Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Week 3 - postpartum - journey back to excellent fitness

Week 3.  This week I was feeling the need to start moving more; some things turned out good, some things not so good.  For the good, I found that rising leg lifts have been a gentle way to start getting my legs and core warmed up again.  For the not so good: squats.  I know, I know…I just had a baby…what was I thinking?!?!  I was thinking: I don’t like my saddle bags and dimpled legs…I must do something to get them back into shape!  But my body quickly told me I need to wait a few more weeks for those wonderful squat exercises. 

I still am not carrying my 30 pound son around but I think by next week I’ll be picking him up for some big bear hugs again.  In general though, I’m feeling pretty darn good!
If you want to try out the leg lifts, read on:

Leg Lifts
I’ve been starting off with only 1 set of 10 to the front, side, and back, making sure to keep my kicks relatively low and slow.  This will make sure that I work all sides of my legs while not straining my midsection.
Since our insides need to heal after having a baby, you have to make sure not push your core muscles very much.  In addition, since your core muscles have been stretched to the limit and then put thru the ringer, they are probably going to be a bit weaker than normal; this means that if you try to work them too much your body will compensate for their weakened state by recruiting your lower back muscles…this is not what you want.  So, in order to still get a “good” workout, you need to really extend the leg, reaching out thru your toes; this will activate all of your leg muscles.   Flex each muscle and then act as though you are pushing up and down against something, giving your leg more resistance than just air.
Tuck your belly in and lift your chest up and open to support your lower back.  Maintain this position throughout the exercise.  Inhale as you lift your leg up, exhale as you return your leg back to the starting position.  Go for 1 round of 10 reps to the front, side, and back.
Note: Hold onto something for stabilization as needed (we don’t need you toppling over!).

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