When Can You Workout After Birth?

It’s important to get clearance from your doctor before resuming any sort of workout after giving birth, but in general, you can start exercising again around six weeks postpartum. Of course, every woman and every birth is different, so make sure to listen to your body and take things slowly at first.

Postpartum Recovery

Postpartum recovery is a crucial time for a new mom to prioritize rest, nutrition and physical rehabilitation. The body has gone through an incredible physical transformation during the pregnancy and delivery, and the recovery process should be taken seriously and with care. During this time, it is important to focus on correct form and exercise selection to ensure the safety of mom and baby. This section will cover the specifics of postpartum recovery and the questions of when and how to start exercising again.

Understand the postpartum recovery timeline

It’s important to understand how your body will be recovering in the weeks and months following childbirth. Giving birth is a physically demanding process that can leave your body exhausted, and you may feel overwhelmed by the many physical changes you experience throughout postpartum recovery.

Your body takes time to heal from labor and delivery, so it’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself on your postpartum return-to-work timeline. Most medical professionals recommend that mothers wait 6 to 8 weeks before gradually easing back into a regular exercise regimen. Prior to this timeframe, light stretching and gentle form of exercise such as walking is advised.

It is also essential for mothers to prioritize rest following childbirth. Adequate rest allows for the muscles, bones and ligaments in your pelvis, lower back and abdomen time to repair themselves. Postpartum fatigue can cause exhaustion if not managed properly, so make sure you’re listening to your body’s needs during this important recovery period. Additionally, breastfeeding mothers need additional rest since their bodies are producing milk 24/7 – usually removing nutrients from their own bodies while they are producing healthy milk for their baby!

Take some time during postpartum recovery to determine what kind of exercise regimen works best for you while keeping your doctor’s advice and other caveats in mind. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all advice when it comes to beginning a workout regimen after childbirth – take time for yourself as well as your little one during this special time!

Consult with your doctor before beginning a workout routine

Before beginning a workout routine, it’s essential to consult with your doctor to ensure that you are ready. Depending on the type of delivery (C-section or natural) and any medical issues or complications that you or the baby experienced during delivery, you may need more time to recover before beginning a workout regimen. In addition, exercise while breastfeeding requires extra care to avoid dehydration and fatigue of the mother, so it is important to talk with your doctor about any safety concerns.

Some general guidelines offered by the American Council on Exercise recommend waiting 4-6 weeks after a normal (non-C-section) delivery before starting any exercise. Make sure that you get clearance from your physician, then develop an appropriate postpartum plan and take into consideration factors such as your energy level and breastfeeding, before doing any intense activity. Certain exercises can be resumed right away after giving birth such as short walks or stroller rides for light cardio; simple bodyweight exercises for strengthening like squats and pelvic presses; basic core exercises such as planks; breathing and relaxation techniques to help reduce stress; low impact activities like swimming; and stretching such as yoga or tai chi. Gradually introduce more difficult postpartum exercises once approved by your doctor including running or high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.
When you’re ready to return to exercise following childbirth, remember that variation is key for maintaining interest in the long term so gradually reintroduce elements of strength training, cardio, yoga and other physical activities throughout your full postpartum recovery period.

Abdominal Muscles

After childbirth, it is important to give your body time to heal and recover before getting back into exercise. One of the areas of your body that requires special attention is your abdominal muscles. They can be weakened from the physical strain of labour, so it is important to slowly ease back into exercises that target this area. In this section, we will look at the best time to start working out your abdominal muscles after giving birth, and the exercises to focus on.

Learn how to properly engage your abdominal muscles

Properly engaging your abdominal muscles is essential to recovering from childbirth and returning to physical activities. This can be difficult since many people have lost the ability to properly activate their deep core due to weak muscles or disregulated nervous system. This is why it is important be mindful of the position of your spine, pelvis, and hips during and after delivery when working with the deep abdominal muscles.

When attempting to engage your abdominal muscles, you should always think about drawing your navel in toward your spine and making sure that you are bracing and protecting your lower back throughout the movement. Doing so will help you learn how to engage these muscles more efficiently as well as build strength in them over time. Make sure that you hold this contraction for a good three seconds as a minimum before releasing them as it will help with spinal support while getting into shape again.

