Depending on the type of delivery, coming back from having a baby can be challenging. Most physicians recommend waiting 6-8 weeks before beginning an exercise routine. Women who have worked out on a regular basis typically want to jump right back into their routine. However, it's important to remember to take things slowly because the body needs some time to adjust. Making sure everything is functioning properly before resuming a full body exercise routine is important. And I have one word for you gals...CORE!!!
You can't just assume that everything is going to be the same once you get approval from your doctor to workout. Your core muscles are going to need a tune-up! These muscles include your rectus abdominis, external/internal obliques, and your spinal erector (lower back) muscles. Not only those muscles, but really anything that surrounds the pelvis. So doing a ton of crunches just isn't going to cut it...there's more to getting back into shape.
Here are a few exercises to get started in the first couple of weeks:
Hip Hikes - On your back with your feet on the ground and shift your hips alternating to each side, shortening the pelvis in towards the ribs. Go slow and do 20-40 reps. Muscles worked: obliques and spinal erectors.
Superman - On your stomach with arms down to side, raise upper body and head up so they don't touch the ground and hold for 8 seconds 5 times through. This is similar to an updog yoga position, which you can start with if you don't feel strong enough to lift yourself up. Muscles worked: spinal erectors.
Planks - Holds in push-up position either on your knees or feet. Hold for 20-60 seconds. Make sure the bum is not sticking far up in the air! Challenge the core by keeping it down, but not sinking too low. Muscles worked: all core.
Crunches with a Towel - Just like regular crunches except you are going to roll up a towel and put it underneath your lower back. Why? Because in order to work your abs properly, as you go back, you should have a slight curve in your lumbar spine. Crunch up and lift the shoulder blades off the ground....go SLOW! and even hold it as you get to the top of the crunch for an extra second. Do 10-30 reps. Muscles worked: abs and spinal erectors.