The “Mom Workout”: 8 Exercises To Ease Your Aches & Pains

 

Being that it’s Mother’s Day today, I thought it’d be appropriate to write about a little bit of self-care for us mothers.  We don’t do enough of it, and I am such a HUGE proponent of this for every mother.  Because let’s face it -we can always take ALL the help we can get!

 

Whether you are an expecting mama, recently postpartum, or a few years removed from the birth of your last baby, all of us are not immune to the aches and pains that plague us from taking care of our children.  For some of us moms, that means growing a baby, for others it means running after children all day, and for others it means BOTH (and let me tell you, Mama -if this is you, I feel for you!  That’s a double whammie!).  Regardless of where you are on the “Mom Spectrum”, we all have a tendency to periodically feel discomfort through our hips, lower back, upper back, shoulders and neck from the rigors of motherhood.

 

No worries, though! Along with regular exercise, there is something we can do in order to ease those aches and pains, and to help you feel a bit more like your old self again.  I like to refer to it as “The Mom Workout”.  No -it’s not your typical gym workout, but it’s still very beneficial for you!  It’s a quick circuit of stretches and exercises that you can complete on a daily basis, or whenever you feel the need to just get up and move.  You could even use it first thing in the morning to help get your blood pumping, lubricate some stiff joints, and get your body moving.  And actually, you could do this routine at night to help your wind down and fall asleep more easily…just move a little more slowly!

 

Aim to do one or two sets of all these exercises on most days of the week, but especially on days that you don’t work out.  The whole routine should take no longer than 5-10 minutes to finish.  You can also use the exercises on most days of the week, but especially on non-workout days. The whole circuit shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to complete.  You can also use this routine as a warm-up before any of your workouts.  It doesn’t require much equipment at all, just a stability ball if you have access to one, or simply a chair that won’t move, or the edge of your couch, or a bench.

 

Disclaimer: As always, please check with your doctor or healthcare provider to confirm if you have any contraindications to exercise.

The “Mom Workout”

 

 

Child’s Pose Lat Stretch

 

 

CPstart

CPfinish

 

 

  • Sit in front of the ball with your knees apart and butt touching your heels.
  • Arms straight and resting on top of the ball,
  • Roll ball forward and drop head in between your arms.
  • Relax and breathe into the stretch. You should feel a stretch through your sides, upper back, shoulders and arms
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths.
  • Return to the starting position
  • Perform 1-2 sets/5-10 breaths per set.

 

If you are pregnant:

  • You can rest your belly on a bolster, pillow, or a rolled up blanket/towel to feel more supported.
  • If you’re experiencing symphysis pubis diastasis then either bring the knees closer together or skip it all together, depending on your comfort level.

Child’s Pose Thoracic Rotation

 

 

TRstart

TRfinish

 

 

  • Sit back on heels as in the previous exercise.
  • Bear weight on one arm.
  • With the other arm, place your hand by your ear and your elbow in line with the inside of your other arm
  • Exhale and rotate bent arm up towards ceiling by opening up the chest. Look up with your elbow.
  • Inhale and return to the starting position.
  • Perform 1-2 sets/5-10 rotations per side.

 

If you are pregnant:

  • You can rest your belly on a bolster, pillow, or a rolled up blanket/towel to feel more supported.
  • If you’re experiencing pubic symphysis diastasis then either bring the knees closer together or skip it all together, depending on your comfort level.

 

Stability Ball Chest Opener

 

 

Openerstart

Openerfinish

 

 

  • Sit in front of your ball with your butt on the ground. You can place the ball against a wall for more support if necessary.
  • Lean back on the ball and let your head, neck and shoulders rest on top of the ball.
  • Try and keep your chin tucked slightly and your rib cage stacked over your hips.
  • Allow your arms to drape over the ball and feel a stretch through your chest.
  • Stay here for 5-10 breaths and then return back to the starting position.

 

Supine Knee Drops

 

 

HipDropstart

HipDropfinish

 

 

  • Roll from your side to get into position.
  • Lay on your back with knees bent and feet about hips distance apart.
  • Keep the natural curve in your lumbar spine. Don’t flatten lower back to the floor.
  • Exhale and lower one knee in towards the middle while keeping your foot on the floor.
  • Hold for a few seconds and then on an inhale return your leg to the start position. Repeat on the other leg.
  • Perform 1-2 sets/8-10 repetitions per side.

 

If you are pregnant:

  • It is okay to lay on your back for a minute or so after the first trimester, if you feel comfortable doing so.
  • If you begin to feel dizzy or lightheaded, simply roll to your side, sit up using your arms to help you, and breathe normally.

 

Floor Slides

 

 

FloorSlidesstart

FloorSlidesfinish

 

 

  • Roll from your side to get into position.
  • Lay on your back with knees bent and feet about hips distance apart.
  • Keep the natural curve in your lumbar spine. Don’t flatten lower back to the floor.
  • Start with your arms bent and hands just above your head.
  • Inhale and slide your arms overhead until they are extended.
  • Exhale and then pull them back down towards your sides.
  • Focus on keeping your hands and forearms flat on the floor and pulling shoulder blades together at the bottom.
  • Perform 1-2 sets/8-10 repetitions per side.

 

Clamshells

 

 

clamshellstart

clamshellfinish

 

 

  • Get onto your side with your head, hips, and heels in line.
  • Extend your bottom arm overhead and support your head with it.
  • Press your other hand into the floor.
  • Exhale and squeeze your glutes to lift the top knee up into the air.
  • Keep your heels together and keep your range of motion small.
  • Inhale and lower the leg.
  • You should feel your glutes burning on the outside of your working hip.
  • Perform 1-2 sets/8-10 repetitions per side per set.

 

NOTE: Keep your hips squared to the front and don’t let them rock back.  Use your hand in front to keep your weight shifted slightly forward.

 

Hip Thrusts

 

 

HipThrustStart

HipThrustFinish

 

 

  • Place your ball into a corner for more support if needed.
  • Roll into a tabletop position onto the ball with your upper back, shoulders, and head resting on the ball.
  • You can fold your hands across your chest or place them behind your head.
  • Inhale and lower your hips to the ground.
  • Exhale and extend your hips up into the air. Be sure to squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up in the air.
  • Inhale to lower your hips back down to the starting position.
  • Perform 1-2 sets/8-10 repetitions per set.

 

NOTE: Your whole body should move as one unit.  The only movement should be at the hip joint.  Also focus on keeping your rib cage stacked over your pelvis -no flaring of the rib cage please.

 

Bodyweight Squats

 

 

SquatStart

SquatFinish

 

 

  • Stand tall and in good alignment (rib cage stacked over hips, neutral lumbar curve, tailbone untucked and bodyweight back towards your heels.
  • Feet are placed about shoulder width apart.
  • Inhale and sit back and down into your hips. Squat down to a comfortable depth for you.
  • Exhale to stand up and imagine you are pushing through the floor with your feet to activate your legs and glutes.
  • Stand up with full hip extension at the top.
  • Perform 1-2 sets/8-10 repetitions.

 

NOTE: Be sure to squeeze your glutes as you stand up out of your squat instead of thrusting the hips forwards to stand up.

 

There you have it, mama!  A quick little routine for you to do anytime you feel the need to move a little bit and work out any aches and pains.  If you’d like more tips and tricks on how to move and feel well as a mom, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter in the box below!

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