Pre-Leo I was pretty fit. I used to nail Barry’s Bootcamp 3x a week with a little bit of Psycle thrown in before work. But that was nothing compared to motherhood. My arms ached from all of the pram pushing, my calves hurt from all of the pavement pounding and I’ve totally shafted my posture from always carrying him on my right hip.
To try and reset my body, I spoke to Kirsty, the founder of Pop Up Practise. She created these easy moves for me. And now – with the help of some fancy gif technology – I’m sharing them with you.
I’m not usually one for yoga (I bought 10 pregnancy yoga classes and after the first, I found my car clamped outside after which totally ruined my zen so I never went back) but I do find that these stretches really help with the toddler ache.
Don’t worry if you’re rubbish – I am – but practise makes perfect and you’ll feel a sudden rush of energy after. Find a quiet space for five minutes and give these a go….
PS: These moves are designed for your arms and shoulders, but we’ve got more on the way for legs. Shout if you’d like to see them!
IF YOU HAVE ‘TODDLER SHOULDER’:
Hoiking a 20 pound weight on one side of your body isn’t the easiest. Stretch out your shoulders with these four fluid moves:
-Cat Cow: ensure that your wrists are under your shoulders, knees are under your hips and take a few deep breathes. Inhale and round your back with an exhale. Really concentrate on loosening your shoulders and relaxing your spine.
-High Plank: step back and engage your core, try to hold the high plank for as long as you can and try to lower down to the mat without falling!
-Upward Facing Dog: making sure your hands are equally pressed into the mat in order to protect your wrists then rise up with an inhale into your upward facing dog. Try to make sure only your hands and tips of the feet are on the mat.
-Downward Facing Dog: as you exhale, push your mum bum up into downward facing dog – this is one of the most powerful ways to stretch out your entire body. Ensure your hands are fully pressed into the mat, close your arm pits, relax your head and shoulders and point your hips up to the sky. Enjoy the stretch in your hamstrings and don’t fear it, before long you’ll be surprised of the difference this pose can make and you will feel incredibly energised after.
IF YOU HAVE ACHING ‘PRAM ARMS’:
Holding your arms out at a 90 degree angle for long periods of time isn’t a natural stance. If yours ache, try this:
– Mountain Pose: take a few deep breaths and really stretch up your arms keeping your shoulders down. After a few moments, slowly lower your arms behind your back ,opening out your chest and interlacing your fingers.
-Forward Fold: next, lean forward and keeping your fingers inter-linked, raise your arms up over your head and breathe, feeling the stretch in your shoulders. You should feel revitalised from having your head below your heart so keep breathing there for as long as you like before gently releasing your arms and flowing into…
– Big Toe Pose: release your hands down to the ground and grab your big toes with your two ‘peace sign’ fingers. Bend your legs as much as you need to and then pull against your feet really engaging your triceps.
Enjoy that deep stretch in your shoulders!