Postnatal Fitness Classes
Photo: Alexandra Simone / Getty

Postnatal exercise comes with specific guidelines: you must get sign-off from your GP at six weeks before starting any fitness regime (before that, only gentle walks are advisable), and be mindful not to attempt what you were doing pre-pregnancy right away, but to rehab properly.

“Every woman’s post-pregnancy journey is different,” says PT, fitness influencer and new mother Kayla Itsines. “It’s essential that you work closely with your health professionals and only do exercise that you have clearance to do.”

After pregnancy, many women suffer from a condition known as ‘diastasis recti’, where the abdominal wall separates. Taking this – and other postnatal complications – into account when working out from home, it pays to follow a specific programme, or interact live with an expert who can advise you personally on your post-pregnancy journey.

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Below, find the best virtual classes that are as safe as they are effective:

Kayla Itsines

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THROWBACK! Arna had the BEST time at the @SWEAT staff bootcamp a few months ago!!! It was the first bootcamp she’s been to and she honestly loved the whole experience.⁣ ⁣ She was dancing around to the music, she tried a berry smoothie and then she was right up next to the stage while I was leading the bootcamp (you should have seen her face when she walked in, she LOVES being around lots of people and was so excited – she’s so used to being around a big Greek family lol 😍🤣). ⁣ ⁣ I had a busy day of filming, working at the SWEAT office, going home to spend some time with Arna, and then doing the bootcamp with the team. The reality of being a working mum is that you can have A LOT of things going on at once, and it can be completely overwhelming at times. ⁣ ⁣ A lot has changed in the world since that day, but working mums lives are just as busy, if not MORE. I know that many of you ladies are now working from home and your kids are at home with you. Life is certainly not normal!! This is a really tough time for so many people around the world, and I think it’s so important that we give ourselves a bit of a break from the pressure that we can feel sometimes to be everything to everyone. You’re never going to be a PERFECT parent, or partner, or daughter or son.⁣ ⁣ In times like these, let’s just do the best we can. Let’s lift each other up and support each other. And most importantly let’s give ourselves permission to #dropthepressure!!

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Kayla Itsines, one of the most influential PTs Instagram has ever seen, has created a new post-pregnancy programme since becoming a mother herself. Accessible via her Sweat app – alongside the celebrated Bikini Body Guide (BGG) ­– the specialist 12-week programme comes backed by a panel of obstetricians and exercise physiologists. Designed to support new mothers to rebuild strength and fitness after pregnancy and birth, the short workouts range from 15-25 minutes, to slot easily into time-poor lifestyles.

To access it, sign up to the Sweat app, choose Itsines as your trainer, then select ‘Post-Pregnancy’.

CariFit

CariFit is a unique baby-wearing workout perfect for mums with infants aged six weeks to 18 months old. Based on low-impact HIIT principles, prepare to sweat and burn as 30 minutes fly by, while your baby feels snug and safe strapped to your chest. They stream daily live classes with founder and postnatal fitness specialist Vern Hill and his team for just £5, and you can catch up with some on YouTube.

Find the timetable and book here

Xtend Barre

Babies on Board’ is Xtend’s signature fusion of ballet and Pilates, taught while you wear your baby in a carrier (or not, if you can steal some time to yourself!). Safe for pre- and postnatal women, expect a body-sculpting workout that will help your posture and core recover, while strengthening muscles specific to the needs of new mums. The classes are currently accessible virtually via Zoom, while the Marylebone studio is temporarily closed.

