Here’s Why Martial Arts Is The Perfect Postpartum Workout

Getting back to shape after giving birth is not always easy. Despite the increased availability of information about proper diets and workout routines, there are still a lot of bad practices in the fitness world, with many so-called gurus actively promoting questionable workouts as well as diets that have little scientific literature backing them.

Sifting through all the misinformation and hype might prove to be a difficult task for some, and a significant number of women end up compromising their health by opting for the wrong type of exercise. Finding the appropriate postpartum exercise will help you avoid dragging out pregnancy-related issues and will enable you to get back to your usual shape or even better.

Martial arts might not be the first thing that pops into your head when you think of postnatal workouts. After all, it is natural to assume it might be too taxing for the weakened body of a woman who has just given birth.

That perception is far from reality though, as training a combat style is one of the most effective activities for post-childbirth recovery. It is perfectly safe as long as you have been cleared by your doctor to start exercising and you ease into it.

1) It will help you lose the extra weight quickly

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Excessive weight is without a doubt the most noticeable side effect of pregnancy. While prepartum workouts can help you keep weight gain to a minimum, you will likely still end up with some extra fat.

Keep in mind, the body of a new mother is still fragile, and the act of giving birth is a physically and mentally exacting process that puts your entire system through the ringer. Ease into your workouts.

Light exercises such as shadow boxing, focus mitts and hitting pads can help you work your core and burn the extra fat without being too physically demanding. Light sparring, as long as it is overseen by an experienced trainer, is perfectly safe.


2) It can help prevent postpartum depression from setting in

Up to 80 percent of women develop varying degrees of melancholy within the first ten days of giving birth. While this is not usually seen as a cause of concern since this feeling tends to pass after few days, this mental state can at times morph into a serious bout of depression that can last for several months in some extreme cases.

Martial art training triggers the release of the endorphins that help you counteract some of the chemical and hormonal imbalances that occur during and after pregnancy. This plays a significant role in preventing postpartum depression and contributes to uplifting your spirit and improving your mood.


3) Martial arts can help restore strength and abdominal muscle tone


Done correctly, martial arts can even be trained while you’re pregnant. (Image via @evetorresgracie)

Loss of muscle strength after pregnancy is one of the more exasperating pregnancy-related side effects. Regardless of your fitness levels or genetic disposition; the long and arduous pregnancy period will inevitably take a toll on your body and will significantly weaken your muscles, especially around the abdominal area. The constant tiredness and lack of energy that comes as a result of weakened muscles make a lot of women feel overwhelmed and unable to do any workout at all.

Many women have reported substantial muscle strength after they took up various striking disciplines such as Muay Thai and boxing. Grappling arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have also yielded some impressive results when it comes to developing abdominal muscles.


4) It will restore your energy back to pre-pregnancy levels


UFC Fighter Michelle Waterson plays dual roles as a professional MMA fighter and a mom.

After giving birth, you can expect to deal with several energy-sapping symptoms that can persist for an extended period of time. Extreme fatigue, fogginess, and sleep deprivation can last for up to 8 weeks after childbirth, and the effects can be felt for months.

While the medication route might seem like a tempting and quick solution to this issue, it often comes with its own set of side effects that can wreak havoc on your system and further compromise your health.

The best course of action is to adhere to a workout routine that is geared towards boosting your energy. Martial arts exercises such as hitting the speed bag and wrestling takedown drills are energy boosters by nature and are highly recommended as an ideal postpartum workout.


5) It can reduce stress

Pregnancy and childbirth are inherently stressful. Between the frequent hormonal spikes, the constant mood swings, and the sheer weight of carrying a human being for 9 months, most women are at their limit by the time the baby is delivered.

In order to avoid feeling completely consumed by pregnancy and childbirth, health experts advise women to start working out 5 or 6 weeks after delivery (this obviously can vary from case to case). This gives them the opportunity to focus on themselves.

Taking up martial arts can be a really effective way to strengthen a person’s resolve and bolster one’s sense of accomplishment and self-esteem. Sticking to a basic martial art program will take your mind off postpartum stress and help you bounce back to your pre-baby self.


Martial arts are no longer reserved for people looking to compete and prove how tough they are. As sports science continues its exploration of the human body and how it operates, experts are unearthing more benefits that extend beyond the intended purposes of many martial arts drills and techniques. Before starting any postpartum exercise program remember to consult your doctor first.

If you think martial arts may be for you, sign up for a complimentary trial class and experience how effective martial arts training can be for mothers.

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