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6 weeks postpartum & you think you are ready to run, or ARE you?

The decision of returning to run postpartum after you’ve had your baby should not be time dependent. A lot of women get the all clear to go back to activity at around a six week mark, but what activity means for women is different for everyone. You might just want to return to walking, hiking, maybe CrossFit, or maybe running. All of those activities are super different and they require a different amount of strength and tolerance to load out of your body.

When you’re thinking about returning to running postpartum, you don’t want to think “Oh, I hit the six week mark. So I’m ready to go.” You want your body to be ready to tolerate that load from running. Running is a high impact activity, your body is absorbing up to five times your body weight with every step you’re taking so it’s important that you prepare your body and that you are ready to start to go back to run. If you’re returning to run at that six week mark, and your body’s not ready to tolerate that load that can lead to all sorts of different problems.

If you are contemplating whether or not you are ready to start back to running, here are a few different things that I will take my clients through when I’m looking at their readiness to accept load.

  1. Can you tolerate walking for 30 minutes?

  2. Standing on one leg – single-leg balance, arms across your chest, standing for 10 seconds.

  3. Single-leg squat. Are you able to do a single leg squat with good control for 10 repetitions on each side?

  4. Jogging in place. Are you able to jog on a spot for 60 seconds in place without any symptoms?

  5. Forward bounding – with two feet, are you able to jump forward? And can you do that 10 times?

  6. Single-leg hopping – standing on one leg, hopping up and down 10 times.

  7. Running Man – single-leg running: standing on one foot, you’re going to bend from your hips, reach forward, and then come up into that high knee position. It’s reach and then come up. Are you able to do 10 of those on each side?

If you are able to tolerate all of those things, and when I say tolerate, I mean you don’t have any symptoms of pain of leaking any or feelings of heaviness in your vaginal area, then your body is likely ready to start a gradual return to run.

Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.