Level 1

Before getting started the first time, you must watch the prerequisite videos: Ground Rules and The Basics Series. Once you’ve watched those and you have your physician’s approval (print out and give your physician the Permission Packet), you’re ready to go!

Each day, aim for 5-15 minutes of light cardio plus a short circuit workout.  Alternate each day between Circuit A and Circuit B.  In Level 1, a week might look like:

Cardio Options

Walking:

Start out with a stroll (or waddle) around the block with your baby in the stroller.  Day one, just aims for 5 minutes, and over the next week or two try to go just a little farther.  Speed is of no concern during these first few weeks—your body is in healing mode, so take it easy. Download a walking progression here.

Running:

Your body won’t be ready to start running during Level 1.  You can start testing your core with the Sahrmann Core test (also in Appendix C of the book) once you reach Level 3, but you’re more likely to be ready during Level 4 or later.

Gym Equipment:

Whatever your home or gym cardio preference, whether it’s the spin bike, rower, or elliptical, start out slow for the first few weeks, and gradually add intensity first, then duration second to progress in increments.  Download a gym cardio progression in the store (free with the passcode in the book or e-book, Healthy and Quick & Everything Fit).

Alternate Circuit A one day and Circuit B the next day for a 21 minute workout 4-6 times a week.

Circuit A

YOU WILL NEED

 

21 Minutes


A mat


Water


A towel


Your kitchen counter

Circuit B

YOU WILL NEED

 

21 Minutes


A mat


Water


A towel


A pillow (a nursing pillow works great)

Core Drill Exercises (two rounds):

Circuit A (three rounds):

Light Stretching (one round):

  1. Panini Press: 20 per side
  2. Clamshells: 20 per side
  3. Counter Squats: 20 reps
  1. Calf Stretch: 15 sec per side
  2. Thigh and Hip Stretch: 15 sec per side
  3. Hamstring Stretch: 15 sec per side
  4. Chin Tuck: 10 reps
  5. Cat Stretch: 15 sec per side

Core Drill Exercises (two rounds):

Circuit B (three rounds):

Light Stretching (one round):

  1. All 4s Beginner Glute Lifts: 15 reps
  2. Flys: 20 reps
  3. Scaption: 20 reps
  1. Calf Stretch: 15 sec per side
  2. Thigh and Hip Stretch: 15 sec per side
  3. Hamstring Stretch: 15 sec per side
  4. Chin Tuck: 10 reps
  5. Cat Stretch: 15 sec per side

Circuit A

Printable
Workout

PRINTABLES

Circuit B

Printable
Workout

PRINTABLES

Full Length Videos

 

Level 1 Tips

 

The first priority of Level 1 is to protect your body as it heals, so no matter how great you feel during Level 1, spend at least 2 weeks there before moving on to Level 2.

 

If you had vaginal tearing or an episiotomy, or if you’re not sure, read this before getting started.

 

  • You’ll be strapped for time during the first two weeks.
    • Your first priority is to REST.
    • If you haven’t gotten the number of hours of sleep you need for the day, you have no business exercising.
  • If you have time for only 5-10 minutes of exercise, you should do the core drill exercises.
    • During pregnancy, your body loses the ability to fire your core muscles correctly.
    • You need those core muscles (including your pelvic floor) firing correctly for daily function, sex, and exercise.
    • These core muscles (plus your naturally shrinking uterus) are the key for getting rid of the mommy tummy you’re worrying about.
    • It may take a week or more just to feel your core muscles firing again.  Don’t get discouraged if the first several times you try (or for the first 7-10 days), you just can’t get a contraction.  That’s totally normal.  Ask your doctor or physical therapist for help if you’re just not sure you’re getting it right.
  • If you have a little more time, add in the cardio.
    • If your physician has cleared you to start walking, you should be doing this every day.
    • Aside from the cardio benefit, it’s great for you and your baby to get some fresh air and get out of the house daily.
  • If you have a full 30-35 minutes to work with, do the cardio plus the whole circuit.
    • The rest of the exercises in the circuit are geared towards re-training some of the hardest-hit muscles in your hips, butt, and arms to fire correctly again.

HEALTHY AND QUICKHealthy-and-Quick-Everything-Fit

& EVERYTHING FIT

A Step by Step Guide to
Exercise After Pregnancy