Making Mommy Series: Guest Post – Posture Tips

Welcome Jami from LOVAstyle back this week as part of my Making Mommy April Challenge to talk about posture exercises after having a baby. Here is a run down of all the posts in this series!

  1. Series Index
  2. Making Mommy April Challenge: Abs Every Day
  3. Making Mommy – Guest Post: Regaining Your Pre Baby Body
  4. Making Mommy – Guest Post: Posture Tips
  5. Making Mommy April Challenge: Update!
  6. Making Mommy – Guest Post: Pilates Mat Work (part 1)
  7. Making Mommy – Guest Post: Pilates Mat Work (part 2)
  8. Making Mommy April Challenge: Wrap Up!


Reclaiming Your Pre-Baby Body (Part 2)


 
I hope you have spent the past week working your pelvic floor with Kegel exercises along with engaging the transverse abdominus by pulling your belly button into your spine then pull up into your rib cage.  Have you incorporated these exercises into your daily routine? Continue performing these exercises. You want them to be on what I call “auto-pilot”, meaning the lift of the pelvic floor and the abdominal engagement are automatic.  This way when you start adding more exercises to your routine, these muscle groups are engaged by habit. It takes time and practice because the abdominals will take six months to a year to fully recover.

 

Today I wanted to focus on restoring your posture and discuss the importance of stretching.  During pregnancy your body was put through a rapid change or a shift in center of gravity. As the belly grew, the arch in the lower back may have gotten more pronounced. The shoulders began to round due do the weight of the breasts. Believe it or not the diameter of the ribcages expands by 2cm. And yes…the hips and thighs, yes they may seem to have gotten wider and bigger too.  I know, been there done that and still have that! Restoring posture is a huge on how your body looks and feels.  Think of this, sit/stand up nice and tall (pull your abdominals in and up) in an instant you look like you lost 10lbs. Here are some techniques to assist you in restoring your posture.


·        Stand against the wall.

1.           Make sure the back of the head, shoulder blades and just above the tailbone are in contact with     the wall.
2.           Pull your abdominals into the spine and up into the rib cage, then lift your pelvic floor.
3.           While honoring the natural curves of your spine, imagine your tailbone lengthening to the floor at the same time the top of your head reaches for the sky. This is your spine lengthening is opposite directions. 
4.           Now for the ribs, think of taking the base of your ribs and close the front to the back. You should feel the side upper abdominals (obliques) engage.  
5.           Lift arms out in front of you. Your hands should be just below the collarbone. Imagine there is a grape behind each shoulder blade. Visualize pressing the juice out to keep the shoulder blade in contact with the wall as your arms make small circles. Do 8-10 circles in each direction.
6.           Lower your arms at your side and left away from the wall.  


Stretching is very important especially after delivery.  When you become pregnant the uterus begins to produce the hormone Relaxin.  This hormone increases the flexibly of the pelvis for preparation for birth but it also loosens the entire musculoskeletalsystem, meaning your joints become more unstable and you feel more flexible. After birth Relaxin is no longer produced and begins to leave the body, you may start to feel “tightening up” in your joints and in the muscles you once felt flexible like a ballerina. It will take about five months after birth for this hormone to leave the body. Here are some stretches add to your daily routine.


·        Hamstrings – Stand facing a step about a foot high. Place heel of foot on the step, both feet are parallel and hips are squared. Hinge forward from the hips keeping the back flat. Think about the oppositional lengthening from the wall exercise.

·        Hip Flexor Stretches – using a chair for support stand tall and hold on to the chair with one hand.  Bend opposite knee to bring the foot to your seat. Hold on to your foot to stretch the front of your leg. Again imagine the spine lengthening in different directions.

·        Hip Rotator Stretches aka piriformis stretch – Sitting tall in a chair with feet flat and directly under your knees. Place one ankle on the opposite thigh. Sit up tall to get into the stretch. If you need more of a stretch, hinge forward keeping the back flat while using your Powerhouse to anchor the hips into the seat of the chair.

Continue working your abdominals (Powerhouse) and do your Kegels. Imagine your wall is with you wherever you go.  Put more focus in your posture this week and stretch out those hips!

 
Stay tuned next week, I will introduce some Pilates mat exercises.

Jami Bauer-Locricchio is a mother of two beautiful girls. She has been studying and teaching Pilates for a decade. Currently she is a freelance instructor teaching Pilates and Barre classes in Southeast Michigan. You can find out more about her wellness and Pilates including Mat Exercise of the Week by visiting www.LOVAstyle.me

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