8 Minutes for a stronger butt, hips and core

The changes that occur in our body during pregnancy can really leave us feeling a bit unsupported around the low back and hips. All that weight of baby pulling us forward, shifting our centre of gravity. Not to mention the hormones our body creates to help create space in our pelvis to birth our little one when the time comes.

We really want to take some time during pregnancy to focus on building strength and support around our pelvis so we reduce the amount of pressure on our hips, pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

This standing sequence is perfect whether you’re pregnant, newly postpartum and just feeling weak in the legs and hips. I love love love these exercises, the hip hinge is one of my favorite exercises and is perfect for waking up the foot, leg and hip muscles so you feel much stronger and more supported from the bottom up.

Clamshell Variations for your glutes and core!

It’s another edition of Feel Good Flow and this week I’ve got some sweet tunes for you!

Not only have I upped my video editing skills but I’ve got some glute exercises that are also next level!

The thing about the glutes is that our modern lifestyle along with pregnancy can leave our butt muscles underused and weak…think too much sitting, not enough moving.

There are actually 3 muscles that make up the glutes and they are super important because they provide support and stability to our pelvis and spine. When the pelvis is adequately supported our pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles (the transversus abdominis) are happy and can work optimally.

When the muscles around your pelvis aren’t working as well as they could then it’s common for the pelvic floor muscles to try and pick up the slack. Which leaves them overtaxed, stiff, gripped and not able to meet the demand placed on them from pregnancy or even little bouts of extra pressure like sneezing or jumping.

So for this week’s Feel Good Flow I’ve got 5 clamshell variations that are sure to get your glute, core and pelvic floor muscles firing and actual working happily together.

A few pointers:

  • The key here is to keep your pelvis still through these movements. So imagine a wall behind you, to try and keep your pelvis from rolling back as you lift your top leg.

  • Press firmly down into the leg or foot that is supporting you. This will help you feel more stability and help with balance.

  • Do the lifting motion on the exhale (you can see that I’m doing that in the video) to encourage pelvic floor and abdominal engagement. On the inhale, allow your belly and pelvic floor to relax and expand.

Ready to get down dog?

Have you ever been in a yoga class-hot, sweaty, muscles on fire, when the teacher “invites” you to come into downward dog for a few breaths to rest.

Rest?!?!

You know. Just hold your body up with your arms, bum in the air, head down. Now rest. No big deal right?

downdog.gif

Um, yeah. Actually it is a big deal. Although downward dog is probably the most popular yoga pose out there, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Downward dog requires a fair amount of strength in your arms and shoulders. A little bit/a whole lot of flexibility in your calves and hamstrings. And some core strength to go along.

So if you’re pregnant, newly postpartum or haven’t been on your yoga mat for awhile, yeah, downward dog might feel a wee bit challenging!

The good news though-yoga is a practice. So the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

But that being said, there are LOTS of ways that we can help prepare your body for downward dog so you’re not just counting down the minutes til savasana!

I’ve put together this short sequence to help prepare your arms, wrists, shoulder and core muscles so you feel stronger and more supported when you’re getting your downward dog on.

NOTE: If downward dog doesn’t feel great or right for you at this time, check out the alternative option I’ve added at the end of this sequence. If you’re having a hard time connecting to your deep abdominal muscles, feel vulnerable in the pelvic floor, or uncomfortable (light headed or nauseous) having your head down during pregnancy this may be a good time to try the variation using the wall or a chair so you’re more upright but still get the nice stretch that downward dog provides.

Movement for Birth Prep-Facebook Live with Kim Vopni

Kim Vopni known as the Vagina Coach joins me to talk about how we can use movement during pregnancy to help prepare your body for birth. Kim is the author of the book Prepare to Push so she's the perfect person to talk to about this subject! 

Kim and I chat about why it's important to release tension to encourage a smoother birth, why moving throughout your day is a good idea and some of her go to exercises. 

Time out....movements to help you calm the F down!

I'd like to say that as my kids have gotten older I've learned to handle stressful situations with the grace and ease of Maria Von Trapp....but let me tell ya, sometimes I just want to run into that giant mountain field and never come back!

Okay, well that might be a bit dramatic and it DOES get a bit easier to find some time for self care but what I've realized comes in really handy are some GO TO stress and anxiety diffusing tools...KEEP READING

Outdoor Workout Part 2: Arms and Core

I know that a lot of you reading this get a serious work out just running around after your little one, whether it be at home or at the park. I remember those days well. Countless trips up and down, up and down the stairs. Great work out!

But now that my little guys are older, they pretty much entertain themselves at the giant pile of sand/mud at our favorite park, leaving me feeling a bit bored.

Well, here are some great exercises you can do whether you're trying to multitask and fit a little bit more movement into your life while your little one plays....KEEP READING

Outdoor Workout Part 1: Legs and Hips

When the warmer weather sets in I find myself at the park for HOURS upon HOURS with the kids! And I love it. I love watching my kids build and climb and sorry to rub it in but we're now entering into those years you've all been dreaming about...when your kids can actually entertain themselves at the park! But that leaves me sitting there daydreaming or staring at my phone for long periods of time...KEEP READING  

Some truths about Motherhood

I almost feel weird writing about Mother's Day. After becoming a mother myself, it feels weighty and sacred and something that needs to be celebrated. But from a business perspective it feels commercial and not completely authentic. 

Of course, the sacredness of motherhood should be celebrated daily and through & She Moves I hope to do that....KEEP READING

5 Tips for a smoother cesarean recovery

 

Although I’m just getting this post done in the nick of time, it’s been weighting on me for some time to write about Cesarean recovery. It only seemed fitting to share it in April, as it is Caesarean Awareness month, however, it is an issue that affects thousands of women in Canada each and every month.

For many years women were made to feel guilty if they could not have a vaginal or natural birth for some reason...KEEP READING

Celebrating Earth Day with Natural Movement

Well, we didn't make it out to any organized Earth Day events today or pick up garbage at a local park but we sure did get up close and personal with the natural world. 

My boys regularly interact with nature in the most inspiring way. They climb trees, walk on logs, build forts with sticks and logs they find....I mean the list goes on. They love being in nature but what really interests and inspires me is how they move when they're doing it...KEEP READING

Spring Awakening

Well spring is here and not only are the trees starting to bloom and flowers are popping up all over, but there’s a change a happening over here too! & She Moves is getting a BLOG! Whoo!  

 I’m taking the next step in this entrepreneurial journey and starting a blog to help further connect with you on a regular basis and provide you with all sorts of great information, to keep you feeling your best through pregnancy, birth and motherhood...KEEP READING

Support System

The past few weeks have been particularly stressful for me as I raced to get the & She Moves website up and running. It meant many hours sitting in front of the computer filled with an overall sense of anxiety about how to communicate my ideas and approach to the world. Of course, all my hard work (and the hard work of some amazing amazing people) paid off and the & She Moves is up for all to see! I'm so proud of it as well as grateful for the team of wonderful people that have been helping me along on this journey...KEEP READING