In this month’s Mother & Baby magazine, Vern Hill, a pre and post-natal fitness instructor and founder of the CARiFiT routine, guides you through five simple exercises that you can do to strengthen your post-pregnancy core muscles, while also wearing your baby.
This exercise will build strength, improve your posture and release tension in your upper back, while also strengthening your shoulders and biceps to help you lift and carry your baby. It can also help your upper back feel less achy after supporting the weight of your breasts during pregnancy.
Before you start, wait six weeks if you’ve had your baby vaginally or 12 weeks if you’ve had a caesarean. If you're unsure, check that it’s ok to start exercising with your midwife.
How to exercise with your baby in a carrier:
- Tight – Make sure the carrier is tight enough to hug your baby close.
- In view constantly – You should be able to see your baby’s face at all times.
- Close enough to kiss – Your baby’s head should be within kissing distance.
- Keep chin off chest – This ensures your baby’s breathing isn’t restricted.
- Supported back – Prevent your baby from slumping to ensure his airways are clear.
Ready to start? Follow these simple steps:
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and keep your knees soft. Activate the muscles in your pelvic floor by squeezing around your vagina and bottom and pulling your tummy button in towards your spine and draw your chest upwards and your shoulder blades back and slightly together, while keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed and level.
- Start with your hands relaxed by your sides then curl them upwards towards your shoulders, by squeezing your biceps. At the top of the curl rotate your hands outwards, squeeze your upper back muscles and open up your chest.
- Once your arms are fully rotated and your elbows are at shoulder height, press your arms towards the ceiling. Then draw a large downward circle with your arms by pulling your shoulder blades together until your hands are returned to the starting position.
- Repeat 20 times to improve your shoulder strength and mobility, your posture and to increase flexibility through your shoulders and upper back.
For more information about the CARiFiT routine and how to attend a class or sign up to the online workouts, visit carifit.co.uk