Yes, it’s Mother’s Day. And, like any Italian-American boy (well, Italian/German/Polish/Irish/Native American Hybrid in my case) I’ll be spending the day doing nice things for my mom, starting with breakfast and ending with cake.
The fact of the matter is that no matter what the holiday is, we tend to show our appreciation and love for members of our family with food, and most of it isn’t healthy.
Cookies and cakes make show you are thinking about someone, but it’s not really the best way. I thought that this year I’d do something extra awesome and, in addition to just giving moms a thank you, I’d give them a workout.
Now, getting back to it, Lisa is in great shape but wanted to drop a few pounds after her pregnancy.
Thankfully, Joel and I know the perfect person for that: Holly Rigsby, a woman who has literally built her career on helping moms get back into great shape. In the spirit of these things, I’d love to share a guest post from Holly with all the moms.
Check out this guest post!
Yes, as Moms we ALL know what a miracle it is to bring a new life into this world. Our bodies have undergone some amazing changes to make this blessing possible. But now that your baby is here, the very next thing on your agenda is to get your body back!
Whether you’re a brand new mom dealing who is just getting cleared to train after delivery, or a mom who has been dealing with the rigors of parenthood and the time it absorbs for a while, I’ve got you covered—because at FitYummyMummy, we help all moms. I know how it feels to be in the “post-preggers slow-mo” stage where it seems like the weight isn’t coming off. And I also know what it’s like to chase my kids around and make sure they get to school and practices on time, leaving little time for me—especially for me to work out.
Moms are a special breed, because part of the job is that we constantly put our children and their needs ahead of ourselves, often neglecting our fitness and our bodies until we’re unhappy.
I want you to know that no matter what, you can have the body you want and become even better mom in the process, because you’ll have more energy, more focus, and a brighter mood.
Right Now! If you’re a brand new mom, then as long as you did not experience complications or additional surgeries during delivery and are not under doctor’s orders to stay off your feet, you can get moving within the first week of giving birth. And if you’ve been a mom for a bit now, it’s time to start taking just a few minutes (as little as 15!) for yourself, and get in shape so you can have the energy to be the best mom you can be.
The “waiting game” is starting to fade out. This is especially true if you exercised throughout your pregnancy. Your body will actually CRAVE activity – I know mine did! Even if your doctor gives you the standard “Do not exercise for six weeks” Rx, speak up! Show your doctor the list of exercises you want to do—and be specific!
Before you start however, here are some important safety tips.
Pelvic floor and core activation exercises can be started as soon as possible after birth. Pelvic floor exercises such as Kegels should be started immediately, and can be done anywhere. These foundational exercises can hasten the restorative process, improve your posture, flatten your abdominal muscles, and prepare you to return to your favorite strength training routine. The sooner you start, the sooner your body responds.
Walking is a must and you can do this as soon as you feel comfortable to do so. I had Baby Alexander strapped to me in a carrier and was out the door one week after we came home from the hospital.
From here you will then ease into a full-body weight strength and intervals training program. As you regain strength and endurance and your body is responding positively to your workouts, you can then gradually begin to increase the intensity of your routine.
The most common concern of new moms is how to get rid of the jelly belly! Many worry if a flatter, more toned tummy is even possible to achieve again. Yes it is. As long as you follow an effective exercise program and a supportive nutrition plan, the process burning off the mommy belly fat is not as hard as you think.
If you consistently performed core strengthening exercises and worked out throughout your pregnancy, this process will be easier.
There are some great exercises you can do to bring your abdominal muscles back together, rebuild your core and help you regain a flat tummy…. just avoid jumping into intense exercise too soon, before your abdominal or pelvic floor muscles are ready.
As an additional tip only for new moms: avoid crunches! The traditional crunch is one of the worst exercises you can do after having a baby – especially if you have Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation). Crunches can actually increase the gap! Plus crunches only target one of several ab muscles — primarily the Rectus Abdominus (your six pack muscles) which is one of the most overstretched muscle groups during pregnancy and your obliques. These muscles easily overpower the weaker internal abdominal muscle (the Transverse Abdominus) during crunch-like exercises which can cause your abdominal wall to bulge out!
The secret to flattening your mommy belly after pregnancy is to train from the inside out. In addition to cleaning up what you eat, your focus must be on rebuilding strength and control of your Transverse Abdominus – your deepest core muscle. This muscle compresses the abdominal wall, acts like a corset, draws the belly button closer to the spine and is the body’s most important core stabilizer.
Effective core exercises include…
The “drawing in” maneuver – You can lie on your back, on your side or get on all fours – contract and hold your deep core muscles as you imagine drawing your belly button in toward your spine – and hold for count of 10 as you breathe.
Plank variations which are most effective when you perform sets of 10-second holds with a brief rest between sets instead of holding for 30-60+ seconds at a time.
(ROMAN’S NOTE – Not surprisingly, Holly feels the same way about training for women’s abs as I do. Check out my blog post here for more info.)
