Post-pregnancy workout

This workout program is ideal for new mums who want their post-baby body back. PT Jen Dugard shows us how.

Pelvic floor and transversus abdominal activations - Women' Health & Fitness

Why it works: This program is ideal for new mums or those with beginner fitness levels. It includes some basic postural exercises to stretch out tight muscles and switch on those that require strengthening. After having a baby it is important to take a period of rehab to ensure everything is working well, and this workout helps to form a strong foundation to build on when you’re ready to progress to more difficult forms of exercise. Gauge your fitness level as to what you can and can’t do, so don’t go jumping up and down if you have pelvic floor weakness.

Instructions: There are two parts to this workout; postural exercises that can be done as a warm-up or as a daily strengthening exercise, then the main section of the workout. Before returning to exercise after pregnancy, Dugard recommends working with a women’s health physiotherapist to assess your pelvic floor and abdominal separation. If you lose awareness of your pelvic floor or see any peaking of your abdominals through any of these exercises, they may be too strong for you at this time.

1. Pelvic floor and transversus abdominal activations

Start this breathing exercise by lying on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Keep a neutral spine throughout. Place one hand on your obliques (under the rib cage) and the other on your stomach, facing hipbone to hipbone.

Take a natural breath in and, as you exhale, draw in and up through the pelvic floor. You will feel a little tension in this area but this should not be overly strong. Keep your obliq