Meghan’s post-natal strength guide
7 exercises in total (20 minutes a day) 1) 4-part breathing on your back 2) carpenter crunch with blanket 3) dead bug (arms only) 4) dead bug (arms and legs) 5) lady clams 6) table top with knees lifted 7) band walks (lateral, front and back)
Diaphragm warm up: Lie on your back and actively bring your lower back to the ground. Inner thighs lift and heels reach away from your hips. Drop into ujjayi breathing. 10 breaths everywhere. Keep a slow pace on the inhales and the exhales. 5 deep belly 5 outer (think about widening a corset by breathing to the sides of the body 5 back body (breath moves the back to the mat) 5 upper chest (sternum moves towards the chin. Head stays on the ground. Put it all together 5 in every direction: belly, sides, back and chest.
Energetically move your heels away from your body. Keep your lower belly in. Actively press into the block and lift your upper body off the floor, while keeping your arms in-line with your ears.
Actively press your ribs and lower back and outer shoulders to the ground. Keep your knees over your hips and wrists over your armpit. Exhale extend one arm over your head. Don’t let your ribs lift! Keep your sternum moving down to your belly button. Inhale, lift the arm over head and switch. Watch your knees for any movement. Try to isolate the movement in the upper body.
Additional notes: As you start to practice these, have Wardell watch your arms and knees to make sure they are centered in space. It’s hard to know exactly where your body is in space on this one.
3x10 each side
Actively press your ribs and lower back and outer shoulders to the ground. Keep your knees over your hips and wrists over your armpits. Exhale the right arm over your head and your left heel down to the ground. Keep your knee bent. Don’t let your ribs lift! Keep your sternum moving down to your belly button. Inhale, lift the right arm over head and left knee back Tom center. Then switch to the other side. Watch your knees and arms for any movement. Try to isolate the movement across the body and keep your limbs in place using your core.
Start in a table top position. Bring pressure and awareness in between your thumb and first finger. Internally rotate your forearms and externally rotate the biceps forward. Use your muscles to support you, not your joints ;) Tilt the tailbone to the back of the mat (not down) and lift the lower belly. Lift the knees for :30 seconds or less if you feel pain in the low back. And repeat.
Additional notes: I can see your upper back dome-ing in this clip. When you set your arms, also move your shoulder blades down your back and your sternum forward. This will connect your core to your arms and give you strength and stability for longer holds.
4x20 each side
Lie on your side and keep your inner feet together. Using the outer hip lift the knee open and slowly close the knee with control.
Place the band above the knees. Lift the arches of the feet and actively press out against the band. Resist the knees coming together. As you squat, hinge at the hips and drop the tush towards the ground. Keep your chest lifted. Exhale when you rise to standing and squeeze the glutes at the top.
2x10 steps left + right
Actively press out against the band, sit low in a squat and take 10 steps to the right and 10 steps to the left. Bring awareness to the feet and keep your arches lifted. Bring in your lower belly and drop your tailbone down to the heels. Do but tuck your tailbone.
2x10 front and back walks
Start in a squat, actively pressing out with the knees. Take 10 paces forward using the front of the hip to lift the leg. Then take 10 spaces back and rest. Take it slow and observe any imbalances.
Additional notes: When you practice the front/back band walks, take note of your right hip swinging to bring the leg forward. Slow down and concentrate on using the inner thigh to move your leg forward and back. Try to keep your hips level and in one line the entire time.