Joanna Helcke Video


Post natal exercise

Spotlight on:

Post natal pilates
Buggy fitness
PF exercises
Online post natal exercise


Squeezing exercise into your day is not easy now that you are a busy mum. My online post natal exercise is safe for new mums, it really works and you can do it anytime anywhere! Perfect!

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When it comes to exercising during the postnatal period – which is the first 6 months after having given birth - there are quite a few golden rules that you need to follow, whatever the type of exercise your choose to do. That's where you'll find my FREE guide on how to keep exercise safe in the post natal period invaluable.


Download your FREE post natal exercise guide from the top right hand corner

What I'd like to give you here are my recommendations for what are some of the best forms of post natal exercise, alongside some words of caution and general advice.


Pilates: top post natal exercise #1

Why do it?

Postnatal Pilates is particularly beneficial when it comes to getting rid of the mummy tummy and strengthening your abdominals which have been stretched and weakened during pregnancy. It works on maintaining a tall posture and will help minimise back trouble. Pilates as a form of post natal exercise will tighten up your corset of deep abdominal muscles and, in turn, this helps reduce back pain, relieve tension in the neck and shoulders, and aid the post natal recovery of your abdominals and pelvic floor.

If you have an abdominal separation, then postnatal Pilates is the perfect way to clsoe the gap.


Post natal Pilates classes

What to watch out for


  • Do NOT go to mainstream Pilates classes unless the teacher is qualified to work with post natal women and is able to adapt the moves accordingly.
  • Make sure that your instructor checks your abdominals to see if a) you have an abdominal separation or diastasis recti and b) to what extent they are separated.
  • Ensure that the Pilates moves you are given do not work the outer layer of abdominals (that's your six pack!) or the obliques (those are your waist muscles) until your outer layer of abdominals have closed to a gap of no more than one finger.
  • Make sure you grab yourself a FREE step-by-step guide on how to check your post pregnancy tummy for abdominal separation
  • Focus on Pilates exercises which keep the posture strong and gently tone the deepest layer of abdominals, before building up the strength of the outer abdominals. 
  • Also, be sure to arm yourself with knowledge - my FREE Post Natal Exercise Guide is ideal (see the PDF download at the top right of this page) - so that you are aware of what you can and can't do when it comes to post natal exercise.


Download your FREE post natal exercise guide from the top right hand corner


My week by week online post natal exercise and wellbeing programme is the ultimate way to get the tummy flat again, close the abdominal separation and lose the baby weight.

Try it for FREE and see!


Online post natal fitness: top post natal exercise #2

Why do it?

Now that you are a mother you will have, I am sure, discovered that time – or lack of time – is a major obstacle when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, whether it be cooking and eating a balanced diet or fitting in enough exercise. Once motherhood is upon you, life becomes one magnificently complex juggling act and getting yourself out to a timetabled post natal exercise class isn’t always easy, especially if childcare is required to attend the class. To make matters worse, many of us don’t fancy leaving our little baby with a babysitter or at a crêche and this leaves us with very few options: a buggy fitness class (if you can find one nearby), a post natal exercise DVD but you’ll be doing the same workout every week , or…

… my week-by-week online post natal exercise and wellbeing programme with new workouts every week - each week getting pregressively harder - accompanied by online support from me and from my team of experts, and access to recipes, cardio workouts, meal planners and much more. Perfect!

How about giving it a go for FREE?



What to watch out for


  • The postnatal programme I have devised is suitable from birth, with gentle pelvic floor exercises that can be done prior to your 6 week postnatal check-up. Nevertheless, if you are worried please do make sure that you get the green light from your GP before starting, making sude that you explain that it is designed to be safe pre-6 week check-up.
  • Remember that if you have had a C section you must wait at least 8-10 weeks before exercising but that you can, and should, start doing pelvic floor exercises. My online programme will make sure that you only do exercises which are appropriate post-C section. If anything feel uncomfortable you must stop.
  • Take good care to always follow the instructions that I give and if any of the exercises feel uncomfortable or “not right” then never push yourself to do them.
  • Don’t forget that you can contact me via the forum if you need some help or are unsure of anything. That’s what I’m here for.


Buggy fitness



PF exercises: top post natal exercise #3

Why do it?

Pelvic floor exercisesMost of us don't think of Pelvic Floor Exercises as falling into the category of "exercise" but the fact of the matter is that the pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles which effective keeps our internal organs safely inside us. I frequently use the analogy of a shopping bag: it's not very glamorous but if the bottom of the shopping bag gives way, everything falls out... and in human terms this can equate to urinary incontinence or even a prolapse. Childbirth and 9 months of pregnancy will have placed a huge strain on your pelvic floor with the weight of your growing baby bearing down on this sling of muscles, the raised levels of the hormone relaxin which softens and loosens your ligaments and joints, and finally the effects of childbirth. In short, if you could choose only one form of post natal exercise, then I would certainly urge you to consider daily PF exercises.