Book at xtend-barre.com

The Louisa Drake Method

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Sunday Selfcare Series in partnership with @livetheprocess & @harveynichols. Head to @harveynichols to enjoy @louisa_drake Sculpt workout. Outfit by @livetheprocess who produce the most beautiful & sustainable activewear. This video will be available for 24 hours and is a taster of LDM Sculpt. Let us know how you get on and we are looking forward to seeing you next week for more LDM Live classes and IGTV workouts. #ReworkYourWorkout ✨Photography & video @olybarnsley @creativetwo_ . . . #LDM #LouisaDrakeMethod #SundaySelfcare #HarveyNichols #LiveTheProcess #Partnerships #LouisaDrake #Fitness #Health #Wellbeing #FitnessFusion #Sculpt #Pilates #Barre #Ballet #Yoga #DanceCardio #Movement #LIIT #HIIT #FunctionalMovement #PrenatalFitness #PostnatalFitness #Holistic #CelebrityTrainer #CelebrityWorkout #OnlineWorkout #HomeWorkout #LiveStreaming

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Known as the “shape-changer that generates stronger, longer and leaner bodies,” The Louisa Drake Method has recently launched a pre- and postnatal programme called the LDM Pregnancy Project. In the regular online sessions, streamed via Zoom, celebrity trainer Drake – or a member of her team – leads a LDM Sculpt workout offering the most effective and supportive exercise adaptations for new mothers to recover safely after pregnancy. To accompany the drop-in based classes are workout guides (soon to be available), which cover postnatal fitness, health and nutritional advice.

See the timetable for online classes here

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Mum Hood

Pip and Joan, the women behind Mum Hood, are also the founders of Frame, London’s funnest fitness studio chain with a cult following as strong as the instructors. Since entering into pre- and postnatal journeys themselves, the friends filled a gap in the wellness market with safe, simple and effective workouts, both within the Frame locations and for women to do at home. With separate programmes – all specific to each stage of your early motherhood journey, various class types (from reformer Pilates to cardio), digital resources and inspirational events, Mum Hood is a family you’ll want to be part of.

Discover the online programmes here

Barrecore

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Workout with your baby – not just after but also before they’re born! Staying active and fit during pregnancy is one if the best ways to prepare the body for birth, reduce pains and aches, maintain strength for labour and also reduce recovery time. Barrecore is one of the safest workouts during pregnancy due to the low impact and mindful nature of our classes. In addition we have a dedicated BarreLIVE Prenatal Class every Saturday 11:30 GMT – yes that’s tomorrow! And if you want further guidance to make sure you’re exercising in a safe way, we also offer Private Sessions. . 👉 Tag someone who should join tomorrow – first live class is free! All details and link to book the class in our bio! . 📸 by @_kirstywelsh, thank you for the share! 🏐 by @barre_core

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Barrecore, the barre fitness company with 13 studios across the UK, explains that its method is safe post-pregnancy due to the low-impact and mindful nature of its classes. Designed to ease clients back into regular classes (which exhaust your muscles to the point of the signature ‘Barrecore shake’), they’ve recently added a dedicated weekly postnatal class to the live schedule, streamed via Zoom. With Barrecore’s strong focus on the core, their trained experts can diagnose ab separation and run through a series of exercises that help heal the wall and strengthen the muscles back to pre-pregnancy levels.

Find the timetable and book here

Define London

Sculpting and strengthening are the core principles of Define London, the New-York style barre method currently accessible live via Zoom. The up-tempo workouts – as loved by celebrities – are suitable for those on postnatal journeys, as founder (and new mother) Ashley Verma tells us. For anyone pre/postnatal, she recommends their ‘barre class’ and ‘mat class’, where highly-skilled instructors will provide you with modifications throughout the session. “These two formats focus on perfecting alignment and posture, and strengthen all those tiny muscles that support the body,” she says, which is great for post-pregnancy.

Find the timetable and book here

Paola’s BodyBarre

Highly experienced trainer (and mother of three) Paola Di Lanzo has taught her famed method, Paola’s BodyBarre, at various luxury London studios including most recently, FLEX Chelsea. A cherished class is the ‘BabyBarre‘, a specifically designed fusion of ‘floor barre‘ for postnatal women. The sessions help build strength and suppleness, focusing on core muscles including the pelvic floor. The best bit? Babies are welcome, too. Currently, PBB can be accessed virtually, with group classes and also personal training offered by Di Lanzo.

Find out more and book here

SEE MORE MUMMY AND BABY CLASSES

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.

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