4) MAKE IT EASY TO EXERCISE
Okay, not easy…but make it convenient. To make the most of your workout plan, set up a routine that you can stick to. Consistency is KEY to your success. Make it easy on yourself and workout at home. Create a workout space in a convenient corner of your home. Have your equipment set up and ready to go, so whenever baby naps or is playing – you can grab a quick 10-15 minute workout.
Yes, 15 minutes is all you need when you are following an effective workout plan. As a busy mom – there’s just no time for hour long workouts; plus who has the energy!? Thankfully, 15 minutes of the right type of exercise will make you feel amazing and give you more energy to get through the day no matter how exhausted you were to begin with.
The final and most important tip when focusing on losing the post pregnancy weight….setting realistic goals. Believing that getting back to your pre-pregnancy shape will happen immediately is a surefire way to become frustrated, give up and settle for a “Mom Body”.
While many factors impact your results, including how much weight you gained, your diet before, during and after pregnancy, your exercise program and intensity, care available postpartum, etc. a realistic goal is about a pound a week. You may notice a huge difference in your body during the first two weeks after delivery, when you lose much of the accumulated pregnancy-related fluid. After that, loss of fat stores is up to you which will gradually decrease over a period of four to six months as long as you follow through with consistency.
Now all that’s left is to tell you to get started! Waiting ….for the perfect time, when you have more energy, when you’ve lost some weight – all excuses. Putting off your workout plan now, makes it that much harder to get started later.
Easing back into your exercise routine will not only help get your body back—well for the women I work with, they get an even BETTER body back, doing so will only help to improve your mood and boost your energy levels.
No excuses! Here’s a special Fit Yummy Mummy workout to get you going today!
Your FYM workouts are performed super set style. This is an example of performing your workout 3 times through for each super set. (Note: You will complete each Super Set 1-4 times depending on your fitness and energy levels). You rotate between the two movements in each super set with little to no rest, allow a 60-90 second rest between each super set.
Be sure to include a warm up and cool down.
NOTE – The only equipment you need for this workout is a stability ball and a mat. The rest of your workout will utilize your own body weight. If you do not have a stability ball you can perform the squat movement against the wall for support.
All right ladies, it’s Roman again. Pretty cool post, right? So, whether you’re a mom like mine who has dedicated three decades to her children, or a mom like Lisa who’s been at it for just three months, you realize that all parents have special challenges. However, I’m also convinced that moms have special Super Powers…and that if you put in the effort and employ the advice above, you’ll be on your way to getting your most Kick-Ass mom body ever.
Special thanks to Holly for the blog post and workout–you can check her blog out here!
Comments for This Entry
Stacy RittichierI love to do a shortcake loaded with fruit and not so loaded with angel cake! It's a lighter healthier option that you won't regret! Thanks for sharing Holly's post! She's one of my favorite role models for busy fit moms!
August 13, 2014 at 1:41 am
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October 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm
John RomanielloLOL! That is fucking awesome. I will be sharing this story on my facebook.
May 10, 2011 at 9:47 am
PerryCan anyone else say that their mom was their drill partner for wrestling. My mom, all 4'11" of her, was my wrestling partner at home until I was a freshman in high school. With my dad being my coach, many nights were spent in the living room going over moves and drilling with my mom until I got them right. She's been thrown, hip tossed, taken down, and was always there for more. The best story though was probably playing football in the backyard. My mom decided that she wanted to play tackle football with my friends and me. During one play, one of my friends got a littel overzealous and laid mom out. He felt terrible. Not for long, though, because mom got up for the next play and lit him up. Don't fuck with Mom!
May 10, 2011 at 9:18 am
John RomanielloPowerful stuff, Rocky. Thank you for sharing.
May 10, 2011 at 7:19 am
John RomanielloInspiring! Sounds like a lot of us have moms who made sure we had a better life. Tell your mother that I said thank you, and please help her with the workouts!
May 10, 2011 at 7:18 am
John RomanielloGuilty as charged. I have more respect for mothers than I can possibly put into words.
May 10, 2011 at 7:18 am
HopeMy Mom is truly amazing. She's turning 72 next month, and is suffering from 2 bad knees. She had a knee replacement over a year ago, and still limps around (more on her knee with surgery than the other bad knee). She still is the "energizer bunny". She has an exercise bike in her room, is still hoping to go on a "dig" in Israel with our family friend professor and his university "kids" someday. She still teaches often for free, visits and cares for a lot of shut-ins and elderly people, and is an all-round saint. I am so blessed to have the mom of all moms.
May 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm
TyRoman loves moms.
May 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm
John RomanielloHaha, boys are uncomfortable showing affections for their mothers. MEN, on the other hand, understand that showing affection and love where it's deserved makes them men. Or, so my mother taught me =) Thanks for the compliment and I hope you enjoyed the post!
May 9, 2011 at 7:41 am
John RomanielloHi Irma, I'm very sorry to hear about your mother. You're right when you say they are very special people. Thank you for sharing.
