My 1st Post Ruby Workout

Rubys-1st-Workout-Heidi

So many people are asking me if I am working out yet, post-baby. The answer is yes with some fine print ☺. While I have done a couple structured bouts of movement that could be considered “working out”, I am not yet allowing myself to push at the intensity that I am wishing I could, just to be safe.

Most doctors and reputable sources recommend waiting 4-6 weeks post-delivery before Mom gets back into her regular workouts. However, the same reputable sources and doctors also say the most important thing is to listen to your body (we are all different!). They say if you worked out before pregnancy, and continued to workout through your pregnancy, there is a good chance your body may be ready for exercise much quicker than if you didn’t workout before and/or during pregnancy.

My own personal rules of thumb are these:

1. Get my doctor’s okay to begin.
2. If I am experiencing vaginal bleeding still, I am not ready to workout. If at anytime after I start working out, bleeding resumes, I will stop until it subsides and doc says it’s okay to begin again.
3. If I experience any physical pain (unrelated to regular muscular soreness that follows any good workout), I will stop working out or modify the movement to eliminate the pain. I believe that our bodies talk to us this way, and we should listen!
4. If my breast milk production slows down at any point after resuming exercise, I will slow down my workouts, or stop altogether, until milk production ramps back up. Side note: this may also be a sign my calorie consumption and water intake need to increase.

There you have it. As long as these 4 things are in check, I will begin my workouts.

With every baby, this time period has been different. With Matix and Marley, I waited nearly a full 6 weeks because I didn’t do much (if any) exercise during pregnancy. After Cash, I waited about 2-3 weeks, and after Ruby I gave my body 2 weeks before I started “working out”.

I use quotes because, once again, the workouts were so light compared to my usual, but I know just how important it is to start light. More than anything, this was my structured way to move functionally like all new moms (and humans, for that matter) do each and every day. Think:

  • squats – like sitting and standing from couch or toilet,
  • presses – like we do to help our bodies off of the floor or how we push the stroller, and
  • pulling – like we do to lift our babies and hold them to our chest

Nice and basic. Easy and functional.

Time to share the workout! It was one of my favorites and can be done at ANY level of fitness, from beginner to advanced. By choosing a workout that is scaleable, I knew I would be able to throttle it up or down at anytime, ensuring I didn’t overwork my body the first time back.

Disclaimer: If you plan to attempt this workout, please make sure you have your doctor’s approval, as every body is different post baby. Some are ready sooner than others. Your doctor can help you decide if YOU are ready to begin workouts again.

And…a side note: Even if you are NOT pregnant or postpartum, this workout could be great for you – don’t be scared to rev up the intensity! Give it a try.

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My 1st Post-Ruby Workout: 12 Minutes of Tabata

What is Tabata? Four minute rounds of exercise. You perform a move for 20 seconds, followed by 10 second rest, repeating 8 times, totaling 4 minutes. Go at your own pace. If you are only able to get ONE repetition of move in during the allotted 20 second time period, then only do one repetition.

Moves I Tabata’d (4 minutes each move. 3 moves, totaling 12 minutes):

Air Squats – My first round I got 20 in, but by round 5 I was slowing down to about 10 squats in 20 seconds.
*These can be modified to be done from a couch or chair. You basically sit down and stand up from the couch or chair to complete one rep.

Push ups – Oh…I struggled with these. Round 1, I did 12. By round 7 and 8, I was happy to get in 1 or 2 push ups. I slowed down once I realized my core needed some attention.
*Feel free to modify this to push ups from your knees or even push ups from your waist.

Bent Over Rows – I used a 45 lbs weight for both arms (not for each arm ☺). These felt good, but worked muscles I seem to have been neglecting for the last little while.
*These were great to end with. I felt like I got the harder moves out of the way first, and got to end with something a tad lighter.

Moral of the story – listen to your body and your doctor. Move when you are ready, and don’t be discouraged to see your fitness levels aren’t where they were pre-pregnancy. Day by day, with some patience, hard work, and perseverance, we can all become even stronger than we were pre-baby!


18 Comments

  1. June Asher - June 7, 2016

    Hello, Thank you so much for your post about you 1st pregnancy workout.
    I was wondering if you sell a program for the weeks/months after pregnancy? I am aware we are all different, but it would be great to know what you did as a workout.