What to watch out for


  • The first thing you need to do is make sure that you are actually doing your pelvic floor exercises correctly. This is easier said than done, given that one cannot directly observe a pelvic floor pull up! For step-by-step instructions on working the pelvic floor correctly, make sure you download my FREE guide to Pelvic Floor Exercises which you will find in the top right hand corner of my page on Pelvic Floor Exercises.


As part of my online week by week new mum fitness and wellbeing programme I go through pelvic floor exercises, along with your weekly tummy tightening postnatal Pilates workouts.

How about giving it a go for FREE?


Aquajogging: top post natal exercise #4

Why do it?

One of the big debates – often conducted in the media – is about jogging and running both during and after pregnancy. This is a controversial subject on so many fronts: we see pregnant celebrities grow a bump without an ounce of fat depositing itself on their thighs, and then we see them shrinking to a size zero within weeks of giving birth as they jog their way back into their skinny jeans. I know only too well that those of you for whom running is a way of life, will be absolutely itching to pull on your trainers and get going again. But there’s a BIG problem with impact exercise during the postnatal period, and it is this: you could not only damage your pelvic floor and cause stress incontinence (yes, that’s when you wee in your pants. Not nice) but you could also damage your ligaments causing instability within the joints (painful. Not nice). Impact exercise should only be reintroduced 6 months postpartum. Yes, you heard right, 6 months after having given birth.

In short, a really excellent alternative to jogging on land, is deep water aquajogging with a floatation belt around your waist. It mimics the same movement pattern as running but there is no impact on your joints or pelvic floor, so it’s the ideal ersatz for all you running aficionados. I go aquajogging twice a week in Loughborough University’s olympic pool and I can tell you this: lots of athletes go aquajogging when they have an injury. So if they can be kind to their bodies, so can you!

What to watch out for


  • Make sure that you stay really upright when you are aquajogging. One of the most common mistakes people make when aquajogging is to tip forwards. If you tip forwards you completely lose the benefit of aquajogging and you will simply end up swimming with a floatation belt round your waist – far too easy!
  • If you are someone who holds tension in the neck then it is even more important to stay upright whilst aquajogging. Keep your chin tucked in rather than poking it forwards.
  • Focus on drawing the deep abdominals inwards (as if you were zipping up a slightly tight pair of jeans) and pulling up on the pelvic floor as you aquajog.
  • Other more general advice which is also relevant when it comes to post natal exercise can be found in my FREE guide on how to keep exercise safe in the postnatal period.


Download your FREE post natal exercise guide from the top right hand corner


Buggy Fitness: top post natal exercise #5

Why do it?

I always say to new mothers that being outdoors is good for the soul. Admittedly, it's probably not so good for the soul if you are surrounded by a spaghetti junction but if you have a town park, a country park, or farm land nearby, then exercising outdoors is most certainly good for one's mental wellbeing and for sweeping away the baby blues. Given the huge transition you have just experienced in your life from being responsible only for yourself, to becoming the mother of a tiny human being, it is not surprising that sometimes you might feel a little low. I know I did. Exercising outdoors in beautiful surroundings has been proven to help lift one's mood.

Buggy fitness classes take power walking with your baby in a buggy to a new level, as they incorporate a wide range of resistance and cardiovascular exercises into the walking route being followed. This stop-start approach works particularly well as it tends to keep babies happy and as an added bonus it means that you will be doing what is referred to as “interval training”, which happens to be an excellent way of boosting your metabolism and increasing your fitness levels in a time-efficient manner. Interval training is effectively a stop-start approach to exercise with peaks and troughs in the effort you put into your workout. Finally and importantly, buggy fitness is a very sociable form of post natal exercise as you’ll be able to meet and chat with other new mums as you power your way across the fields.


What to watch out for


Make 100% sure that you find a buggy fitness class which is run by someone who is a fully qualified pregnancy and postnatal fitness instructor and will know exactly what sort of exercises you should and should not be doing. I have, over the years, heard of too many new mums being given completely inappropriate exercises – such as skipping and running - by general, rather than specialist, instructors running buggy fitness classes. To be sure, just check that the instructor is a member of The Guild of Pregnancy and Postnatal Fitness Instructors.

Make sure that you focus on posture whilst pushing the buggy, as this will help reduce back pain and relieve any build-up of tension in the neck and shoulders, caused by all the lifting, carrying and feeding which you are doing.

Be sure to use proper outdoor trainers and outdoor fitness clothing – these are fitness classes, not a stroll in the park!

Be sure to beef up on what you should and shouldn't be doing in the way of post natal exercise by getting hold of my FREE guide on the dos and don’ts of post natal exercise.


Download your FREE post natal exercise guide from the top right hand corner


Did you know that my online post natal exercise and wellbeing programme not only includes tummy tightening weekly workouts but also cardio and resistance workouts designed to boost your metabolism and burn calories?


Try it for FREE to see!



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Postnatal Exercise
Thinking about fitting back into those pre-pregnancy jeans? Here's your guide to safe postnatal exercise that will work for you.

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