Some of us can't wait to start working out after having a baby, while others of us are... less motivated. Either way, there's no question that those exercise-related endorphins can go a long way when you're a new mom. Unfortunately, the gym might be out of the question thanks to the quarantine. That's where online postpartum workouts come in: From yoga to strength-training to Pilates and more, there are tons of options (and some of them are even free).
When I was pregnant, I dreamed actual dreams of fitting back into my favorite jeans. After nine months of carrying my son, it wasn't that I was dying to be a certain size, I just wanted to feel the comfort of my original body and that perfect denim fit. No matter what your personal postpartum fitness goals, there's a workout you can watch on your iPhone to match, — and the following 10 options are some of the best. There's an impressive variety of approaches to fitness, but the one thing that these programs have in common is an instructor with a solid exercise science background (an important consideration when you're postpartum). Also critical: Before you even think about slipping on your yoga pants again after returning home from the hospital, be sure to get medical clearance from your doctor. No one wants to deal with an ab injury while breastfeeding.
This fitness program is entirely designed for mothers with four distinct groups: Momma-To-Be, Hazy Days, New Momma, & Momma. The really cool thing about this is that founder Courtney Wyckoff created MommaStrong when her own postnatal health concerns led her to look for alternative workout options. For $5 a month, moms get short 15 minutes videos with the idea that your tot would likely be crawling all over you while you’re doing the workout.
2. The Balanced Life
Pilates instructor Robin, a mother of four, created The Balanced Life for women who struggle to find time to work out. Even better? Robin is interested in helping women to find a balance that helps them feel healthy, not obsessed with looking a certain way. The on-demand online Pilates workouts are $24 a month.
3. Moms Into Fitness
No one should jump into postnatal exercise lightly. The risk of injury is too great. That’s why its helpful to find an online program run by someone who understands the biology of postpartum mothers. Moms Into Fitness founder Lindsay Brin is a certified personal trainer C.P.T. with a B.S.E. in exercise science. For $15 a month (or $99 a year after 7-day free trial) the site provides members access to what it calls “300 scientifically-backed workouts designed by a mom, made for mom.”
4. 12 Minute Post Natal Core Workout by BodyFit by Amy
Not everyone is ready to commit to an online fitness membership and that’s totally understandable. For a free video, 12 Minute Post Natal Core Workout by BodyFit by Amy is a good option. The ab-focused workout eases moms into reusing their core while including restorative stretches. Of course she offers for-purchase videos as well, but you can try out a few BabyFit installments first.
Gentle yoga can be a great re-introduction to fitness. SarahBethYoga offers free YouTube videos to get a taste for her workouts before committing to her $29 a month service. The lessons come in 10 to 30 minute videos; short and sweet enough to get a stretch in before the next diaper change.
6. The Bloom Method
Recommended by doctors, doulas, midwives and physical therapists, The Bloom Method goes beyond kegels with "functional strength training, low-intensity interval training, cardio sweat sessions, daily re-patterning and pregnancy + post pregnancy core-specific moves," according to the website. Workouts are available 24/7, and membership also includes access to nutrition tips, meditations, and more. Monthly memberships are $29 per month (first month is $19); annual memberships are $240 for the year (a savings of $98).
7. CARiFiT: Post Natal Foundations workout by BeFIT
Can't seem to get an arms-free moment to do a quick workout? CARiFiT: Post Natal Foundations workout by BeFIT understands. That's why they designed a series of baby-wearing exercises. Yes, you wear your child as you workout. Brilliant. So brilliant, in fact, that the British business has been endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Literally thousands of totally free workouts from celeb trainers are yours to stream to your phone, computer, or TV with the FitOn app (and lots of those are pre/postnatal). Work out solo or with friends, and don't forget to check out the fitness, nutrition, and wellness tips on the website.
9. Mommy and Me: Yoga
Yoga instructor Brett Larkin has a mega following online. This video alone has 14,915 views, so you can imagine the fitness guru knows what she's talking about. Here, her own 11-month-old gets in on the action laying on the mat while she leads a 20 minute workout; a great example of how you can include your own baby in your fitness transformation.
10. Diastasis Recti Repair
Unfortunately, 60% of women experience partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis (otherwise known as the six-pack muscles) following pregnancy, according to Healthline. And it doesn't just result in an annoying tummy pooch; it can cause back pain, bloating, and poor posture. Fortunately, certain exercises can help and that's where this YouTube workout comes in. Australian physical therapist Michelle Kenway leads these videos, which gently engage the abdominal muscles.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.