Busy mums, there is so much you can do to strengthen, protect and tone your body.
And I don’t mean spending hours in the gym.
You can spend a few minutes each day getting that tummy back into shape and working on posture and complete core strength.
How many hours do you spend picking your baby up, and then holding them perched on a hip?
A lot, so we need to make sure your body is strong enough to not only withstand this extra pressure and weight, but also to maintain correct alignment. You’ll be so much less prone to backache.
With tiredness, and all those hours spent breastfeeding, shoulders can come forward, so I always try to include exercises to pull the shoulders back, and keep the upper back retracted in place.
I also recommend working the whole core, which includes the back, and sides of your tummy (obliques), so that you can twist and turn while holding a baby and lifting a pram.
This will really help minimise the risk of many injuries to back, hip and shoulders. Good squat form is important so that you bend correctly to pick up your baby without damaging your back.
Here’s a simple workout to try at home once you’ve recovered from the birth. Build up slowly until you’re doing it several times with short rests in between. (Note, these exercises may not be suitable when pregnant, or immediately after childbirth.)
Stand straight, feet hip-width apart. Bend from the knees, pushing your bum backwards, so that your knees stay behind your toes. Keep your head up, and shoulders back. Return to standing and repeat x 30.
Go on to your front elbows and knees, then lift the knees off the ground, holding body in a straight line, so that you hold a table position with your weight on the elbows and feet. Hold for 30 seconds.
Lie on your back with knees bent, feet on floor (lift feet to work core harder). Crunch up, and reach with left hand to left foot, then right hand to right foot. Keep the crunch held, and repeat x 20.
Built up until you are doing the whole series 3 times.
- Chloe Bowler is a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer based in central London. For more workouts and nutritional therapy see www.chloebowler.com