I just thought I’d break down the stages of post-natal training for your entertainment. I find that the more my clients understand how I work, the better their results are. I’ll also do a little video for this.
I get a lot of emails asking how long it takes to fix Diastasis recti, or how to solve post-natal back pain. This will give you a quick guide.
For the benefit of this post I’m going to assume you had a reasonably normal pregnancy without any major complications. It doesn’t matter whether you were active during the pregnancy or did not do a Pre-Natal exercise routine, the way we work is always the same. Just in case you’re a PT or Doctor reading this; I know I’m oversimplifying things a little bit…it’s the broad strokes that matter to our clients, nobody cares about the details 😉
Stage 1; This is all about Muscle Activation. During the pregnancy your body starts to relax, “switch off” is a term I tend to use. This especially goes for your core muscles, which makes sense as you need to put the baby somewhere whilst you’re growing it, and your glutes which start switching off because your center of gravity changes.
So the first 3-6 weeks are all about getting your muscles to switch on again. How long this takes depends a bit on what you did during your pregnancy but it’s no drama if this stage takes a bit longer.
We really want to make sure that we get this stage right as your body will start to “cheat” during exercise if we don’t and this will lead to problems later on. During the Exercise clips you’ll hear me talk a lot about where to breathe and to focus on the muscles you’re working, that’s what this is all about. If you just focus on the movement rather than the muscles you are likely to not get the results you’re looking for. This is the stage where you’ll start to “feel right” again.
Stage 2; Muscular Strength and Endurance. When the muscle is working properly again, and your body knows which muscles to use during a particular movement, we will focus on getting the muscle as strong as we can and make it work for as long as it can. This is the stage where your stomach will noticeably start to flatten and strengthen up, where your posture slowly starts to improve and life begins to be a bit more comfortable. This stage is another 4-8 weeks, depending on what your starting point was.
Just use your new-found strength for good.
Stage 3; Ironing out the non-urgent things and keeping you happy.
We have the muscles working properly and strengthening up. Issues like Diastasis Recti are, almost, resolved (or at least not an issue anymore) and you can now focus on the other things you’d like to improve on. Do you suffer from lower back discomfort or lack of upper-body strength? This is the time to fix that.
Assuming you keep feeding him or her, your little one is just going to keep getting heavier and heavier so strengthening up makes sense. Even if you want to “just tone-up” you can do that during this stage. Obviously we’ll keep working on your core and glutes but this is where you fine-tune your exercise routine to make sure you get the absolute most out of it. This stage takes as long as you decide it does.
This is the goal
So this is the way we work it, and I’m absolutely 100% convinced that this is by far the best way to get you the results you’re looking for.
As always, give me a shout through the forum or comments if you have any questions or are looking for something specific.