This week, we’ve been looking at 3 most common workout mistakes a mother can do during postpartum/post-pregnancy and how to avoid them. Today, in the final blog of this series, we bring you an illustrated guide on how to avoid the Shoulder Squeezer, a mistake that can be particularly painful for new mums after birth…
We’ve already looked at how important it is that new mums exercise correctly, to ensure their workouts are safe and effective. This simple guide from our FitMama app [link to app] shows how to avoid the Shoulder Squeezer.
The Shoulder Squeezer
Many new mums are keen to tone their back and waist. The upper body lift is a tried and tested exercise that is great for strengthening the muscles that affect your spine and waistline (the erector spinae muscles). It’s a particularly useful exercise for after having a baby, as the stronger these muscles are, the less likely mums are to experience the shoulder and backache that’s so common in the first few months after childbirth. But if you do it wrong, you can actually make those aches and pains worse.
The most common mistake when doing upper body lifts as an exercise is to squeeze your shoulders up to your neck as you lift, like this…
(You’ll see that the mum in this picture has a towel tucked under her chest – this makes the exercise much more comfortable for breastfeeding mums.)
This creates potentially painful tension in the shoulders, neck and back.
How to avoid the Shoulder Squeezer
To avoid squeezing your shoulders and neck together, extend your shoulders away from your neck back and downwards, like this…
Then you get your neck elongated, your chest open and, as a result, no pain in your shoulders and neck.
you’ll feel the open stretch across your chest as you do.
To get it right, follow these simple steps mums:
1. Lie face down and stretch your body out. Put a small rolled towel under your ribs. Put your arms by your sides.
2. Breathe out and raise your arms as if they’re wings, with your palms facing upwards. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, keep your arms tucked in and lift up your upper body. Don’t tighten your neck and shoulders and keep your shoulders extended from your neck.
3. Breathe out and return to the starting position.
This exercise tones and strengthen the muscles– hello, firmer back! Thanks FitMama!
Do speak to your doctor or health visitor before starting your post-baby exercise regime, to make sure your post pregnancy body is ready to go.
Love these pictures? There are many more in our FitMama app. And you’ll also get brilliant audio instructions, more Do’s and Dont’s and the mobility to exercise anytime, anywhere whether you have just the 5 or 10 minutes to spare! Your mobile phone is all you need.
Interested in exercising correctly? Follow us on Twitter, FB, Instagram and Pinterest for regular updates on Fitmama app content
Can’t wait to know the 3 most common postnatal exercise mistakes? Have a sneaky peek at our Do’s and Dont’s here:
The Butt Squat Blooper: One Of The 3 Most Common Workout Mistakes
The Shoulder Squeezer: One Of The 3 Most Common Workout Mistakes
The Crippling Crunch: One Of The 3 Most Common Workout Mistakes