Hey there Redlands Barre Fam,
Bringing a new life into the world is a beautiful journey, but it can also be quite challenging for women. The postpartum period is a time of physical and emotional adjustment, and it’s crucial to give your body the care and attention it needs during this phase. I recall several moments in my postpartum journey where I looked in the mirror and thought “Who is she??”. I wondered if I’d ever feel comfortable in my body again. Though it may be a long process, it is possible to build a body that feels and looks strong, sexy, and like yourself again! In this blog, we’ll explore how Pilates and Barre can be your allies in the postpartum recovery journey, helping you regain strength, confidence, and overall well-being.
After childbirth, women often face a series of physical and emotional challenges. Your body has gone through significant changes, and it’s essential to acknowledge and embrace this unique phase in your life. Remember, it’s okay not to bounce back immediately. Your body needs time to heal, and that’s perfectly normal.
Pilates and Barre are two fantastic forms of exercise that are well-suited to postpartum women. These workouts can be gentle yet effective, with a particular focus on core strengthening and muscle toning. Their low-impact nature makes them ideal for bodies that have recently experienced childbirth.
A few common concerns for postpartum women are
- Core Strength: One of the primary concerns for postpartum women is diastasis recti, the separation of abdominal muscles.
- Posture and Alignment: Pregnancy can affect your posture, leading to discomfort and pain. And once the baby is born, breastfeeding and carrying your baby can intensify this issue.
- Pelvic Floor Health: Pregnancy and delivery can take a major toll on the strength of the pelvic floor. Struggling to hold it? A weak pelvic floor could be the culprit.
- Low Energy Levels: Postpartum fatigue is real. You did just build a little human being, and labor to bring them earthside! Add on top of that, hormones, and an inconsistent sleep schedule, and you have a recipe for extreme fatigue.
Do any of these sound familiar? I have great news, Pilates and Barre are perfectly suited to combat all of these common postpartum struggles. Here are a few of the most effective Pilates exercises that you’ll find used regularly in our classes:
- Shoulder Bridge: The Shoulder Bridge strengthens your glutes, lower back, and core, which can alleviate lower back pain often experienced after pregnancy. Bonus, you’re also working on your pelvic floor muscles!
- Leg Circles: Leg Circles target your hip flexors, thighs, and lower abdominals. This exercise helps improve flexibility and tone in your lower body, while also engaging your core muscles. The work your core has to do to keep your pelvis still and square during the exercise is a fantastic way to build strength without encouraging your abdominals to separate.
- Pilates Push Ups: Pilates Push Ups are fantastic for building upper body and core strength. They help improve posture and counteract the rounded shoulders that sometimes occur during breastfeeding. And again, helping to alleviate any Dastasis Recti.
- Hip Extension: Hip Extension focuses on strengthening the glutes and lower back. It aids in pelvic stability and reduces the risk of lower back pain. It is often difficult to effectively train the posterior chain during pregnancy. This is a fantastic way to begin strengthening those muscles again.
- Kneeling Side Kicks: This exercise requires so much work through the core to stabilize your body, it is a fantastic way to build pelvic floor strength. This exercise targets your outer thighs and hip muscles, which can be beneficial for stability and balance during postpartum recovery.
If you are considering using Pilates and Barre to begin your postpartum healing journey, you’ll want to make sure you are first cleared by your doctor to begin exercise. Typically, this is around 6 weeks after delivery. Keep in mind that everybody is different, and it may take longer before you should resume exercise. You’ll also want to look for an instructor who is qualified to teach for postpartum bodies. We have several instructors on staff who are trained in postpartum Barre and Pilates and would make fantastic guides for you. I would recommend Ally, Pam, or Cristy! Be sure to share with your instructor that you are in postpartum recovery, before class. And when you do begin classes, remember to start slowly. Progress at your own pace, and don’t push yourself too hard.
It’s possible that once you begin your postpartum fitness journey, you may need help staying consistent. Being a new mom is a demanding job! Be sure to schedule some time for yourself, even if it’s a few minutes a day. If it’s available to you, enlist the support of your partner, family, or friends so you can make time for your workouts.
Pilates and Barre can be your trusted companions on your postpartum recovery journey. These exercises will help you regain physical strength and boost your confidence and well-being. Remember, it’s essential to be patient with yourself and prioritize self-care during this transformative time in your life.
At Redlands Barre, we’re here to support you on your postpartum recovery journey. Our classes are designed to cater to the unique needs of new moms, providing a safe and nurturing environment for your fitness and well-being. If you’re ready to take the first step, we invite you to join our classes and experience the benefits of Pilates and Barre for yourself. You’re stronger than you think, and we’re here to help you shine.
Redlands Barre Founder & CEO