Many women struggle to get back in shape after having a baby. The hormonal and physical transformations that occur during a pregnancy happen over the course of several months. You may want to immediately pop back to your pre-pregnancy shape but the reality is that it will take some time – especially if you did not stay consistent with a workout routine during pregnancy. But, if you choose the appropriate exercises from the beginning, you will see results much more quickly. The best type of exercise for women to get back in shape after having a baby is strength training.
Exercises that are designed to increase strength and build muscle mass are the best exercises for women to get back in shape after having a baby. You may struggle with this idea because it can seem counterintuitive to what you have heard about weight loss your entire life. Many women believe that the only way to loss the ‘baby weight’ is by spending hours each week doing steady state cardio. The reality is that you will get the best results if you incorporate strength training into your workout routine. Strength training can help you lose weight, keep it off, and develop the physique you want. As you build muscle, you will also increase your metabolism. This means that you will naturally burn more calories at rest. A higher metabolism will make it easier to lose weight and keep it under control over time.
The most important type of strength training exercises to do after having a baby are called compound exercises. These exercises engage more than one muscle group at a time. For example, doing squats can engage your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and your core. Engaging more muscle groups with compound exercises will ultimately lead to better results. Examples of compound exercises include squat, deadlift, bent over rows, overhead press, and many more. Examples of isolated movements include dumbbell curls, triceps press-downs, and calf raises.
As you get started on your journey of getting back in shape after having a baby – be sure and listen to your body. You may be tempted to push yourself as hard as possible in order to get quick results. But, getting hurt or burning out will only set you back further. Ease into your new workout program – you can always increase the intensity and weights if things are too easy. Below is a list of movements you can do with little to no equipment to get you started.
Body Weight Squat
Plank Shoulder Touch
You can find videos that go over how to do a wide range of exercises properly on the Mind Pump Media YouTube Channel.
A workout routine that includes strength training with compound exercises – along with a quality nutrition plan – will put you on the path toward getting back in shape after having a baby. If you are ready to jump in and want some guidance, check out MAPS Starter.