When performing certain exercises like crunches, sit-ups etc., make sure that you gently draw in your abdominals first and do not forget to breathe while doing them; this will prevent the strain on your lower back and the pressure on it. Lastly, remember not to push yourself too hard right away; building endurance takes time so take it slow, practice correct technique throughout all movements, increase repetitions gradually and most importantly- listen to your body!

Perform light abdominal exercises such as pelvic tilts and planks

Performing light abdominal exercises such as pelvic tilts and planks can help you strengthen your abdominal muscles more gradually.

Pelvic tilts are performed by lying on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Keeping your back straight, slowly tilt your pelvis towards the ceiling to engage the lower abdominals, then slowly release back to the starting position. This exercise can be repeated 10-15 times, three times a day.

Planks are a great way to build core strength while correcting posture. You will assume an elevated position on your toes and forearms while keeping your body in one solid line from feet to shoulders. Hold this “plank” for 30 seconds at a time, repeating 3-5 times daily as long as it feels comfortable. Make sure you exhale completely during each move to protect the core muscles and take care not to hold tension in the neck or shoulder area.

If you experience any extreme discomfort or residual pain during these exercises, stop immediately and speak with a healthcare provider before proceeding further with abdominal exercises.


As you postpartum, your body will benefit from starting a light cardio routine. Once you have been cleared from your physician, you can begin at a slow pace and gradually increase your intensity as you get stronger. Getting your body moving can help with weight loss, energy level, and overall health. However, it is important to be aware of the circumstances of your postpartum recovery when you are considering cardio.

Start with low-impact cardio such as walking or swimming

Cardiovascular exercise, such as walking or swimming, is an important part of postpartum fitness and should be introduced gradually. However, some new moms may feel overwhelmed by the thought of starting a cardio routine and can benefit from low-impact options to ease themselves into burning calories, maintaining a healthy weight and restoring their pre-baby energy levels.

Low-impact cardio activities include walking outside or on a treadmill; using an indoor stationary cycling machine; utilizing elliptical machines; taking low-intensity classes such as yoga and Pilates; swimming in a pool or doing aqua jogging; participating in dance classes that incorporate light movement sequences; or working out with a personal trainer who can customize exercises for each individual’s needs.

Low-impact cardio workouts have the added benefit of increasing cardiovascular health without placing extra strain on already sore postpartum joints and pelvic floor muscles. Different exercises also work different muscle groups, helping new mothers develop strength and improve joint mobility after giving birth. It is advised that pregnant women and new mothers consult with their doctor before beginning any type of exercise program to ensure safety for mom and baby throughout the entire postpartum period.

Increase the intensity of your cardio workouts gradually

Whether you’re a first-time mom or a veteran, you want to exercise to get back into shape post-pregnancy. Cardio is a great way to achieve this, but it can be tough knowing just how much physical activity your body can handle. Remember that before beginning any workout routine, you must start slowly and increase the intensity gradually.

If you gave birth four weeks ago and are now trying to build up endurance and shed fat through cardio workouts, start with something low-impact such as walking. Begin with two fifteen minute walks per day at a comfortable pace and gradually increase the duration of each walk over time as your body adjusts to being active postpartum. If you feel up for it, you can add in more challenging exercises such as running or jogging as long as you remember to take regular breaks and assess your energy levels throughout the workout. You should also listen for signs of discomfort or pain so that you can stop promptly if necessary.

If professional medical or other healthcare advice relevant for diagnosing or treating an individual’s particular circumstances has not been expressly obtained, please consult with an appropriate health care provider before engaging in any activity concerning health and wellness.

Strength Training

The process of postpartum recovery and healing can take time and it’s important to listen to your body and progress gradually. Strength training and other forms of exercise can provide a range of physical and psychological benefits, but it’s important to do it at the right time. By following the correct postpartum exercise guidelines, you can safely and effectively start your strength training program after giving birth.

Focus on exercises that target the core and upper body

Focus on exercises that target the core and upper body and partake in strength training to restore muscle tone after childbirth. Strength training can improve posture, reduce stress on the spine, and help you gain lean muscle mass. It also helps develop balance, agility, and coordination — all important for mothers.

Women who have recently given birth may find traditional strength training exercises overwhelming and want to proceed with caution as they rebuild their core muscles. Those starting at a beginner level should focus on low-impact core and posture-building exercises that don’t require any weights, such as planks, hollow holds, leg lifts, pelvic tilts, bridges or superman poses.

