20-Minute At-Home Postpartum Workout

20-Minute At-Home Postpartum Workout

Hey, new moms! FightCamp’s Shanie “Smash” has 10 postnatal bodyweight exercises that will rebuild your strength & get you back to your pre-baby fitness routine!

Published: January 12, 2022

Topics: Strength & Conditioning, Training

Author: Shanie "Smash" Rusth

Looking to get back into shape after having a baby? First and foremost, make sure that your body is ready. A common guideline is to wait 6-8 weeks after giving birth to start working out again. Always speak with your healthcare provider to see when you can get back into a fitness program and what workouts are best for you to begin with. Although you may have been in an intense fitness routine, like high-impact boxing, kickboxing, or HIIT classes 5 days a week before your pregnancy, don’t expect to jump right back into it. Doing high-impact or high-intensity workouts can be more harmful than helpful when you are newly postpartum. Opt for low-impact exercises like walking, stretching, bodyweight movements, or using resistance bands.

Postnatal Bodyweight Workout

Here are 10 bodyweight moves that you can do postpartum at home to get yourself back in shape and feeling stronger than ever!

Complete each move for 30 seconds, and repeat the circuit four times for a 20-minute workout. Once you’re ready, you can gradually increase your time to a full minute for each exercise.

Cat-Cow

  • Start on your hands and knees, aligning your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips

  • Think of your spine as a straight line connecting your shoulders to your hips

Cat

  • Press your hands into the ground, round your back towards the sky and lift the sides of your waist away from the floor

  • Draw your lower belly toward your spine and tuck your tailbone under

  • Keep the sides of your neck long and allow your head to hang towards the floor

  • Spread your shoulder blades apart

Cow

  • Press the tops of your feet against the mat and push down through your palms while simultaneously lifting your chest and your tailbone toward the sky

  • Draw down through your shoulder blades and slide your shoulders down your back

  • As your stomach draws down toward the floor, gaze up and keep your spine long

  • Cycle back and forth between cat and cow for the allotted time

Bird Dog

  • Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips

  • Draw your belly button into your spine

  • Keeping your back and pelvis stable and your back flat, reach your right arm forward and extend your left leg back

  • Return to the starting position, placing your hand and knee on the floor

  • Repeat on the other side for one complete rep

  • Continue alternating sides for the allotted time

Fire Hydrants

  • Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips

  • Draw your belly button into your spine and look at the floor

  • Keeping your back and pelvis stable, lift your left leg away from your body at a 45-degree angle and your knee bent at a 90-degree angle

  • Hold for a second and then lower your leg back down

  • Repeat on the right side to complete one rep

  • Continue alternating sides for the allotted time

Plank

  • Assume a push-up position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your toes tucked under

  • Keep your back flat and your spine straight

  • Squeeze your glutes and suck your belly button into your spine

  • Hold for the allotted time and try not to drop your knees or torso

Push-Up

  • Start on all fours and place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders

  • Step your feet back and tuck your toes

  • Straighten your arms and legs

  • Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor, keeping a flat back the entire time

  • Pause, then push yourself back up to complete one rep

  • Continue for the allotted time

Superman

  • Lie on the floor face down with your legs straight and your arms extended out in front of you

  • Keeping your head in a neutral position, slowly and simultaneously lift your arms and legs a few inches off the ground

  • Aim to lift your belly button slightly off the floor to contract your abs

  • Hold this position for the allotted time, then release and lower yourself back down

Side Plank

  • Lie on your right side, legs extended and stacked from hip to feet

  • The elbow of your right arm should be directly under your shoulder

  • Ensure that your head is directly in line with your spine

  • Your left arm can be aligned along the left side of your body

  • Engage your abdominal muscles, sucking your belly button into your spine

  • Lift your hips and knees off the floor, keeping your torso in a straight line

  • Hold this position for the allotted time

  • Release back down

  • Repeat on the left side

Glute Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart

  • Lay your arms by your sides with your palms facing down

  • Lift your pelvis off the floor by pressing into the soles of your feet until your lower body is in line with your knees

  • Squeeze your glutes and keep your stomach flat

  • Then lower back down to the ground

  • Continue to raise your hips and lower for the allotted time

  • Be sure to keep your knees pointing straight

Single Leg Glute Bridge

  • Complete a glute bridge, with one leg extended straight out during the duration of the exercise

  • Repeat with the other leg

Lunge

  • Start standing with your feet together

  • Step forward about 2-3 feet with your right foot

  • Engage your core and tuck your hips to keep your back straight and your pelvis inline with your rib cage

  • Bend both knees to lower yourself to a 90 degree angle until your right thigh is parallel to the floor

  • Be sure that your right knee does not extend beyond your right toes

  • Push back through both feet and return to your starting position, exhaling and squeezing your glutes at the top

  • Repeat with your left foot

  • Continue alternating sides for the allotted time

Squat

  • Start standing with feet hip-width apart

  • Keeping your core tight and your chest proud, lower yourself down as if sitting in a chair

  • Push through the floor to straighten your legs and lift yourself back into standing position

  • This is one rep

  • Continue for the allotted time

Repeat these ten exercises for up to four rounds for a full workout. Remember to start slowly--if 30 seconds for each exercise is long, decrease the time and work your way up. Take time to rest in between each round.

Your goal for getting back into pre-baby shape should be focused on proper function and core stability before strength-building. I highly suggest working with a coach or a trainer who is a pre- and post-natal fitness specialist. Always listen to your body when doing any form of exercise. If you are feeling like it is too much, decrease the intensity level and give yourself a break to recover from childbirth. The key is to have patience and take your time into this new journey as a mom.

Being a mom of two, I understand how taking care of little ones and fitting in workouts can be challenging, but with the help and encouragement from myself and the FightCamp Team, know that we are always in your corner. Making time for yourself, even if it's a quick boxing or kickboxing workout, will be so rewarding for you physically and mentally. Keep up the great work, mom, you're doing an awesome job!

If you have any favorite postpartum exercises or tips, I’d love to hear them! Connect with me and follow me on IG @shaniesmash and join the FightCamp Community on Facebook.

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FightCamp Trainer Shanie "Smash"

Shanie "Smash" Rusth is an undefeated pro MMA fighter, FightCamp Trainer, and mother of two. She began MMA in 2011 to get in shape and feel empowered after becoming a single mom. Shanie is USA Boxing Coach certified.

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