There are a whole host of barriers we have to overcome when working out during those early postpartum days.

You may have gotten 4 hours total of sleep last night.
Your baby may not want to be more than 3 inches away from you.
You may have a whole pile of laundry laying on the floor.

So on and so forth.

One thing that shouldn’t be a barrier to your postpartum fitness routine are effective workouts that can be done with little or no equipment.

Many times, getting to the gym with a little one is impossible, which is why bodyweight movements you can do from home are so important for postpartum fitness. In the first 6 weeks will be 100% bodyweight to make sure you can still get workouts & recovery sessions in, without having to worry about hitting the gym. In fact, all of from weeks 7-12 can be done with just dumbbells!

Below are my 5 favorite bodyweight postpartum exercises to make your workouts more effective, without the equipment:

1) Windmills: Start standing with legs wide apart. Point your right foot forward to the wall in front of you, and your left foot pointing to the left wall to your side. Raise your right arm in the air (bicep to ear), and start with your left arm straight down with your elbow at your hip. Slowly slide your left hand down your left leg, while looking up at the right hand. Try to slide down until your hand touches your heel – if this feels too much, just go to knee height. Both legs should stay straight as possible. Use your core and obliques to control the movement on the way down, and as a stabilizer to raise yourself back up to starting position.

These are great for building up core strength/stability/control, and are a great side stretch at that.

2) Squats: Start standing with feet slightly outside your hips, with toes slightly pointed outwards. Keeping your pelvis and core stacked and engaged, squat down to 90 degrees or deeper while keeping your chest up, and shoulders back and down. Knees should track slightly over your toes. Using your quads, core and glutes, stand back up to starting position.

These help build glute strength which aids in posture, alignment, and overall body stability.


3) Glute Bridges: Start laying on your back, with knees bent and feet planted on the ground. Push through your heels to raise your hips up until your knees, hips and shoulders make a straight line. Slowly lower back down. If you feel your back arching, make sure to engage your core to keep a flat midsection. You should feel these in your glutes and hamstrings.

These also help build glute strength, while also working the deep low back muscles (multifidus musculature) and core stability.

4) Cossacks: Start standing with feet wide, both toes facing the wall in front of you. Lunge laterally to the right until your knee makes a 90 degree angle. You’ll feel a stretch in your left leg, while engaging the right leg in the lateral lunge. Return back to center, then repeat on the left side. Feet stay planted the whole time. Lean slightly into your quad as you lunge down, and make sure your knee and foot are in one line (adjust width of stance to keep the knee safe).

These are great for hip mobility, generating lower body strength and control in lateral movements, and core stability.


5) Good mornings: Start standing with feet hip width apart, hands behind the head. Keeping a soft knee, slowly bend at the hips until you make a 90 degree angle with your hips. Butt should shoot to the wall behind you, while keeping a flat back and keeping your core engaged. Slowly stand back up to starting position. You should feel a hamstring stretch on the way down, and engage your glutes on the way back up.

These are a great back, hamstring and glute developer, and generates a considerable amount of core tension to help build back strength there.

Here’s a 30 min postpartum workout that throws these all together!:

:40/:20 x4
Windmills L
Windmills R
Glute Bridges
Cossacks L
Cossacks R
Good mornings

And if you want every one of your postpartum workouts programmed for you each day, simply subscribe to FIGR:Postpartum !

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About Me

Hi, I'm Katelyn! I'm a girl mom to Amelia & wife to my high school sweetheart, Anthony. I'm a certified pre & postnatal fitness coach, majored in exercise science from the University of Michigan, and now coach clients both in person and through our FIGR app subscriptions full time with my husband. Can't wait to connect with you!

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