Once you’ve regained your core strength a few weeks after childbirth — usually no earlier than four weeks — you can begin gently introducing more challenging exercises like side planks with leg abduction or hip raises with pressing knee into hand. Start with lighter weights than pre-pregnancy; move slowly between sets; rest for at least 30 seconds between sets; make sure you’re getting enough oxygen; nourish your body with healthy food; drink enough fluid every day; listen to your body; focus on knee lifts/squats rather than lunges/jumps if abdominal separation (DR) is present; stay within a comfortable range of motion if abdominal separation is present. With consistency these basic movements will become smoother over time building up our full power again!

Start with bodyweight exercises and then progress to light weights

Getting back into a regular exercise routine after giving birth is important for both physical and mental health. It is important to ease yourself back into physical activity so as not to damage your muscles or otherwise aggravate any injury that may have occurred during childbirth. To ensure a safe postpartum return to exercise, it’s best to start with bodyweight exercises – such as wall sits and plank holds – and then progress towards light weights when your body feels comfortable doing so.

Bodyweight exercises are an ideal first step because they can help you gain mobility, stability, and strength in controlled amounts while helping ensure good posture and technique. As you begin to feel more comfortable with basic bodyweight exercises, you can move on to incorporating light dumbells or resistance bands into the routine. It’s important that the weight used is not too heavy yet at the same time still challenging enough for your current level of fitness.

In addition, when beginning a postpartum weight training routine it’s important to keep in mind that your breathing and core stability should be monitored closely during each exercise session as both focus heavily on proper posture and form which are essential for overall safety when beginning strength training after childbirth.


Stretching is a great way to help your body recover after giving birth. It can help increase your range of motion, reduce tension, and help prevent aches and pains. It is also a safe way to begin your journey back to fitness, and can be done soon after birth if done properly. Let’s look at the best way to stretch after birth.

Incorporate stretching into your workout routine

Stretching is an important component of any workout, and especially after giving birth. Stretching should be included in your postpartum workout routine because it improves flexibility, relieves tension, reduces pain, increases circulation and decreases the risk of injury. Stretching can also help you get back into shape faster and improve your overall physical performance.

It’s important to talk to your doctor before engaging in any postnatal activity or exercise program. All exercises should be modified to suit your current strength level, as well as while considering the changes that have occurred during pregnancy. It’s best to start slow and gradually increase intensity as you build strength.

The best time for postnatal stretching depends on where you are in the recovery process from childbirth; generally it’s safe to start stretching soon after birth or after 6 weeks if you had a cesarean section (C-section). Before beginning any exercise program, it’s important that you’re given permission from your doctor and feel ready both mentally and physically. If possible work with a certified pre/postnatal trainer who is knowledgeable about any concerns regarding exercises for new moms and can make modifications if needed.
Depending on what kind of stretch you are doing, typically yoga poses such as triangle pose (Trikonasana) or cobra pose (Bhujangasana) or dynamic stretches like the door frame chest opener would be great starting points.. Additionally foam rolling can also be a way of self myofascial release that helps relieve tension by releasing trigger points in tight muscles while restoring length/flexibility.. Keeping track of how much time spent stretching versus exercising is just something that takes practice as every body is different – aiming for 15-20 minutes per session would be good guideline when starting out – giving yourself enough time to really feel the stretch without overworking yourself.

Practice yoga or Pilates to help with flexibility and relaxation

After giving birth, your body needs time to heal and adjust. Therefore, you want to wait until you have the okay from your doctor before engaging in strenuous physical activity. However, there are stretches and flexibility-based exercises that you can practice after birth to help ease your body back into a normal routine. Yoga and Pilates are both great examples of light exercises that can help with flexibility, relaxation, improved posture and injury prevention.

Yoga is the practice of combining physical postures and breathing techniques while focusing on the present moment. There are various types of yoga intended for different purposes and desired effects; however, most classes focus on improving strength, balance and flexibility as well as calming down mind and body. Pilates is another form of exercise that focuses on control instead of momentum in order to strengthen the entire body in a balanced way. It involves performing slow and deliberate movements aimed at engaging deep muscles within the core for better stability. Many women will find themselves feeling more relaxed after doing some yoga or Pilates even if their bodies don’t physically feel “stronger” yet.

Regardless of what type of stretching you choose to do after pregnancy it is important that you move carefully with purposeful direction throughout the movements instead of swinging or thrusting into poses without awareness or control. As always be sure to listen to your own body as well as consult with your doctor before practicing any new physical activities postpartum.

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