Weeks 4 and 5 find Elaine settling into a bit more of a routine
So, hopefully your new baby & you have started to settle into bit more of a routine, now that the cluster feeding has eased and a pattern is emerging with their feeding demands & sleeping times!
This might now give you a greater window of opportunity to squeeze in some exercise. Below is a slightly modified version of your last workout. Shoot for 3 times per week but don’t feel under pressure to do the whole routine in one session – break the routine down to smaller chunks if necessary – doing something is better than nothing!
If time and energy is really work against you some days, (and they will!) – you can always go back to the first 3 movements of Diaphragmatic Breathing; Pelvic Floor Engagement and TVA activation – these are your foundation exercises, on which you will build a stronger, more stable body. Not only that, they are a great way to ‘tune out’, de-stress and grab a few minutes relaxation.
1. Lying Pelvic Tilts
Perform as per Week 2 & 3, but keep hands reaching to ceiling as you perform the exercise- this will challenge your torso stability a little more, as the arms are no longer assisting it.
2. Single Leg Stretch
This progresses from the Heel Slide exercise of Week 2 & 3, where the weight of your leg is essentially challenging your pelvic stability, core strength, hip control & stability.
- Stabilising a posterior pelvic tilt position, raise R leg to tabletop position as pictured… Inhale..
- Exhale as you reach the leg forward (as if pointing your toes onto the wall in front), stabilising your back, scooping the abdominals and keeping neck & shoulders relaxed; while keeping L leg stable
- Inhale as you return the leg to tabletop position; perform 10 reps, then repeat on L leg.
3. Static Glute Bridge
As per Week 2 & 3, except hold top Bridge position, for 5 full breaths before articulating the spine back onto the floor.
- Lie in side lying position, head supported on lower arm, and knees bent in front of you;
- Inhale as you open knees apart, keeping feet together; Exhale as you lower to start position.
- Keep shoulders & hips stacked as you perform them
5. Swimming on all 4’s
- Perform these as done for week 2 & 3, but alternate the repetitions – this advances the balance, control & stability challenge within the exercise.
- Remember to keep your abdominals drawn up and feel ‘awake’ in your back as you perform this exercise.
6. Camel / cat stretch
As for week 2 & 3.
Perform squat technique as before, but instead of placing hands to your head, reach arms upward to ceiling, as you Squat; return them down by your sides as you stand. This will strengthen the upper back, rear shoulders (which may at this stage be starting to feel rounded, tired or tight from baby feeding).
8. Chest / Back Stretches
- Benefits: these are fab for opening up the chest, back & shoulders, helping to counter the tightness that might be building now by the baby lifting, carrying & feeding.
- Stand facing a wall, at arms’ length from it. Keeping a soft bend at knees, pitch your hips back, allowing your chest to lower to/below chest level. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, and repeat.
One thing to bear in mind is I am writing this Blog from the point of view of a mother who is exclusively breast feeding (and one that had not expressed until week 6!) – I understand myself, the time restrictions when it comes to fitting these exercises in, as I have quite literally been stuck to the baby!!!
If you are not Breastfeeding, you may of course find you have more available time on your hands (as others may be able to help you out), so I give you no passes!! 😉