Heal Your Core With This Safe Postnatal Workout Plan Excited to start your postpartum workouts but paralized by where to start? Try my two week postpartum workout plan to safely start exercising after having a baby. These gentle movements with heal your diastasis recti and ease your body back into workouts.
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Postnatal Exercise Plan For New Moms

Has your doctor cleared you to start exercising after having a baby but aren’t sure where to start? Easing into a workout routine without overexerting your body can be a challenge. You want to feel better by getting your body moving without stunting the healing process from giving birth.

That’s why I created a two-week postpartum workout guide for free to share with you! This two-week workout is gentle enough to do immediately postpartum (always check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine) and is specifically for anyone who has diastasis recti from pregnancy.

How Soon Can I Start Postpartum Exercises After Giving Birth?

This was one of the first questions I asked when talking with my midwife. The standard answer is 6 weeks postpartum, but my midwife didn’t check anything or even ask me how I felt. It was just a blanket statement of yes, you can go back to exercise.

However, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) they state, “If you had a healthy pregnancy and a normal vaginal delivery, you should be able to start exercising again soon after the baby is born. Usually, it is safe to begin exercising a few days after giving birth—or as soon as you feel ready.

If you had a cesarean birth or other complications, ask your health care professional when it is safe to begin exercising again.”

postpartum exercises

Based on this guideline, you can start postpartum exercise whenever you feel comfortable. Two days after giving birth to my son, I took a 15-minute walk, and honestly, I was exhausted after that. I knew that it would be too much if I kept going, so I listened to my body and relaxed on the couch.

Always be sure to listen to what your body is telling you! But if you feel comfortable and don’t have any side effects, go ahead and begin slowly adding exercise. Make sure you have the best postpartum workout clothes so you can feel comfortable getting back into exercise.

What Happens if You Exercise Too Soon After Giving Birth?

If you jump into working out quickly after birth and overdo it, you can have some complications. It can delay healing internally, c section scarring, or if you had any kind of perineal tear.

Also, postpartum cortisol levels are low, so if you start adding in strenuous exercise, your cortisol levels will continue to deplete, leaving you feeling exhausted or dizzy.

Lastly, there is quite a bit of blood loss during birth, so making sure your iron levels normalize before any rigorous exercise is optimal.

Is This Postnatal Workout Program Safe For My Pelvic Floor?

Yes, this program is designed specifically to increase strength in your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles after having a baby.

Most postpartum women need to focus on pelvic floor exercises to help reconnect their minds to the muscles that have been stretched during pregnancy. You can start implementing these types of exercises as soon as you feel comfortable, but I recommend around 2-3 weeks

The postpartum workout plan below is perfect for gently activating your pelvic floor muscles, reconnecting them, and helping you feel stronger after pregnancy.

What Exercises Should I Focus On After Delivery?

You should focus on exercises that build strength in your pelvic floor and core, and improve postural imbalances created during pregnancy. Exercises such as diaphragmatic breathing, glute bridges, and book openers are all good movements to practice postpartum.

There are no wrong exercises to do post-pregnancy. However, exercises that cause coning in your abdomen, pelvic heaviness, or leaking should be avoided. This can be unique for everyone, so look out for signs of intolerance when getting back into a routine.

Postpartum Workout Program

At two weeks postpartum, I decided to start training again with the following exercise guide. This is a 4-day plan with core exercises and stretches to help your posture. It is also simple enough for any fitness level.

After giving birth, most of us start at a beginner level, especially when healing our abdominal muscles. If you’re looking to work out more frequently, you can add in walks on days 5, 6, or 7.

exercise program after birth

The core exercises are specific to helping heal your abdominal muscles after they have been stretched throughout pregnancy. If you have diastasis recti, this program is perfect for you! I had a 2.5″ separation in my mid abdominals and a 3″ separation in my lower abdominals when I first started this program.

After one month of consistently rehabbing my core, I had a 1″ and 2″ separation, and it was almost completely gone after three months. Focusing on these exercises might seem boring and tedious, but it is crucial to get you back to your typical workouts, whether it’s running, yoga, CrossFit, bodybuilding, or HIIT.

See below the two-week workout plan and click here for a free PDF! For a detailed tutorial on each exercise, go to my blog posts on core strengthening exercises and postpartum stretching exercises.

Postpartum Workout Plan Week 1

Day 1:

Breathing Exercises:

  • Exercise Ball Breathing- 10 breaths
  • Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
  • Sidelying TA Bracing- 30 seconds
  • TA March- 20 total
  • Rolling Bridge- 10 reps

Stretching Exercises:

  • Door frame pectoral stretch- 2 minutes
  • Kneeling lat stretch- 2 minutes
  • Cat cow- 2 minutes
  • Runners stretch- 2 minutes
  • Pigeon pose- 2 minutes
  • Book opener- 2 minutes

The core exercises on this day are really helping you practice diaphragmatic breathing in different positions. It can take some practice with this type of breathing and each person will feel core engagement more prominently in different positions.

The stretches are focused opening up your chest and back after many days/nights of breastfeeding or just sitting hunched over while holding your baby. It is common to experience kyphosis or that hunchback look after giving birth so these will help combat that.

