Has your doctor cleared you to start exercising after having a baby but aren’t sure where to start? Easing into a workout routine without overexerting your body can be a challenge. You want to feel better by getting your body moving without stunting the healing process from giving birth.

That’s why I created a two-week postpartum workout guide for free to share with you! This two-week workout is gentle enough to do immediately postpartum (always check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine) and is specifically for anyone who has diastasis recti from pregnancy.

How Soon Can I Work Out After Giving Birth?

This was one of the first questions I asked when talking with my midwife. The standard answer is 6 weeks postpartum, but my midwife didn’t check anything or even ask me how I felt it was just a blanket statement of yes, you can go back to exercise.

However, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) they state, “If you had a healthy pregnancy and a normal vaginal delivery, you should be able to start exercising again soon after the baby is born. Usually, it is safe to begin exercising a few days after giving birth—or as soon as you feel ready. If you had a cesarean birth or other complications, ask your health care professional when it is safe to begin exercising again.”

Based on this guideline, you can start postpartum exercise whenever you feel comfortable. Two days after giving birth to my son I took a 15-minute walk, and honestly, I was exhausted after that. I knew that it would be too much if I kept going, so I listened to my body and relaxed on the couch. Always be sure to listen to what your body is telling you! But if you feel comfortable and don’t have any side effects, go ahead and begin slowly adding exercise.

What Happens if You Exercise Too Soon After Giving Birth?

If you jump into working out quickly after birth and overdo it, you can have some complications. It can delay healing internally, c section scarring, or if you had any kind of perineal tear. Also, post baby cortisol levels are low, so if you start adding in strenuous exercise, your cortisol levels will continue to deplete leaving you feeling exhausted or dizzy. Lastly, there is quite a bit of blood loss during birth, so making sure your iron levels normalize before any rigorous exercise is optimal.

Postpartum Workout Guide

At two weeks postpartum, I decided to start training again with the following exercise guide. This is a 4-day plan with core exercises and stretches to help your posture. It is also simple enough for any fitness level. After giving birth, most of us start at a beginner level, especially when healing the core. If you’re looking to work out more frequently, you can add in walks on days 5, 6, or 7.

The core exercises are specific to helping heal your abdominals after they have been stretched throughout pregnancy. If you have diastasis recti, this program is perfect for you! I had a 2.5″ separation in my mid abdominals and a 3″ separation in my lower abdominals when I first started this program. After one month of consistently rehabbing my core, I had a 1″ and 2″ separation, and it was almost completely gone after three months.

Focusing on these exercises might seem boring and tedious, but it is crucial to get you back to your typical workouts, whether running, yoga, CrossFit, bodybuilding, or HIIT. See below the two-week workout plan, and if you want a simple PDF of the exercises to print, you can get my postpartum workout plan pdf here.

For a detailed tutorial on each exercise, go to my blog posts on core strengthening exercises and postpartum stretching exercises.

Week 1 Day 1
Breathing Exercises:
Exercise Ball Breathing- 10 breaths
Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
Sidelying TA Bracing- 30 seconds
TA March- 20 total
Rolling Bridge- 10 reps

Stretching Exercises:
Door frame pectoral stretch- 2 minutes
Kneeling lat stretch- 2 minutes
Cat cow- 2 minutes
Runners stretch- 2 minutes
Pigeon pose- 2 minutes
Book opener- 2 minutes

Week 1 Day 2
Breathing Exercises:
Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
Modified Quad TA Bracing- 10 breaths
Bent Knee Fall Out- 20 total
Clamshell with Bracing- 20 total
Deadbug-Arms only- 20 total

Stretching Exercises:
Pelvic tilts- 2 minutes
Butterfly stretch- 2 minutes
Downward dog- 2 minutes
Kneeling Lat Strech- 2 minutes
Leg stretch with strap- 2 minutes
Seated neck release- 2 minutes

Week 1 Day 3
Breathing Exercises:
Exercise Ball Breathing- 10 breaths
TA March- 20 total
Rolling Bridge- 10 reps
One Leg Bridge Extension- 10 reps
Clamshell with Bracing- 20 total

Stretching Exercises:
Downward dog- 2 minutes
Childs pose- 2 minutes
Door frame pectoral stretch- 2 minutes
Figure 4 stretch- 2 minutes
Butterfly stretch- 2 minutes
Seated neck release- 2 minutes

Week 1 Day 4
Breathing Exercises:
Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
Modified Quad TA Bracing- 10 breaths
Deadbug-Arms only- 20 total
Hip Hike- 10 reps
Wall Plank- 30 seconds

Stretching Exercises:
Pelvic tilts- 2 minutes
Childs pose- 2 minutes
Cat cow- 2 minutes
Runners stretch- 2 minutes
Pigeon pose- 2 minutes
Book opener- 2 minutes

Week 2 Day 1
Breathing Exercises:
Exercise Ball Breathing- 10 breaths
Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
Sidelying TA Bracing- 30 seconds
TA March- 20 total
Rolling Bridge- 10 reps

Stretching Exercises:
Door frame pectoral stretch- 2 minutes
Kneeling lat stretch- 2 minutes
Cat cow- 2 minutes
Runners stretch- 2 minutes
Pigeon pose- 2 minutes
Book opener- 2 minutes

Week 2 Day 2
Breathing Exercises:
Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
Modified Quad TA Bracing- 10 breaths
Bent Knee Fall Out- 20 total
Clamshell with Bracing- 20 total
Deadbug-Arms only- 20 total

Stretching Exercises:
Pelvic tilts- 2 minutes
Butterfly stretch- 2 minutes
Downward dog- 2 minutes
Kneeling Lat Strech- 2 minutes
Leg stretch with strap- 2 minutes
Seated neck release- 2 minutes

Week 2 Day 3
Breathing Exercises:
Exercise Ball Breathing- 10 breaths
TA March- 20 total
Rolling Bridge- 10 reps
One Leg Bridge Extension- 10 reps
Clamshell with Bracing- 20 total

Stretching Exercises:
Downward dog- 2 minutes
Childs pose- 2 minutes
Door frame pectoral stretch- 2 minutes
Figure 4 stretch- 2 minutes
Butterfly stretch- 2 minutes
Seated neck release- 2 minutes

Week 2 Day 4
Breathing Exercises:
Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
Modified Quad TA Bracing- 10 breaths
Deadbug-Arms only- 20 total
Hip Hike- 10 reps
Wall Plank- 30 seconds

Stretching Exercises:
Pelvic tilts- 2 minutes
Childs pose- 2 minutes
Cat cow- 2 minutes
Runners stretch- 2 minutes
Pigeon pose- 2 minutes
Book opener- 2 minutes

How to Heal Your Core Postpartum

Exercise after baby can feel completely different from the exercise you were used to pre-baby. It may feel overwhelming and like you are starting over, but restoring your core muscles first can get you back to old workouts in no time. These gentle and effective movements will guide you to a flatter stomach and into the best shape of your life.
Let me know how this workout plan worked for you and if you have any other exercises you like to do postpartum. Don’t forget your free PDF of this workout plan here!

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