March 2016: Postpartum Programming Day Four
CHECK-IN. This is the start of week 2. I need you to move your ego aside, put the opinions of others down a drain, and forget about the concept of time. I need you to be very honest with yourself and answer the questions below.
Did I do all that was asked of me in the programming last week? I want to be clear with you that the programming unfolds in a particular order for a reason. If you miss a particular day, then pick up where you left off. This is not just an “ease-back-into” program. This is a “let’s-lay-a-solid foundation” program. We wake up certain muscle groups in a particular method based on education and experience. This is more than just strength and conditioning; this is healing, recovering, and solidifying the foundation.
Did I take a rest days? The rest days can be the biggest window we have into our bodies. If you went through Day One, then on Day Two had a little bleeding, not much, but bleeding, that is your body telling you something. Your body is saying, “Hey lady, we may need a few more days.” And I want you to understand that that is common. Our bodies heal at different rates, so please no comparisons. You may have to repeat week one twice or work on your schedule. That is okay. There are many variations to normal, but the important thing to remember is to go in order and take rest days!
Did I visit my chiropractor? Dealing with a postpartum body is like dealing with the mess left behind from 4 college guys renting your home. I guarantee the foundation is a bit off. You may not see it, but I would get that situation checked out. Ideally, I see my clients within a week of giving birth. This is to make sure the framing is set properly to ensure for optimal healing.
Did I have any vaginal bleeding or pee in my pants? This was mentioned above, but if you have any vaginal bleeding or leakage, then I need you to stop. I’d prefer you get checked out by your midwife or obgyn, and also wait a week before starting again. Vaginal bleeding definitely tells us that your body is not ready. It’s not a bad thing; it just means you need more recovery time. Any kind of urinary leakage means that pelvic floor needs more time. This can either mean more rest time or more time at the previous level of fitness. What I mean by that is that perhaps you’ve been fine for week one. You start week two and during the second training day you pee in your pants a little during the end of a jog or squats. This tells me that we need to go back to the level before and hang out a bit. Perhaps we go back to box squats and functional progression 2 for a week. Talk to me. Communicate if something comes up.
Did I have any bad/sharp pain? You know the difference between discomfort that is for your gain as compared to pain, more detrimental. If you perform a movement inside training or inside regular life and you feel a sharp, not so awesome pain, then definitely make note of it. Never force movement through pain like that at this point in your life. Take a time out and get it checked out.
Thank you for taking the time to go through that list for me, but more importantly yourself.
Let’s start with breathing!
Supine Belly Breathing. To be able to access your diaphragm is one the most fundamental, primitive, basic human movements. You can breathe however you want to breathe in your daily life, but for right now, we are going to call on our diaphragm. Lying on the ground, with knees bent and heels on the ground, inhale to fill up your belly with air. Nothing forced. Just allow the fresh oxygen space to enter your belly. Try to relax your shoulders and upper back and focus only on your belly. When you exhale, empty all the stale oxygen. Again, nothing forced, you are just moving oxygen in and out of your belly.
Perform 2 minutes or 30 breaths.
Ninety-Ninety. We mentioned these as well last week, so let’s make sure we can do them. Act like you were demonstrating this movement to a bunch of 13 year old girls- slow, controlled, intentional.
Perform 5 x 5 on each side.
Standing Triangle Stretch. This is to open up your chest and mid back while also mobilizing hips. I want you to really initiate the twist from your chest.
Perform 30-60 seconds on each side for 3 times total each.
The lunge. If squatting is feeling pretty good, then let’s move on to the lunge. Yes, the knee touches the ground and you stand up completely between each rep.
For this workout below, please make sure to review the video on lunges and push-ups. These are STANDING push-ups. Keep body nice and tight, elbows point behind you the whole time, and lower chest to wall.
Odd Minute = Perform 6 Walking (or In Place) lunges.
Even Minute = 2 Standing Wall Push-Ups.
Welcome to week Day Four. You are totally doing it. Be patient. Be consistent. And, embrace the journey.
P.S. If you post photos to social media, don’t forget to let us know via #BIRTHFIT