I’ve put this plan together for my own postnatal recovery after the birth of baby no. 2. It’s based around simple DIY circuits and that can be done anywhere outdoors with minimal kit, and it’s designed to be manageable within the constraints of life with a toddler. I’ve written it with my own circumstances and goals in mind so course it won’t be right for everybody, but I thought I’d share it in case it’s helpful to anyone putting together a plan of their own – and if you want to know more (or if you fancy giving it a whirl!) I’d love to hear from you!

How it works:

Daily Basic exercises: to be squeezed in every day, for abdominal/pelvic floor recovery (and basic sanity). Doesn’t have to be a ‘workout’; I’ll just fit them in wherever and however possible, increasing reps and intensity as appropriate.

  • Pick-and-Mix workouts: One workout = 5 exercises from the list below X 15 reps (where applicable) X 5 sets, plus a dash of cardio of duration/intensity level to suit. The 5 exercises should include at least one from each of the 3 sections for an all-over workout. Warm up & mobilise first; cool down after.

img_3707The Programme:

Weeks 1 – 6: daily basics only

Weeks 7-9: daily basics, plus 3 X pick and mix sessions per week, choosing L1 exercises only.

Weeks 10-12: daily basics, plus 3 X pick and mix sessions per week, now incorporating L2 progressions and upping the cardio.

Weeks 13-16: daily basics, plus 3 X pick and mix sessions per week, now incorporating L2 and 3 progressions and continuing to increase the cardio as appropriate.

The Exercises:

Daily Basics: 

  • Pelvic tilt, progressing to include head-and-shoulder raise
  • Side ‘dart’ with dual leg raise (repeat on each side)
  • Supine alternate leg slides
  • Bent knee fall-out
  • Imprinted table-top toe-taps
  • Thoracic extensions
  • Walk 30 mins with buggy (or longer if possible)

Pick and Mix Section 1: Core strength:image

  • L1) Pelvic Tilt L2) Shoulder Bridge L3) Shoulder bridge with alternate leg lefts
  • L1) Superman (box position) L3) Plank
  • L1) Side dart L2) Dart with double leg raise L3) Dart with double leg raise and scissor legs
  • L1) Mini crunch L3) Mini crunch with side toe-taps
  • L2) Imprinted table top single leg extension L3) Imprinted table top leg-glide
  • L3) Supine knee roll

Pick-and-Mix Section 2: Legs

  • L1) Squats L2) Squats with pulses L3) Duck walk
  • L1) Wide leg squats L2) Sumo squats L3) Squat jumps
  • L1) Lunges L2) Lunges with pulses L3) Gun drills
  • L1) Spider-Man steps L2) Mountain climbers L3) Squat thrusts
  • L1) Curtsey lunge
  • L1) Gluteal Raise  (table top position)
  • L1) Side-lying inner thigh raise
  • L2) Side-lying ‘clam’ knee raise

Pick-and-Mix Section 3: Armsimage

  • L1) Press ups, raised L2) Press ups, floor
  • L1) Tricep dips L2) Resistance band Tricep curl
  • L1) Mummy kicks L2) Resistance band dumb waiter
  • L1) Boxing
  • L2) Resistance band bicep curl
  • L2) Resistance band single arm row

Pick-and-Mix Cardio

  • L1) Walk
  • L1) Run L3) Sprint
  • L1) Lunge walk