    Thank you very much,

    • Team Powell - June 7, 2016

      Hi June: Unfortunately, Heidi doesn’t have a post-pregnancy program available. It’s best to discuss any post-pregnancy exercises with your healthcare team first, and then follow their directions. We wish you the best!

  2. Ghgirl - August 27, 2015

    I have diastasis recti from having a big baby and not working my abs prior to pregnancy. I am doing the 9 minute work outs in the morning. Can you make suggestions for what to do in stead of things that make this worse? I have read that push ups and crunches make it worse. What are your thought please?

    • Team Powell - August 27, 2015

      With diastasis recti, it’s best to discuss any exercises with your healthcare team first, and then follow their recommendations. They are the best ones to help you figure this out since they know the extent of your issue and can work with you on a one-on-one basis so the issue doesn’t get worse, like you said. We wish you the best!

  3. Linda - June 20, 2014

    Heidi, I looked you up after watching you go through your pregnancy on the show. I was hoping you had a pregnancy workout video, my niece is an avid exerciser and could use a safe workout while pregnant. Was disappointed but maybe you could recommend some guidelines or other videos. Better yet make one, you can’t have another baby for that, but you could make one with pegnant mom’s.

  4. Jessica - January 2, 2014

    What is the Bent Over Row?

  5. Andrea - December 18, 2013

    Wow this is great! Thank you for posting it! I’m 3 months postpartum and have been so curious what you do… I’ll be doing this too! Can this be done every day? Also, what does your typical workout day diet look like? Can you post what you eat in a day – I’m also nursing an struggle with production when I workout – so I would like to see what you’re eating. Thank you! God bless your family!!!!

  6. melanie newman - December 17, 2013

    Heidi yall are so amazing ,you and chris inspiration us so much!you look great!

  7. Dina Carlson - December 14, 2013

    you are amazing and an inspiration to all other pregnant women! i admire you guys so much

  8. Lori Risk - December 13, 2013

    You are just amazing! I love how you and Chris are so supportive of one another… I have never seen two people more perfect partners, friends and lovers as you two. I am just so happy for your family.

  9. Crystal Roman - December 13, 2013

    Love how you guys are so relatable! Keep on keepin on!

  10. Alyssa - December 13, 2013

    I was wondering if you would be able to so a post on good ab workouts post baby. I read so many different things on what is safe while your stomach muscles come back together. It is confusing to know what I should be doing g and what to avoid in order to allow my muscles to come back together properly. Thanks for all your and Chris do/ you are an inspiration! And congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!

    • C. Herdina - July 22, 2014

      I am currently pregnant and have a hernia that I am trying to see if I can correct it after the baby is born. This is exactly the post I would love a reply to. What type of ab exercises can you do, but at the same time allow your muscles to come back together properly so they don’t stay split.

    • Team Powell - July 23, 2014

      Congratulations on the pregnancy – that’s awesome! It’s best to discuss any exercise program with your healthcare team first when you’re pregnant or nursing – they are best equipped to help you as they know your health history. We want to keep you safe and healthy so you can reach your post-pregnancy goals! 🙂

  11. Emily - December 13, 2013

    Great post! Thanks for sharing:)

  12. Melissa Opatik - December 13, 2013

    Awesome! You rock! Such an inspiration for all us pregnant (and non) women.
    I have been listening to my body, and next Monday I will be
    Back at my routine workouts since becoming pregnant with my fourth baby.
    I am 14 weeks pregnant, and until now, my body said “nope” to all
    My normal routines. I have a random question, did you wear maternity pants while pregnant, or “boyfriend” type jeans? Thanks!!

  13. Sunshine - December 13, 2013

    Great job Heidi, I didn’t get to see the whole tabata workout but you have great form and I’ll be trying some of these as my quads and glutes get better (recovering from knee dislocation)

  14. Michelle - December 13, 2013

    Totally loved this! You hit all of the key points; wait for the post birth bleeding to stop, doctor ok, and of course suiting it to your baseline. [According to pre-pregnancy and pregnancy activity]. It is all about listening to our bodies and using common sense! Great come-back!

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