The baby is here, now quickly into the running shoes - this desire of young mothers is understandable, but not reasonable. After all, the body has been through a lot due to pregnancy and birth. Fitness coach Moni Homann specializes in postpartum training. She explains how women can prepare to get back into running and what requirements should be met before the first jog.
"I want to do sports again - I'm going for a run". Personal trainer Moni Homann often hears this sentence from her clients. After the birth of a child, many women want to get fit and slim again quickly. Exercising in nature seems to be the ideal way to do this. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when jogging after pregnancy.
If you start too early, you will harm your body.
Pregnancy and childbirth have changed the body. The midsection of the body is under a lot of strain. To make room for the growing baby, the abdominal muscles have stretched, and the pelvic floor has been weakened by the extra weight it has had to bear. Muscles, tendons and ligaments have softened throughout the body, making joints less sturdily protected. "When you think about that, it becomes clear why it's not a very good idea to go back to running too soon," Homann says. In the worst case, he says, incontinence or organ prolapse could result, and that as a late consequence, even years later. In addition, the risk of deformities and injuries, for example to the knees and ankles, increases due to overloaded tendons and ligaments.
Train the muscles first
Before you get into your running shoes, the fitness expert therefore advises you to prepare yourself well for the strain. With exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor and - just as important - those that actively relax it. In addition, mothers should specifically strengthen the torso, i.e. the abdominal and back muscles as well as the hip-extending muscles. "Only when I train the body's core holistically, functionally and reflexively, is it stable enough to ideally relieve the pelvic floor and cushion the shock of running," Homann explains. To make the workout easier for her clients, she uses sports equipment such as soft textile bands and mini balls from the Artzt vitality brand.
And when can I go running again?
Homann does not want to give a blanket answer to this question; the right time to start is different for every woman. For the trainer, however, a completed, holistic and sustainable regression is the minimum requirement. In addition, mothers can check their fitness for jogging with simple tests: A fast and also longer walk should be possible without complaints. Women should be able to perform exercises on one leg without compensation or accidents and in a stable manner. If you want to be absolutely sure, get the okay from your gynecologist or go to a specialized pelvic floor therapist.
Watch out for warning signs
In principle, however, women should not be afraid of returning to work too early, says Homann. The body usually shows you quite clearly when it is not yet fit enough for running. Caution is advised, for example, when there is noticeable downward pressure in the pelvic floor, loss of urine, pain in the pelvic ring or back pain. These are all signs that the body is not yet able to cope with the load. "There is then simply still too much strength and reflex muscle activity missing - the lanes are then not yet passable again," says the personal trainer.
How to get back on track
If you have no complaints and feel fit in other respects, you can cautiously start running training. The fitness expert recommends stimulating the cardiovascular system with regular walks through to brisk walking and thus training endurance. The women should start with short running units and then slowly increase the intensity. A walk-run program is best suited for this purpose. In other words, the rhythmic alternation between walking and jogging. Specialized coaches can provide support and reassurance when returning to running. Homann believes that this is a good investment in one's own health and concludes with an important tip for mothers: "Forget old best times and listen to your body and your heartbeat.
Fit for jogging: Five exercises for moms
This workout activates the pelvic floor and trains the muscles in the trunk and legs.
1. the basic exercise - activation of the pelvic floor
Lie on your back with your feet up, head relaxed. Hands rest diagonally on the lower abdomen. Activation is done in three steps: First close or tense the anus, then the vagina, then the urethra. When activating in this order, you will feel a slowly swelling movement from bottom to top against your fingertips. Only then does your pelvic floor make the lifting movement it needs for its everyday support function.
2. diagonal torso activation
Stand upright, hip-width apart with the ARTZT vitality mini ball in your right hand. Activate your pelvic floor (basic exercise), then shift your weight to your right leg and lift your left leg in a controlled manner from your abdominal strength. Press the ball against your left knee with your arm extended, exhaling slowly. Stand or hold steady and secure for 3-5 seconds. Switch sides.
Repetitions: 5x per side. This exercise can also be done while sitting at the beginning.
3. squats - stability and strength for hips and knees
Securely fasten ARTZT vitality Super Band textile and place the free loop around the left thigh (just above the knee). Activate pelvic floor (basic exercise) and bend knees sideways, hold briefly and return to starting position. Keep knees aligned frontally. Switch sides.
Repetitions: 5-10x per side.
a) Attach band to other thigh, away from fixed point.
b) Actively push the right leg off the floor after the squat and keep it lifted (hip high) during the backward movement.
c) Perform movement backward (lunge) instead of sideways.
4. pelvic lift & walk
Supine position with ARTZT vitality Loop Band textile around thighs. Arms long and close to the body. Raise pelvis (straighten hips) and keep stable. In this position, alternate walking back and forth with the feet, keeping the pelvis as horizontal as possible.
Repetitions: 5-10 times back and forth.
5. supreme discipline - trunk strength, stability and coordination
In quadruped stance, lift knees off floor and find a stable position. With back/pelvis straight, diagonally bring knee and hand together and return to starting position. Alternate hand and knee.
Repetitions: alternate 5-10x.
About the expert
Moni Homann is a personal trainer. In 2009, she developed the training and fitness concept "Beautiful Mothers" to give women energy and self-confidence again after childbirth. Since 2021, Homann has also been a trainer, passing on her years of experience in postpartum training and her expertise in "core" to trainers in her training module "Beautiful Mothers - Personal Training after Pregnancy."
Source and image: Ludwig Artzt GmbH
Published on: 21 June 2022