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Strength Readiness Postpartum

When you are postpartum and you are making the decision of whether or not you’re feeling like you’re ready to return to run, one thing that can be really helpful to look at is just your basic strength. When I’m working with my postpartum clients in the clinic, we go through a full readiness screen, and one part of that screen is strength. I’m going to take you all through what I look at, so if you’re at home, and you want to see if you are strong enough to start your return to run program, these are some things you could do.

We know as you go through the pregnancy process, your body changes drastically and as you go through labor that is also trauma to your body. When we are postpartum, certain muscles are just weaker, and there’s nothing we can do about it, but one thing that we want to do is address what muscles are weak, and then see what we can do to get stronger to make running feel better.

The strength screen that I take women through:

  • One is just a basic wall-sit. Find a wall, slide yourself down, and see if you hold this wall-sit for 60 seconds.

  • Another strength thing that I look at while standing is going to be calf raises. One foot can go up on something, and then with your other foot down on the ground, you’re gonna give me 25 single-leg calf raises on each side.

  • Next thing I look at as far as strength is down on a mat. Can you hold a full plank for a minute? Forearms down, legs go back in a good plank position – Can you hold this for one minute?

  • Same with a side plank: on your side, looking to hold a side plank for at least 30 seconds.

  • Last thing is going to be a single leg bridge. One leg is down on the ground, your other leg goes straight out. You’re gonna lift your hips up, hold that position on each side, with good form for at least 30 seconds.

You can give yourself the screen at home and see what are some areas that you might need to build strength in and you can turn this screen into your exercises. For example, if you can’t hold a wall sit for a minute, you could do three sets of however long you can hold a wall sit for and use that as one as your strength of exercise.

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.