Postnatal Workout or Post Abdominal Surgery Workout


Calorie burn:

75 to 120





Equipment Needed:

Mat, No Equipment

Workout type:

Low Impact, Pilates, Toning

Body focus:


Workout Details

Rest is incredibly important while you are healing from any kind of event that is traumatic for the body (illness, surgery, pregnancy, etc), but so is physical activity. Exercise improves circulation levels (vital to fast and proper healing), regulates levels of the stress hormone cortisol that may otherwise hinder the healing process, keeps the spirits up, and fights off the stress and depression of being otherwise physically limited.

For all of the reasons above, I built this beginner friendly Pilates routine (that may also be appropriately called a postnatal workout or c section workout for women after pregnancy) for my own use after I had to have abdominal surgery.

When I found out that I had to have surgery I was very scared about all of the surrounding health implications and what-if scenarios, but I was also concerned about losing the endurance and strength that I had worked so hard to build and sustain over the years. I was worried that I wouldn’t feel healthy or strong by the time I was healed. I didn’t want to add back pain, nervous energy, fat and weight gain, depression and the loss of strength and muscle mass to my list of things to stress about.

These are all exercises that I was able to do shortly after my (minimally invasive, laparoscopic) abdominal surgery; they are movements that were comfortable for me specifically, and may not work as ideal after-surgery or postnatal workouts for everyone. You always, always, always, want to talk to your doctor before you start any workout program - this is especially important if you are looking to start a post surgery or pregnancy exercise program or c section workout, in which case your body may not be able to do the things that it usually can without causing damage or slowing your healing process.

Even if/when your doctor releases you to do this workout program, you want to make sure that you are especially tuned into your body and that you listen to the signals that it sends you; never press into an intensity or range of motion that causes you pain. Your doctor will be able to give you a specific time range in which you should resume physical activity of any kind, but generally speaking, women can start easing back into exercise with light postnatal workouts 6-8 weeks after giving birth, with people who have gone through abdominal surgeries typically having a similar timeline. Keep in mind that there are always instances in which the body may need more healing time than that.

Workout Structure
10 Exercises
Varying Reps
No equipment required
18 Minutes total

Printable Routine
14 Pelvic Tilts
14 Pelvic Tilts + Lifts
14 Supported Leg Extensions (each side)
10 Outside & 10 Inside Thigh Lifts (each side)
5 Single Limb Bird Dogs
20 External/Internal Leg Rotations
14 Modified Bridges
14 Leg Circles (7 in each direction; 14 on each leg)
14 Supported Partial Curls

Remember, if any of these exercises cause you any pain whatsoever; stop immediately. As many benefits as appropriately designed exercise programs can have for healing, rest is also crucial to the body’s healing.

This low key Pilates workout can also be a great routine for people who are brand new to exercise and it’s also a good routine for doing right before bed, when you are looking to wind down for the night. It’s low impact, slow, and easy on the body and mind. We estimate that it burns roughly 75-120 calories.

If you are going through any kind of healing process, just remember the discomfort doesn’t last forever and if you talk with your doctor to find the right combination of rest and light exercise, it wont last long at all. Be patient with yourself while you are on the mend.

**Note: All information provided by Fitness Blender is of a general nature and is furnished only for educational/entertainment purposes only. No information is to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health or medical condition. You agree that use of this information is at your own risk and hold Fitness Blender harmless from any and all losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.



04/18/15 5:56am

Great workout. Helped me out after my surgery in late 2013.


11/23/14 11:22am

Hey guys! I love this workout for rest days. I'm 22, have bilateral hip replacements, and have arthritic knees. Therefore, I look for workouts with no squats, jumping, or any other joint-strenuous activities. I, of course, want high calorie burn, so I often modify your existing workouts to fit my limitations. I was wondering if you could make a video or give suggestions for people who are my situation. I would really appreciate it!

PS- You guys are wonderful! With your help, I've lost almost 20 pounds and feel healthier. Thanks. :)


11/23/14 11:25am

I should also mention that I have several chronic medical issues.


11/15/14 8:16am

Hi guys, do you think this kind of workout could be ok for those days when I have terrible belly cramps (because of my period?).
Usually, 2 or 3 days a month, I have very painful cramps (my doctor knows, I'm just one of those unlucky girls out there :/ ). But I'd like to do my workouts in any case. I think this could be interesting and very useful if you could make more routines for this kind of "situation" :) Thank you K&D ^___^


11/23/14 11:23am

I think this workout would be great for days when you have bad cramps!


02/20/13 8:33pm

Hi, first of all thank you for nice workout videos. I really like. I had c section 8 weeks ago and i started this workout. It didn't caused any pain and was quite easy to me. So my questions are
1. How long should i continue this postnatal workout?
2. How many times should i do this workout in a day?
2. My problem is (guess every new mother faces with this problem) I have big belly. I want to do ABS workouts. Could you please advice me abs workout that fits who had c section?

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