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How to Start Impact Postpartum

I work with women in the clinic who are postpartum, and they’re looking to get back into running. Maybe they’ve made a few attempts to get back to running and it just hasn’t felt good, or they’re having pain or leaking or some pressure issues.

One of the areas I see those missing from their programming is impact. So maybe they’re doing a lot of strength work, which is great. But they haven’t included any sort of plyometrics, or the jumping-type motion to start to prepare them to go back to running. 

Impact is a really important part of you getting ready to go back to running, because running is basically a bunch of single leg hops over and over again. If we include impact before you start that returned or run, it’s going to be able to build up pelvic floor capacity. And it’s also a good way to work on your pelvic floor’s coordination and timing.

How I start with people does depend on where they’re at. So if you are someone that is able to just start to hop right away, and you don’t have any symptoms, and that’s where you can start. But I’m going to start from the very beginning.

If you are someone who is having any sort of trouble with impact, or maybe you’re a little nervous to start it, I would start with just a bounce. So two feet down, and we just bounce. And as this gets more comfortable, we’ll increase the speed with which we’re bouncing at, working up to about a minute.

Once that feels comfortable, will start to hop. So it can start slow. And then as that becomes more comfortable, we’re increasing that speed to where it’s quick. If you’re able to do that for about three sets of 60 seconds, no problem, then we advanced to that single-leg impact.

So on one leg, you can even bounce on one leg if you need starting slow, and then increase that speed.

Those are two easy ways that you can start to prep your body to prepare for the impact of running. If you do the double-leg hopping and the single-leg hopping and that feels really good, the next step is to start to include some agility drills. Drills like high knees, butt-kicks, maybe some ladder drills depending on what feels good for you. That would be the next step.

So just making sure you have some sort of impact training in your programming before you head back into that return to run program is going to help things go a lot smoother. It will also help prepare that pelvic floor for the impact from running

Our Mission:

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.