May 9, 2011 at 7:39 am
John RomanielloDamn right =) My mom trains (or, rather, forces me to train her) a few days a week and is in great shape. She's the best.
May 9, 2011 at 7:38 am
DarrenMom is awesome. She was the rock of the family, and always made sure her kids were provided for. Even now, shes a young buck who is still in the gym 4 times a day working out and looks like she's in her 30s. Without mom, there is no moi
May 8, 2011 at 10:30 pm
TaraMy mom is a little Irish leprechaun that always taught us girls the value of clean eating, whole foods, and good nutrition. Coming from Ireland and being one of 12 siblings raised on the family farm, she didn't use processed foods to feed her own family. And though the thought of exercising in a gym was not part of her mentality, she was always very active and physically involved while raising us, and still is today at 76. There was no sitting on the couch watching tv and eating chips for us. We were always busy and physically active. I think these things are invaluable to me now, and are part of who I am. Thanks, Mama. :)
May 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm
IrmaGreat Mother's Day post and even better that you gave us a workout. My mom passed away last year and I think about her every day. She was a very inspirational and encouraging woman. Cherish your mothers while you still have them and learn all you can from them. Happy Mother's day to all the great moms out there!
May 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm
gloriaI think Rocky deserves the t shirt, Loved her post love reading your blogs they always hit home, Mom's all over the world that work hard at looking after their offspring and those that don't may you all have a blessed Mother's day.
May 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm
Angela MooreMy mom is the most awesome because she gave her entire life to working long hours sometimes two jobs at a time to take care of 5 children and her sick mother. She gave up so much to make sure we were all taken care of. She never took time for herself and her health suffered because of this. She is now trying to get back her health and her body back that she so much deserves. Thanks for posting these work outs that she can now use.
May 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm
RaShell BurkeLove this, didn't know that crunches could be bad. Thanks for the great info and awesome exercises.
May 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm
Dana EdenLove the exercises and they can all be done in the comfort of your own home . thanks
May 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm
michele bGreat post! So perfect for today... :)
May 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm
Deb KatzThanks much Roman that was an awesome exercise! I do try to get the squats in about 3x a week and the Belly Blaster too so happy I can follow your blogs for continuous education about health and fitness.
May 8, 2011 at 11:16 am
AllegroOur youngest is 10, but I still have the "baby weight". Going to recommit, TODAY, and get to work!
May 8, 2011 at 10:46 am
rockyEven though I haven't lived with my mom since I was 3, my moms pretty awesome. She gave me to her mom (my gram) because she didn't have money to take care of me and give me the life she wanted me to have and I am forever grateful for that. I'm basically going to tell you how awesome my gram is because since I can remember she basically is my mom. She stopped her life and everything she had going to help me start my life. She has given me all I've ever asked for and at 63 years old. She's had 3 back operations and survived a heart attack and even through all that she still puts my health before hers. She's one of those extremely stubborn old ladies that thinks she's still able to do anything. I love her and everything she does and she is by far one of the best super grandmas/moms. So that's how awesome my mom and grandma are. And happy mothers day to all the moms out there. You gals are awesome!
May 8, 2011 at 10:39 am
James PearoHey Roman, As a fellow trainer and wellnss consultant I thoroughly enjoy your posts, comments and approach to health and fitness. You relate to your readers in many ways and have a unique way of explaining things that seem easy for anyone to understand. Keep up all the good work my brother! JGP Fitness Training
May 8, 2011 at 10:39 am
maria rosegreat gift for moms of all ages. It is never too late to kick up the pace. I am a GRANDMA who is not ready for a rocking chair unless it has rockets on it. These exercises work on any age body just need to modify to what you can do. Thanks again
May 8, 2011 at 9:50 am
Holly Rigsby@Valerie Happy Mother's Day! Split Squats are static - meaning you are NOT moving. So this is not a forward lunge- you just step into the lunge position and lift and lower your torso. As for how many sets - I suggested a range in order to fit varying fitness levels - but on average - you will complete each super set 3 x in a row - take a rest then move on to the next super set. So a1, a2, a1, a2, a1. a2 REST -> go on to super set B three times REST -> go on to super set C three times. Let me know if this helps!
May 8, 2011 at 9:47 am
Carole Arsenaultnice of you to acknowledge Mother's Day with something healthier than chocolate or take out foods loaded with hidden fats and calories!! I have 5 kids, 4 boys aged 26,24,22,17 one daughter 12. Its nice to see you share your love and respect of your Mamma in public..some boys are uncomfortable about that...Mom's are special , thanks for this post...
May 8, 2011 at 9:36 am
Valerie GormanCan the prisoner split squats (basically a lunge) be done reversed? My back doesn't take kindly to forward lunges. And do I have this right - I do I-4 sets of each pair with 60-90 seconds rest between pairs and repeat this three times?
May 8, 2011 at 9:07 am