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There is a massive deficit in the fitness programs being given to post-partum and pregnant mothers right now.

Free Launch Party for colorado fitmoms is happening April 18thย  – click here to get more details:

It looks pretty and it is certainly beneficial to health - but will it help you carry your stroller?  Pick up your child?  Maybe there is a more effective way...

This exercise is certainly beneficial to health - but is there a more effective way to prepare for real movement?

Whether you are pregnant or just had your child, chances are the workouts you have been seeing have not thought for a second about your daily functional needs in your workout.

When my wife became pregnant with our child, I looked high and low for effective workouts so I could see what had been done before. No matter how hard I tried, every workout looked as if it had been lifted straight from the pages of a Shape Magazine.

The key question to ask yourself/your trainer is this:

Should a workout be something that gets me in shape, or something that gets me in shape for what I want to do?

Current workouts for pregnant and post-partum mothers usually consist of traditional exercises such as the following:

Insufficient exercises usually recommended for pregnant women

My preggo wife and her preggo sister - must be something in the water!

My preggo wife and her simultaneously preggo sister - must be something in the water!

The above workout is no different than a classic beginner workout given in gyms around the world every day.

Living in Denver, I can find Yoga Pregnancy classes everywhere I look, but even these wokouts fail to hit the mark when it comes to real needs for real mums.

If we think about the activities that a new mother must go through, it becomes quickly apparent that these exercises strengthen them in completely different ways than is actually required! I will not argue that the above exercises are not beneficial. Can you do better? I think so.

I will argue that the regular gym or pregnancy exercises recommended are a far cry from the real world functional exercises that a new mother needs

We only need to look at the daily movements of a mother caring for her newborn to realize that the traditional gym workout is no comparison to the 3 dimensional requirements of a mothers plight.

5 truly functional movements a mother must have in order to take care of her kids:

This movement is REAL: The baby hold

If the kid cries, you need to be able to hold them. You also need to be able to position them appropriately. Ever tried holding a 10lb dumbbell for ten minutes while shaking up and down and side to side? Wondered what it feels like to have your bicep go numb from exhaustion?

This movement is REAL: The crib reach

You need to be able to put your baby gently into their crib. And lift them out again. You need to be able to do it without hurting your low back. You will likely need to be able to lift the baby over the edge of the crib and down. Imagine an pick-weight-up-and-move-arms-out-away-from-the-body-and–then-down move. Ever done that in a gym before? Didn’t think so.

This movement is REAL: The cleanup / pickup (lunge to ground)

Babies love to throw things. Sometimes with their little flailing arms they can give themselves little black eyes. They don’t have motor control skills yet. And still we give them bottles, toys, rattles, pacifiers and other fun soft things to hold. Then they drop them. If you watch any experienced mother, she has mastered the ‘kneeling reach and hold baby’ drill. If this is where she needs to be to clean up vomit, pick up toys and lower the baby to the ground – then she needs to start practicing NOW!

This movement is REAL: The Pelvic floor muscles

You need to work your pelvic floor. Kegels are your friend and although there are other better exercises out there, these are a great fundamental movement you need to embrace. Do them lying, kneeling, standing and as you walk. Your fear of incontinence will thank you.

This movement is REAL: The car seat carry / step

The baby transport is the overlooked component of this new arrival. Add the weight of the car seat and a 3 month baby together and you have a good 22 pounds (10kg) of baby weight to carry. You need to be able to walk up and down hills, up and down stairs, and carry this seat in and out of a car.

All of these movements come with their own challenges and chances of injury.

The last thing you need on top of a new baby is an unnecesarily increased risk of injury along with it.

The following video contains a series of exercises related to the above list.

The exercises in this video speak to the real needs of a modern mother.


Yours in health,

Jamie Atlas

Living in the Denver area? Keen to do an outdoor workout with other fellow preggos/post-preggos? Or maybe you just are interested in a functional small group workout that gets results (hey, us non-pregnant people need exercise too, right?!)

Free Launch Party for colorado fitmoms is happening April 18thย  – click here to get more details:

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  • Fit Bottomed Girls Aug 27, 2008 Reply

    Jamie — this is perfect! One of my friends who is preg, was just complaining to me about how there’s not many DVDs or exercises for her to do. All she can find is postnatal work. I’m going to forward your video to her. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • jamieatlas Aug 27, 2008 Reply

    Hooray! Glad you like the post. Tell your friend to contact me if she has any questions. Any friend of the FBG is a friend of mine!

  • Shay Aug 28, 2008 Reply

    I wish I lived closer, darn it! Nevertheless, great post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 249be35thst Aug 28, 2008 Reply

    Testify Brother! When I was pregnant, the doctors I spoke to about exercise were mixed. Some said to keep doing what I’d normally do, others weren’t quite so clear. It would have been nice to have at least have an idea of what specific movements I could anticipate I’d be doing once the baby arrived so I could work on them. Thanks for the great video. If I’m ever in that position again (pregnant, that is), I’ll definately keep them in mind.

  • katherine Oct 29, 2008 Reply

    Hi Jamie. I just have to say this is a fantastic video. I am 4 months postpartum, and just started doing weights again – I still have another 6 kilos to lose (from the massive total of 20 I put on). I will be incorporating these moves into my workout – they’re great!

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  • jamieatlas Feb 13, 2009 Reply

    Hey guys! Thanks so much for all your nice comments! As my baby has grown I have realized a few extra moves that I use as a dad to try and keep my baby happy and my body out of injury trouble. I will post that later, but let me ask this – is there anything particularly around the birth process that you guys would like to see? I aim to please! ๐Ÿ™‚


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