Why, Why, Why?
I am not much for ranting…
Hmmmm ….Actually, my friends would probably disagree with that statement. I do on occasion rant about things that are on my mind. Donald Trump has certainly brought up some decent monologues this week.
(Photo: REUTERS/Scott Morgan)
Last week I had a new client attend my pregnancy class. She is pregnant for the second time around and mentioned that she has low back pain which was aggravated by postnatal exercise after her first baby. Naturally I was curious and asked her to share her experience with the group.
When she was 6 weeks postnatal, she attended a mums and babies bootcamp class. She did sprints, burpees, planks, star jumps…you name it, she did it. There was no assessment, no education, no scaling.
After the class she developed severe back pain, which persisted for almost 12 months.
(NB, at this point in the story all my regular clients turned to me with their jaws dropped…waiting to see the steam come out of my ears! They have received a lot of education about pre and postnatal fitness and they know that those sorts of exercises are not suitable in the early postnatal period).
I had another client earlier in the year with a similar story, but she developed incontinence after doing a class with the same kind of exercises (not sure if it was the same instructor or not…). She had no issues prior to starting the class. Thankfully she felt something was not right with those exercises and she sought me out for an alternative form of exercise.
Now I’m not saying that my way is THE way to exercise or in fact that there is only one correct way of doing postnatal exercise BUT burpees, planks and sprints are NOT the first port of call for choosing postnatal exercise!
But what are some alternatives?
(Here are a couple of happy snaps from my pilates classes)
There are TONS of exercises you can do postnatally!
Walking, squats, lunges, calf raises, bridging, supermans, theraband arm exercises, bicep curls, clams, leg circles, deadlifts, push ups (modified), tricep curls, pelvic tilts…the list goes on and on…
So why not BUILD your muscle strength, coordination and balance over time, rather than jumping back into the high-level, dynamic, impact exercises straight away.
Give your body time and space to heal. Build yourself back up from the inside-out.
How do you do this?
Find a fitness or health professional local to you who is trained at teaching exercise to the postnatal population (perhaps avoid the term “bootcamp!”). Ask about their qualifications. Trust your gut instinct when starting a new class and stop if you don’t feel that the exercises are right for you.
Who do I recommend?
MUTU 12 week online program for mums. You can find it here
Healthy Habits Healthy Mums (online) – join here
Dynamic Strength Physiotherapy – ME! (Perth, Australia) –here
I’m going to put together a list of fitpros that I know and trust – I’ll post it on here soon! I’ll also be checking out some more online programs in the near future and will let you know of the ones that I truly rate!