Unpacking "home workouts" for the pregnant and postpartum athlete...
Open ANY form of social media media right now and you will find literally THOUSANDS of home workouts free for you to follow along with. The fitness industry has moved online at a startling pace to meet the demands of all of those wanting to continue exercising at home. While this is amazing and offers us all a huge amount of training options there can be a few issues:
- it can be overwhelming! choosing a workout might take you the time it would have done to just get a workout done!
- alot of the workouts are marketing themselves as HIIT, and body weight HIIT workouts tend to include a higher proportion of impact or very "traditional" style core exercises.
Things like star jumps, jump squats, burpees, mountain climbers, sit ups and leg raises may be body weight staples but for the pregnant or postpartum amongst us, or those struggling with pelvic floor related issues they may not be the best option right now.
- its really easy to get complacent with form when you're training alone and no one is watching your positioning and movements.
- a lack of accountability, encouragement, community, structure and progression coupled with the challenges of working out with kids, babies (and dogs!) can lead to that initial enthusiasm fading
So this is the purpose of my first blog post... i am going to be offering some modifications, adaptations and options for those wanting and needing a more considered approach at this time as well as providing some ideas for addressing some potential weaknesses that you keep ignoring, such as lack of core strength and leaking during certain movements.
Brianna Battles, founder of Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism, says that Postpartum levels the playing field. (if you haven't checked her out, do it now!) During this chapter everyone is required to re strengthen and rehab - previous fitness and pregnancy fitness level is no exemption to taking the time to rebuild your foundations just like it offers no guarantees of an easier birth, shorter labour or less complications.
So why not see this time in the same light, with gyms closed, people having to make do with limited equipment or simply bodyweight and with coaches unable to provide face to face options we are all on a slightly more level playing field when it comes to our training options.
Its time to embrace the basics, build core strength and stability, do the accessory movements you usually avoid in favour of heavy barbell work, work on your pelvic floor, increase mobility and improve your form so that when you get back to the box and amongst all the equipment, you have addressed and improved your tendency to leak during a heavy clean or double unders, your poor shoulder stability, strengthened your glutes and improved your deep core stability.
First movement on the list... the movement everyone loves to hate...The Burpee...