Working out after pregnancy is something that really needs care, and you must check with your health advisor before you start post pregnancy exercise. At My Baba we’re always looking out for new ways to keep fit – especially at this delicate time. The wonderful British Kettlebell Champion Jamie Lloyd has given us the low-down on working out with kettlebells.
Tell us the advantages of working out with kettlebells, and why especially are they effective post pregnancy? i.e. cardio, quicker workouts for busy mums etc..
The advantages of using Kettlebells as a training tool of choice is that they are fun, versatile and they are great for training the kinetic chain.
They are great for work capacity as they train the 600 muscles in your body and they are great for fat loss, strength training, and all round fitness.
Tell us a bit about your buggy bells classes, what do they involve?
Buggybells is The Ultimate Fitness Club For Mums and is based at The Skylark Cafe on Wandsworth Common. This is a fitness program for mums who want to exercise outdoors with their little ones. The main emphasis is using Bodyweight and Kettlebells. Each session is 60 minutes long and it’s fast, fun and suitable for all post-natal ladies as each group is limited to 15 women so everyone gets hands on attention and we work round your injuries and adapt to your fitness levels.
At what stage should a new mother start thinking about joining a buggy bells class?
As long as you’ve been signed off by your GP to start exercising you can join Buggybells! We take on mums who are six weeks post natal up to mums who’ve been out of the exercise loop and may have had one or two children and want to get their body back after childbirth.
What are the top five most effective kettle bell exercises?
1. Two arm swings are the foundation exercise and are great for all round conditioning and fat loss as they work the posterior chain. They are low impact too.
2. Snatches – the king of Kettlebells, the snatch involves swinging a bell between the legs and punching if overhead. This works everything and again it’s great for all round conditioning.
3. Kettlebell Squats – this is a great lower body strengthening exercise.
To supplement the class, and bearing in mind how time consuming being a new parent is, how often should I work out at home, and for how long?
This depends on how committed you are and how much time you have! I normally ask mums how much time they have and how long they are willing to workout in between feeds and naps. So it does depend on the individual as some mums have more than one. So anywhere between 10 minutes and 30 minutes is suffice but focus on the quality – not quantity!
How long do I have to work out for before I start to see results?
Again to see optimum results you want to be training three to four times a week. Notice I didn’t say how long in minutes, cos again you need to stay focussed on the quality training rather than just jump on a treadmill for an hour. So aim to do three to four strength workouts a week where you break into a sweat and you are aching the next day!
Which weight size do you recommend for women? Is it necessary to buy a range of weights for different exercises, or will one size fit all?
For new mums again if does totally depend on the individual’s skill level, athletic background and training experience and injury background. For most mums they will use a 6kg – 8kg kettlebell to start off with, and build up to using three different kettlebells, a light, medium and heavy kettlebell.
What top three pieces of advice would you give to new mums wanting to get back in shape?
1. Don’t rush back into exercise. Make sure you spend quality time with your baby first. Afterall they aren’t babies for long! 🙂
2. When starting back into exercise, make sure you get the all clear from your GP or physiotherapist first and make sure you go and seek out an experienced and qualified post natal trainer and one who can assess Diastasis recti and write you a specific program for you.
3. Start off gently by going for walks in the woods/park in the fresh air which will oxygenate the blood and bring you closer to nature and your baby will benefit too.
Do light resistance work but don’t over do it! But to shift the baby bulge pay most attention to your nutrition and eat clean unprocessed foods and ‘try’ to get a dose when your baby is asleep!
By Jamie Lloyd, British Kettlebell Champion