Postpartum exercise: how to get your fitness levels back safely

Getting back to your pre-pregnancy levels of fitness, for many, can feel like an uphill battle. Not only have you carried an actual human in your stomach

Getting back to your pre-pregnancy levels of fitness, for many, can feel like an uphill battle. Not only have you carried an actual human in your stomach for nine months – not to mention, pushed them out of your vagina – but you’ve not slept for what feels like years since the birth.

To be honest, you probably haven’t had much time to even think about postpartum exercise, but might be beginning to miss the feeling of moving your body (and releasing those handy feel-good endorphins) and having time for yourself, too.

Ready to get the ball rolling with easing back into exercise but not sure where to start? Here, trainer and mother-of-two Emily Skye breaks down everything you need to know about postpartum exercise, from when to go back to working out (note: never before six weeks post-birth), to what moves are best for core and pelvic floor strength.

Keep scrolling – and don’t miss our guides to mindful movement, workout recovery, and perinatal mental health.

In its simplest form, postpartum exercise – sometimes called postnatal exercise – is any movement you take on after giving birth, according to trainer and mother of two Emily Skye. “Your first steps into postpartum movement may look a little different to the exercise you were doing before you became pregnant – pushing the stroller around the park or doing gentle exercises, rather than running a 10km – but it’s important to approach it with a positive mindset,” she explains.