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!