by: Farel B. Hruska, FIT4MOM National Fitness Director
Welcome to a new chapter in your life as a mom. By now, you’ve most likely found a certain rhythm with motherhood. It’s a rhythm that continually changes, but you may be feeling more grounded than you were in the beginning. Most of the healing has taken place from labor and delivery, and you may be getting a little more sleep than when you first brought your beautiful baby home. That said, by no means should you feel completely healed, strong, and put-together.
Because the physical tenderness is subsiding, it’s a great time to turn up your workout intensity. We can now put more focus on powering up your body for the new physical challenges that a rolling, crawling, walking — and yes, running — baby will bring!
Each chapter of motherhood offers new and uncharted territory, and this phase of your life is no different. Up to this point, your baby has been relatively immobile — but soon, they’ll be discovering their legs and their newfound freedom. It’s such a fun time watching them explore their world. Once they feel that freedom, they’ll constantly be on the move! What that means for you is increasing strength and stability in your movements. Here are four areas of strength for your new mommy movement patterns:
Posture, Posture, Posture!
Pelvic Stability? Yes, Please!
Your baby might be nine months old, but that doesn’t mean that your pelvis or your pelvic floor are fully rehabbed. It takes time and work to regain strength and stability in your pelvis. Your lower body is an area which could use some attention, as your activity increases to keep up with your baby. When you combine lower-body movements with strengthening movements in and around the hips, you get even more benefits — namely pelvic floor benefits!
When you incorporate hip rotation, abduction, addiction, flexion, extension and isometric stabilization, your pelvic floor is secondarily strengthened. An exercise like chair pose with a sponge ball between the knees offers lower-body strength while engaging the inner thigh to target your pelvic floor. Bonus!
At this stage in the motherhood game, you may feel more physically stable, but your balance will still be a little off. During pregnancy, a hormone — relaxin — flowed through your body, causing ligamentous laxity that allowed your pelvis to expand as the baby grew. This hormone affected all connective tissue, leading to some of the instability throughout your pregnancy. This hormone can stay in your body up to twelve months postpartum, so the instability will still be present. When you create strength in the posterior lower body (hamstrings and gluteals), the strength will help to counter-support your balance.
Finding a new rhythm is a continuous process. Stay open to this concept and train for these constant physical changes to feel strong and stable in motherhood!
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