Congratulations! You made it through a healthy pregnancy and now you’re ready to start easing back into fitness as your body continues to heal. Well, we’ve got you covered. Introducing Aaptiv’s Fourth Trimester program—live in-app now!
Join Kira Kohrherr, Aaptiv trainer and founder of FitBump for four weeks of core, strength, outdoor, and elliptical workouts specially designed for the postpartum body and the postpartum schedule. “The fourth trimester is that period of time right after childbirth where your body is still healing and your baby is brand new to the world—there are a lot of things going on,” Kohrherr says.
Most women are typically cleared for exercise by their physicians six weeks after delivery. The Aaptiv Fourth Trimester program is meant to be done after clearance by your physician. So, that may mean something different, depending on your personal situation. “Six weeks is the usual, but for some women, whether they had a C-section or underwent other complications, clearance might come ten to 12 weeks after delivery,” Kohrherr says. “It’s crucial that women are working with their doctors to get the correct clearance for their bodies.”
What to Expect
According to Kohrherr, the Fourth Trimester program is “a bridge back to regular Aaptiv workouts.” And she chose four main workout categories—core, strength, outdoor, elliptical—with that idea in mind. There are four weeks of workouts and four classes per week, but Kohrerr emphasizes that you can perform the classes in any order that works for your schedule and, more importantly, your body.
The outdoor workouts are included to help moms not only get moving but also to get out of the house. While these classes don’t mention strollers, they can be done with a stroller so moms can bring their newborns along with them. And the elliptical workouts are meant to help users make an easy transition back to the treadmill or other more high-intensity cardio machine workouts.
The strength workouts are equipment-free classes that last 30 minutes or less. Strength, Kohrherr explains, is crucial for new moms. “You’re carrying a growing baby constantly, you’re carrying a car carrier, you’re carrying a diaper bag, you’re packing up a stroller—it’s a lot,” she says.
Diastasis Recti and Strengthening the Pelvic Floor
The core workouts are designed with two main postnatal issues in mind: strengthening the pelvic floor and diastasis recti, or the separation of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy. So, the movements focus on building strength from within and not exacerbating any potential issues, such as diastasis recti. “In terms of the pelvic floor, we do a lot of controlled, concentrated, static exercises that focus on strengthening and preparing the pelvic floor muscles as everything starts to move back into place,” she says. “Your hips have shifted over nine months and now everything is going to start to turn back in. This is really about bringing everything back together.”
To avoid creating or making a diastasis recti worse, the abdominal movements are focused on exercises approved for the first three trimesters of pregnancy. “We’re performing moves that protect the core and the transverse abdominal muscles that need to be knit back together after delivery,” Kohrerr says.
Pay attention to your body.
As you work through our new Fourth Trimester program, remember to listen closely to your body. “You need to be patient and mindful of your body,” says Kohrerr. “I can personally attest that I was very active during my pregnancy and had a fast, great labor. But my recovery, especially with breastfeeding challenges, wasn’t easy. I needed to be more patient with myself.”
The program is here to help new moms safely get back into a daily routine. That alone can be enough if there are any workouts you can’t do at first. “Cut yourself some slack—you just grew a baby inside of you for nine months,” she says.
If the workouts feel too easy, Kohrerr still encourages patience. “You need to be mindful of the fact that your body is still healing from the inside out,” she says. “Some of these workouts may feel easy, but you need to do the inner work—which is sometimes slow—before you can start working bigger muscle groups and seeing the fitness results you may be used to. It’s all about building a foundation.”
Ready to start Aaptiv’s Fourth Trimester program but not a member of Aaptiv? Sign up here.