The Benefit of Postpartum Exercise At Home (+ 6 Fun Workouts)

September 3, 2022

If you're looking to do your postpartum exercise at home, or if you're just looking for ways to get back in shape without leaving your new baby, you're in luck!

Today, I'm sharing my top postpartum at-home workouts that I incorporated into my very own life when recovering from giving birth. I loved incorporating my children into my workout routines, and I know you will, too! So, keep reading to get my top-recommended workouts for this special time in your life!

The Benefit of Doing Your Postpartum Exercise At Home

Before we dive into the top postpartum exercises, let’s discuss why you should consider doing your postpartum exercise at home.

Research has consistently shown that brain development in infants (meaning their social, emotional, and overall cognitive development) strongly depends on the presence of having a loving bond with their primary caregiver.

Moreover, increasing evidence has shown that parental inconsistency and neglect can lead to long-term mental health issues along with reduced overall happiness and future potential for the child.

Now, I’m not saying that going to the gym for an hour on a regular basis is neglecting your child—far from it. In fact, I believe keeping yourself healthy and finding a regular outlet for your stress is one of the very best things you can do for yourself and, by extension, your family.

That said, if you can stay close to your infant as much as possible in those very early months to make sure the bond is truly cemented, this has been shown to be beneficial for their development.

Plus, watching your baby sleep peacefully or even incorporating your little one into your postpartum exercise at home may drive you to work a little harder. After all, the healthier you are, the healthier they will likely be—both mentally and physically.

Now that we’ve determined the primary benefit for engaging in postpartum exercise at home, let’s look at six of my favorite workouts!


The 6 Best Postpartum At-Home Exercises

Here are six of my most recommended postpartum exercises to do at home.

1. Yoga

I used to do Pilates and yoga moves with my sons at infants. I would simply place them on the floor in front of my and engage with them as I worked out. It’s actually one of my fondest bonding memories from their early years.

So, how do you do it? Simply place your baby on your yoga mat in front of you and focus on holding poses that keep you face to face. For a specific workout, including a workout recommendation for you to engage with your infant during tummy time, check out this video.

2. Squats

A great postpartum exercise at home is to engage in squats while holding your infant. Start by holding your baby close to your chest while supporting his or her neck with one hand and bottom with another.

Next, stand with your knees about shoulder-distant apart. Keep your toes slightly turned out and bend your knees to lower yourself down, as if you’re sitting down in a chair, keeping your thighs parallel to the floor and your knees directly in line with your feet.

Make sure to keep your heels pressed down to the floor because you’ll be pressing down with your heels to rise back up to a standing position.

For a visual tutorial, check out this video on doing squats with your baby.

3. Lunges

Another fantastic postpartum exercise at home is doing lunges. Simply hold your baby to your chest, similar to how you would for the squat above.

To correctly perform a lunge, begin in a standing position with your feet together. Then, step forward with your right foot (about two to three feet), keeping your back straight and your hips tucked in. Engage your core for stability.

As you inhale, bend both knees and lower yourself until your right thigh is parallel to the floor.

At the lowest point of your lunge, your right foot should be flat against the floor and your left heel should be raised so that you’re only on the ball of that foot.

Exhale as you rise back up to a standing position, then repeat with your left foot leading.

To see how to do this while holding your baby, click here for a video tutorial.

4. Bench press

This postpartum exercise at home should be saved for older infants or even toddlers who have great head and neck stability.

To do the bench press, lie down on your back and hold your baby up above you. Gently lower and raise them, not allowing them to completely rest on your chest.

This arm workout is very effective, but be mindful of wiggly little ones!

5. Curls

For an older infant, this move is a great way to work your abs. Simply hold your baby under his or her armpits and bend your arms at 90 degrees with your elbows tucked into your sides.

Gently lower and raise your baby until your arms begin to grow tired. Make silly or funny faces each time you raise your baby to keep him or her engaged. Here’s a great video to show how to do this move.

6. Dance

Finally, perhaps my favorite postpartum exercise at home is dancing! I love to dance—I even take a class every week as part of my workout regimen. But babies love to sway and move, too! That’s why I’ve been dancing with my boys since they were newborns.

The simplest way to dance with your baby is to utilize a baby wearing garment, such as a wrap or carrier, and simply engage in rhythmic dancing that isn’t too bouncy or fast.

For an example of the tempo and style of dancing that your baby will find calming but will also get your heart pumping, check out this fun video.

Postpartum exercise at home - Dr. Pingel


Key Takeaways

  • If you’re looking to get back in shape after having a baby but don’t want to leave your little one, consider doing your postpartum exercise at home.
  • Research shows that the more time you can spend with your infant, especially in those early months, the greater the benefit for their overall development.
  • Some easy and fun postpartum exercises you can do with your baby include: yoga, bodyweight strength training exercises, and dancing.
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