoy this must-do for new mums and make sure you visit your local Women’s Health Physio and ask for a postnatal assessment.

Remember that to have a fully functioning body, you must rebuild from the inside out.

Meli runs Phoenix for Mums in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. To find out more about her and get in touch, click here.

You can also find her on Instagram.

If you are a new mum returning to exercise and are not sure where to start check out our FREE Safe Return to Exercise for New Mums program to learn all you need to know.

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Written by

Meli Comaschi-Cordoba
MumSafe™ Trainer at 
Pheonix For Mums

About the Author

To help other mums to feel amazing again about themselves but not only on the outside but on the inside too. She strongly believes in the importance of taking ME time to reconnect with yourself, with other mums that are on the same boat and share their experiences.

Meli is passionate about educating our mums so they know what is going on with their bodies after giving birth, know that it can take a while before it is safe to go back doing whatever they were doing before getting pregnant; but that doesn’t mean they have to stop exercising, they just need to move in a safe way helping their bodies with the postpartum process.

She says: I see many mums pushing themselves really hard because they want to look the way they used to look before becoming a mum, but only focusing on the outside. It is my mission to educate them and help them to become strong and healthy mums not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well.

Because moving and having a group to go to help to reduce the chances of having postnatal depression.

To help other mums to feel amazing again about themselves but not only on the outside but on the inside too. She strongly believes in the importance of taking ME time to reconnect with yourself, with other mums that are on the same boat and share their experiences.

Meli is passionate about educating our mums so they know what is going on with their bodies after giving birth, know that it can take a while before it is safe to go back doing whatever they were doing before getting pregnant; but that doesn’t mean they have to stop exercising, they just need to move in a safe way helping their bodies with the postpartum process.

She says: I see many mums pushing themselves really hard because they want to look the way they used to look before becoming a mum, but only focusing on the outside. It is my mission to educate them and help them to become strong and healthy mums not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well.

Because moving and having a group to go to help to reduce the chances of having postnatal depression.?