Fitness / 23.03.2016

Fitness tips for new mums

By Chantelle Pattemore
How and when is it ideal to start exercising after giving birth? We reveal all

Portrait of pretty young girl relaxing after workout - Sitting on floor

Chances are that if you’ve had a baby in the last few months or so, you’ll be starting to think about wanting to get back into shape and begin losing those pregnancy pounds. But many new mums are unsure as to how long to wait after giving birth before they exercise, and what type is safest for them to reintroduce their bodies to. We spoke to Agi Makarewicz, founder of Agile Pilates at Belsize Health Clinic (, on why Pilates is a great choice, plus she gives us some moves to try yourself at home.

‘After having a baby, it’s all about reconnecting with your body,’ Agi explains. ‘Pilates is not only fantastic from a physical viewpoint, but it also helps with mental positivity and overall wellbeing – so it really ticks all the boxes when it comes to postnatal exercise.’

Looking to get rid of that pregnancy tum? Pilates is great for this, too: ‘Losing pregnancy weight gained around the abdomen and toning these muscles is important,’ says Agi. ‘But don’t forget the pelvic floor muscles, which can be weakened during birth. Postnatal Pilates works from the inside out, activating and rebuilding core and pelvic floor to restore function and strength; so it’s ideal for new mums.’

We’ve all read about the women that are (often controversially) back in the gym just a few days after giving birth, and of course, we see numerous celebrities who seem to hit the gym immediately and regain their pre-baby bods in no time at all. But is it realistic – and safe? ‘When you can start exercising again varies from one woman to another, depending on your fitness level prior and during the pregnancy,’ explains Agi. ‘However, Postnatal Pilates is an ideal program to follow due to its gentle approach and focus on the abdominal muscles. Generally, you can start this upon a satisfactory postnatal check at six weeks following natural birth, or eight to 10 weeks after a caesarean section.’

Core reaction
Yet exercising your core again is important for so much more than just helping you to get flat abs. ‘Proper reconditioning of the abdominal muscles after pregnancy and labour is key as it helps women regain strength, establish ideal postural alignment and good body mechanics – all extremely helpful when caring for a newborn child,’ states Agi. ‘Creative, safe and effective postnatal abdominal Pilates exercises will also allow your body to rehabilitate from diastasis recti (the separation and widening of the abdominal muscles that occurs during pregnancy),’ she adds.

Ready to give some postnatal Pilates a go? Below are some gentle but effective exercises that Agi does with new mums in the Agile Pilates studio that you can also easily try at home, too.

1 Seated roll down
seated rolldown









Start by sitting upright, with your knees bent and legs open in a diamond shape. Keep your hands either behind your thighs or stretched out in front of you. Starting from your belly button, slowly allow your pelvis to roll back, keeping your trunk vertical and ribs pulling towards the hips. Roll down about half way, then return to start and repeat.

2 Seated abdominal flexion/rotations

seated abdominal flexion-rotation









Sitting upright, keep your legs crossed and hands clasped behind your head. Slowly rotate to the right, hollowing the abdominal wall and gently fold over. Return and repeat on the opposite side.

3 Side lying trunk flexion exercise

side lying flexion exercise








Lying on your right side, bend your bottom leg at the knee to a 90 degree angle, and have your top leg extended out. Have both arms extended out over your head. Slowly lift your upper body, then lower back down. Repeat, then change to lie on your left side.

4 Abdominal and pelvis stability exercise

abdominal and pelvis stability ex










Start by kneeling on all fours. Maintaining a stable and still pelvis, slide your right leg back, keeping it directly in line with the hip joint. Softly point the foot, lengthen and lift the leg (no higher than hip joint height). Lower the leg back to the floor and bring the knee to start position. Repeat and alternate on each leg.

Has Pilates helped you get back into shape after pregnancy? Let us know what worked for you by tweeting us @healthymag – we love hearing from you!

Agile Pilates’ studio at Belsize Health Clinic in Belsize Park, London, provides the perfect setting for new mums to enjoy fitness and get their physical confidence back. To book a one-to-one session or join a small postnatal class, email


Fitness tips for new mums
Article Name
Fitness tips for new mums
With Agi Makarewicz, founder of Agile Pilates, we reveal the best fitness tips and moves for new mums looking to get back in shape.
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Healthy Magazine
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