There is no doubt that the birth of a baby leaves a mark on the body, but, that does not mean that your body can’t get into its pre-pregnancy shape. Strength training is one of the best post pregnancy exercise regiments and is necessary to build lean muscle mass and boost the body’s metabolism.
Strength training benefits include an increase in muscle, ligament and tendon strength, flexibility, bone density, metabolic rate, tone and postural support. We have many more Pregnancy Help Articles Now Available.
Strength training of the upper and lower body is essential after a pregnancy to help to get the body back into its pre-pregnancy state. To get started with the training, determine the exercises that are best for you. Your workout should be about thirty to forty-five minutes three times a week and should be something that you enjoy and not dread. Exercise is meant to invigorate the mind, body and soul and to leave you with the body that you desire.
The body goes through a tremendous amount with a pregnancy. Muscle groups that become too tight as a result of pregnancy include:
• Back of the neck
• Lower back
• Hip flexors
Muscle groups that weaken as a result of pregnancy include:
• Abdominal wall
• Front of the neck
• External rotators of the shoulder
• Upper back muscles
• Pelvic floor
Abdominal Strength Training: Pelvic tilts and abdominal compressions exercises are recommended by the American Council on Exercise prior to heading for sit ups or full crunches. To perform a pelvic tilt lay on the floor on your back, resting your arms and hands on each side of your body. Arch your hips up towards the ceiling while you squeeze your glutes and focus on drawing your navel to your spine to pull your abdomen tightly in.
To perform an abdominal compression, lie on your back on the floor and focus on pulling your stomach muscles below your stomach in towards your spine.
Back Strength Training: Your back has taken a toll during pregnancy, as well as, after pregnancy as you are now holding the baby and carting it around. Back strength training is essential. To strengthen the lower back, lie with your chest against a stability ball with your hands crossed over your chest. Pull your navel towards your spine and lift your chest up slightly off the ball. Gently lower yourself back down, and repeat in reps of eight to ten, working up to 25 reps.
Cardiovascular Training: Cardiovascular routines are essential for new mothers and help to aid in weight loss, improve the cardiovascular system, lower blood pressure, enhance sleep and digestion and reduce the risk of heart conditions. The ideal target is 30 to 60 minutes three to six times per week.
Arm Workouts Great to Get Back Into Pre-pregnancy Weight
The arms are a very important feature on the woman, and many times after pregnancy, the arms are an area where weight has accumulated. The following are some wonderful exercises to help get your arms back in strength and you feeling confident, as your body begins to take on a new image. For the following exercises, you will need a set of five to eight pound dumbbells. Each of the exercises should be performed in reps of15, working up to 20 reps.
Stand with your feet spread about the width of your hips and bend your knees. Bend forward at the hips and allow your arms, with the dumbbells in your hands, to hang straight down form your shoulders. Raise your arms out to your sides as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Return to starting position and repeat.
Hold your dumbbells at your sides with your palms out. Be sure to keep your back straight and chest up. Ben you elbows and curl the weight up to your shoulders. Do not move your upper arms. Slowly lower the weight back to your starting positions. Completely straighten your arms and repeat.
Dumbbell Cross Jab
Position your feet slightly wider apart than the width of your hips and bend your knees slightly. Hold your dumbbells at chest height and your elbows bent. The palms of your hands should be facing one another. Stretch your right arm across your body keeping the dumbbell in line with your left shoulder. Return to starting position and do the opposite arm. Return and repeat.
Lying Triceps Extension
On a bench, lie face up and hold your arms straight over your head with your dumbbells in your hand with your hands palms facing one another. Keep your upper arms straight and lower the dumbbells by bending your elbows until they are on each side of your head. Breathe and return to starting position and repeat. We have many more Pregnancy Help Articles Now Available.