My 1st Post Ruby Workout


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.

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 Responses

  1. 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!!!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

    1. 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.

    2. 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! 🙂

  4. 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!!

  5. 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)

  6. 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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