Day 2:

Breathing Exercises:

  • Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
  • Modified Quad TA Bracing- 10 breaths
  • Bent Knee Fall Out- 20 total
  • Clamshell with Bracing- 20 total
  • Deadbug-Arms only- 20 total

Stretching Exercises:

  • Pelvic tilts- 2 minutes
  • Butterfly stretch- 2 minutes
  • Downward dog- 2 minutes
  • Kneeling Lat Strech- 2 minutes
  • Leg stretch with strap- 2 minutes
  • Seated neck release- 2 minutes

The abdominal exercises for day 2 will focus more closely on activating your transverse abdominals, which is the inner corset muscles of our core. Strengthening these muscles will help with that feeling like you have no support in your stomach and back. That way, you can avoid having lower back pain.

Today’s stretches focus more on the hip flexors and hamstrings. When we sit for extended periods of time, these muscles get tight and pull on our back and abdomen causing pain. These movements will feel good after getting nap trapped.

Day 3:

Breathing Exercises:

  • Exercise Ball Breathing- 10 breaths
  • TA March- 20 total
  • Rolling Bridge- 10 reps
  • One Leg Bridge Extension- 10 reps
  • Clamshell with Bracing- 20 total

Stretching Exercises:

  • Downward dog- 2 minutes
  • Childs pose- 2 minutes
  • Door frame pectoral stretch- 2 minutes
  • Figure 4 stretch- 2 minutes
  • Butterfly stretch- 2 minutes
  • Seated neck release- 2 minutes

These core movements will start to incorporate some light strength training in the glutes. It is common to have weak glutes after pregnancy so focusing on these muscles early will help avoid the appearance of a flat butt or “pancake butt”.

Stretches on day 3 are a combination of upper body and lower body movements to help feel like you just gave your body a nice reset. Feel free to do these whenever you feel really tight and want a whole-body stretch.

Day 4:

Breathing Exercises:

  • Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
  • Modified Quad TA Bracing- 10 breaths
  • Deadbug-Arms only- 20 total
  • Hip Hike- 10 reps
  • Wall Plank- 30 seconds

Stretching Exercises:

  • Pelvic tilts- 2 minutes
  • Childs pose- 2 minutes
  • Cat cow- 2 minutes
  • Runners stretch- 2 minutes
  • Pigeon pose- 2 minutes
  • Book opener- 2 minutes

Day 4 exercises still focus on breathwork and transverse engagement, along with the beginning of a progression for planks. The wall plank is the best place to start to get yourself back into traditional planks.

These stretches are very helpful for lengthening your core and back after targeting your abdominals all week. It’s nice and relaxing for your postpartum body while staying active after having a newborn.

Postpartum Workout Plan- Week 2

Continue to practice these movements and notice changes the second time around. Are these exercises becoming easier? Do you feel like you can contract your abdominals more than last time? Are you able to get a deeper stretch this time? These are signs of progress, nice work!

Day 1:

Breathing Exercises:

  • Exercise Ball Breathing- 10 breaths
  • Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
  • Sidelying TA Bracing- 30 seconds
  • TA March- 20 total
  • Rolling Bridge- 10 reps

Stretching Exercises:

  • Door frame pectoral stretch- 2 minutes
  • Kneeling lat stretch- 2 minutes
  • Cat cow- 2 minutes
  • Runners stretch- 2 minutes
  • Pigeon pose- 2 minutes
  • Book opener- 2 minutes

Day 2:

Breathing Exercises:

  • Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
  • Modified Quad TA Bracing- 10 breaths
  • Bent Knee Fall Out- 20 total
  • Clamshell with Bracing- 20 total
  • Deadbug-Arms only- 20 total

Stretching Exercises:

  • Pelvic tilts- 2 minutes
  • Butterfly stretch- 2 minutes
  • Downward dog- 2 minutes
  • Kneeling Lat Strech- 2 minutes
  • Leg stretch with strap- 2 minutes
  • Seated neck release- 2 minutes

Day 3:

Breathing Exercises:

  • Exercise Ball Breathing- 10 breaths
  • TA March- 20 total
  • Rolling Bridge- 10 reps
  • One Leg Bridge Extension- 10 reps
  • Clamshell with Bracing- 20 total

Stretching Exercises:

  • Downward dog- 2 minutes
  • Childs pose- 2 minutes
  • Door frame pectoral stretch- 2 minutes
  • Figure 4 stretch- 2 minutes
  • Butterfly stretch- 2 minutes
  • Seated neck release- 2 minutes

Day 4:

Breathing Exercises:

  • Supine Breathing- 10 breaths
  • Modified Quad TA Bracing- 10 breaths
  • Deadbug-Arms only- 20 total
  • Hip Hike- 10 reps
  • Wall Plank- 30 seconds

Stretching Exercises:

  • Pelvic tilts- 2 minutes
  • Childs pose- 2 minutes
  • Cat cow- 2 minutes
  • Runners stretch- 2 minutes
  • Pigeon pose- 2 minutes
  • Book opener- 2 minutes

Get Started On Your Post-Pregnancy Workout Plan

Exercise after baby can feel completely different from the exercise you were used to pre-baby. It may feel overwhelming and like you are starting over, but restoring your core muscles first can get you back to old workouts in no time. These gentle and effective movements will guide you to a flatter stomach and into the best shape of your life.


Let me know how this workout plan worked for you and if you have any other exercises that helped you postpartum. Don’t forget your free PDF of this workout plan here!