Ciara Is Back At It with Postpartum Workouts After Becoming a Mom of Three
After giving birth to her third child, Win Harrison Wilson, the singer is sharing her go-to workouts, including some that are helping to address her diastasis recti.
It's only been about five weeks since Ciara gave birth to her third child, Win Harrison Wilson, and she's already back in the gym. Last week, the 34-year-old singer took to Instagram to share her postpartum fitness and weight loss goals.
″Starting the game plan tomorrow," she wrote alongside a selfie taken in her backyard on August 24th. ″[I] don't know how easy it's going to be considering [I have] 3 babies now! Going to work really hard at this! Let's go Mammas."
Since then, the singer has started documenting her first few workouts on her Instagram Stories, led by her personal trainer, Decker Davis (who, BTW, also trains Ciara's hubby and Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russel Wilson).
Based on the videos she's shared so far, it seems that Ciara is taking it slow as she eases her way back into a regular fitness routine — something that, especially as a new mom, can take a lot of patience and dedication. Of course, every new mom is different, so it's important to talk to your doctor and get personalized recommendations on when to hit the gym again after giving birth. Translation: Even though it only took Ciara about five weeks to get the all-clear from her doc, your timeline could vary — and that's totally normal. (More here: The New Mom's Guide to Losing Weight After Pregnancy)
That said, when you do start working out postpartum, it's probably best to avoid challenging high-intensity workouts for the first several weeks, Ellis Duvall, a physical therapist and founder of CoreExerciseSolutions.com, previously told Shape. Low-impact activities, such as walking, are often better suited to get your body moving after pregnancy while simultaneously allowing you to heal, explained Duvall.
In fact, Ciara started her postpartum fitness journey with a slow walk on the treadmill. ″Wish me luck," she's heard saying between breaths in a recent Instagram Story. (Related: 9 Things You Should Know About Postpartum Exercise and Probably Don't)
The next day, Ciara added some light strength training moves to her routine. In an Instagram Story shared by Davis, the singer can be seen doing seated medicine ball squats and resistance band rows to help address her diastasis recti — a post-pregnancy condition in which your left and right abdominal muscles separate. During pregnancy, when your uterus grows, the fascia, which connects your right and left abdominal muscles, widens to make room for the baby, Evelyn Hecht, P.T., president of EMH Physical Therapy in New York City and creator of the Pelvic Track app, told us in a previous interview. When the fascia hyperextends, it can result in a rounded, protruding belly after giving birth — the most obvious symptom of diastasis recti. Research suggests that anywhere from one- to two-thirds of women experience the condition during their postpartum period. (Kelly Rowland had diastasis recti, too.)
The good news is, exercise can really help strengthen and heal this area. But it's important to be cautious.
"While you're healing your diastasis, you want to avoid any exercises that put too much strain on the abdominals and can cause the belly to cone or dome," Kristin McGee, a New York-based yoga and Pilates instructor, previously told us. ″Crunches and planks should be avoided until you can keep your abs held and avoid any pooching out." It's also a good idea to steer clear of backbends or anything that can cause the abdomen to stretch further, noted McGee.
For now, Ciara's only given folks a peek at her postpartum fitness plan. But if her past is any proof, the badass mama is the queen of crushing her goals. You might recall that after giving birth to her first child, Future Zahir Wilburn, Ciara lost a whopping 60 pounds in just four months.
″Once I got back into it, I worked out two or three times daily," she told Shape at the time. "I would go to Gunnar [Peterson] first for my one-hour training session, then I'd have two more cardio sessions later in the day. That, along with a really clean eating plan, was how I lost 60 pounds in four months. It was a very intense program, and I was extremely focused on it."
After baby number two, Ciara was equally determined and lost 50 pounds in five months as a result of maintaining a similarly rigid workout schedule. ″I was even more fired up about getting my post-baby weight off [this time]," the singer told People at the time. ″It was just my own personal goal that I set for myself. It's a whole different animal when you have two kids, and it felt really good." (P.S. It's Totally Normal to Still Look Pregnant After Giving Birth)
During that time, Ciara also casually squeezed in a workout for pretty much every free moment of her day, in case anyone doubted her dedication. ″I had the craziest system," Ciara continued telling People. ″I would wake up, breastfeed, then get Future [her eldest son] ready for school. Then after I take him to school, come back and work out. Then after I work out, breastfeed and go back and get Future from school. Come back and breastfeed, then go work out again." (Related: What Your First Few Weeks of Postpartum Exercise Should Look Like)
There's no denying that Ciara's determination to lose her baby weight is seriously impressive. That said, it bears repeating that the postpartum ″bounce back" isn't a realistic expectation for everyone. While there's nothing wrong with wanting to feel fit and strong again, it's equally important to love and appreciate your body for growing and birthing a human being. If that means weight loss takes a backseat for a while, then that's nothing to be ashamed of.