From Delivery Room to Boxing PT: One Mother’s Postpartum Fitness Transformation

First why should new mums exercise?

  1. Improved physical recovery after childbirth Exercise helps regain strength and endurance, especially in the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles that are strained during pregnancy and delivery. It speeds up healing and helps the body return to its pre-pregnancy state.
  2. Mental health benefits Postpartum depression and anxiety are common issues new moms face. Exercise releases endorphins that boost mood and reduce stress and negative emotions. It provides an outlet and “me time” away from childcare responsibilities.
  3. Weight management Pregnancy causes weight gain that is difficult to lose through diet alone. Exercise burns calories to help shed the extra pounds and return to a healthy pre-pregnancy weight.
  4. Increased energy levels
    Caring for a newborn around the clock can be exhausting. Regular exercise improves stamina and gives new mums an energy boost to manage the demands of motherhood.
  5. Preventing future health issues Exercise lowers the risk of conditions like postpartum depression, obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes – all of which new mums are at higher risk for.
  6. Setting a good example By exercising, new mums model an active, healthy lifestyle for their children from an early age, promoting positive habits.

The key is starting slowly with gentle, low-impact activities like walking, swimming or postpartum yoga as the body recovers. New mums should get the okay from their doctor before beginning an exercise routine.

The Case Study

I was approached by a recent mother who was experiencing anxiety, insecurity, and concerns about resuming her exercise routine after giving birth to her baby. Approximately four months had passed since her delivery, and during our initial meeting, I explained the importance of starting with basic remedial exercises to rebuild her strength, repair her abdominal muscles, and prepare her body for more vigorous physical activity.

 

The Plan

The first stage of 3 weeks was dedicated to rebuilding her core muscles, addressing pelvic floor concerns, and bringing her abdominal muscles back together. After this foundational phase and obtaining clearance from her doctor, we progressed to:

  • 3x-week training regimen, gradually increasing the intensity. Walking, yoga and swimming.
  • Initially, the sessions were light, but over time, we incorporated boxing, light jogging, and various strength training exercises.

The client had set a goal to lose 5 kg (11 lbs), and I outlined a structured plan that combined nutrition and exercise over a period of approximately 10 weeks.

Second stage 3 weeks:

  • Increasing the training to include more running, longer boxing rounds
  • After the basic pelvic floor exercises and core strengthening we introduced secondary abdominal exercises such as toe taps and leg lift from laying down.  NOT crunches and low impact exercises.

During this time, we trained 3x a week, and she demonstrated remarkable improvement in her boxing abilities and overall self-confidence. Ultimately, she achieved her pre-pregnancy weight safely and learned valuable self-defense skills.

Third Stage 3 weeks:

  • Interval training now introduced
  • Longer boxing rounds
  • Resistance work and reps and sets including squats, press ups (with the help of baby )
  • Core work, superman exercises, side planks, toe taps

A unique aspect of our training sessions was the incorporation of her new baby. We integrated exercises that allowed her to engage with her child, such as squats, push-ups, and even gentle bicep curls while holding the baby. This not only provided a bonding experience but also added an extra challenge to her workouts.

Conclusion

Through our collaborative efforts over a 12 weeks period, the client not only regained her pre-pregnancy fitness level but also developed a stronger sense of self-confidence and empowerment. Her mental and physical health and fitness where hugely improved as to was the enjoyment of exercising.  The successful integration of her new role as a mother with her fitness journey served as an inspiring example of perseverance and adaptability.

For more information on training with Paul please click here.

For the NHS guide to post pregnancy health for new mums click here.

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