Returning to Running Postpartum: A 12-Week Guide to Reclaiming Your Stride

Embracing motherhood is a beautiful journey, and as a new mum, you’ve undergone a remarkable transformation during pregnancy and childbirth.

One exciting milestone many postpartum women eagerly anticipate is resuming their running routines. However, it’s essential to approach this adventure with care, patience, and special guidance to ensure a seamless return to running, minus any symptoms. Getting you back to running is our jam as we focus on building strength while allowing full recovery, ensuring a pain-free experience, and regaining your stride.

Weeks 1-4: Laying the Groundwork

Week 1-2: Embrace Rest and Recovery

The initial weeks following childbirth are all about rest and recovery. Prioritize bonding with your precious bubba, allowing your body the well-deserved time it needs to heal. Popping in for a post-partum check-up with Loz is perfect for this time.

Week 3-4: Introduce Gentle Movements

As you gradually return to activity, begin with gentle movements like taking 10-15 minute walks, slowly extending your walking time. Pay close attention to your body and your pelvic floor. If any discomfort or symptoms arise, pause and be sure to chat to us.

Weeks 5-8: Fortifying Your Foundation

Week 5-6: Focus on Pelvic Floor Exercises

Continue your journey with pelvic floor health with activations such as pelvic floor activation, strength, relaxation and endurance exercises. These exercises help strengthen and coordinate your pelvic floor muscles while providing essential support for your pelvic health. Maintain proper form and make these exercises a regular part of your daily routine. At this point, some mums are unsure if they are activating correctly. Pop in for a pelvic health appointment with Sarah or Loz. They can help ensure you are activating correctly and progressing well.

Week 7-8: Embrace Strength Training

If you are feeling up to in and feel you are ready, starting to introduce strength-building exercises into your day is great. Include activities like single-leg balance (aim for 10 seconds on each side), calf raises (15-20 reps), and sidelying single-leg glute abductions (15-20 reps per side). Ensure these movements are pain-free and comfortable.

Weeks 9-12: Ready to Run

Week 9-10: Enhance Cardiovascular Endurance

Gradually extend your walking time to a comfortable 30 minutes. If you’re feeling prepared, give jogging on the spot for 1 minute a try to gauge your body’s response. Always listen to your body; if any discomfort or symptoms arise, have a chat to us.

Week 11-12: Embrace Plyometric Exercises

Now it’s time to incorporate dynamic movements. Experiment with forward bounds (aim for 10 reps without discomfort), single-leg hops (10 reps per side), and single-leg glute bridges (15-20 reps). These exercises will help you regain balance and stability, crucial for running. With having a bubba, you may also notice a change in your body and the way you run. Ensuring you have a biomechanically good gait is super helpful in preventing injuries as you build up. If you feel you need a helping hand here, pop in to see James who will video you on the treadmill and analyze your gait, helping to formulate the best exercises to help you.

Guidelines for a Smooth Return
  1. Have a chat to us: Having a post-partum check-up with a pelvic health appointment before initiating any postpartum exercise routine really helps. We will assess you and the stage you are at while asking lots of questions about your birth. This ensures your unique circumstances are considered.
  2. Tune into Your Body: Pay close attention to how your body responds to exercise. If you experience pain or symtpoms, stop immediately and chat to us.
  3. Nourish and Hydrate: Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for postpartum recovery and sustaining your energy levels during exercise.
  4. Prioritize Pelvic Floor Health: Continue to prioritize pelvic floor exercises throughout your journey. Strong pelvic floor muscles are fundamental for running and overall well-being.
  5. Step-by-Step Progression: Avoid rushing the process. Gradually intensify both the duration and intensity of your exercisess as your body fully recovers, grows stronger and more resilient.
  6. Invest in Supportive Gear: Quality, supportive workout clothing and a well-fitted sports bra can significantly enhance your comfort during exercise. We love SRC shorts and pants. If you have private health insurance, ask us to fill out the referral form and you get a discount.
  7. Community and Encouragement: Consider connecting with local mums or joining a mums and bubs class to benefit from additional support and motivation.

Remember, each postpartum experience is unique. Your return to running may follow a different timeline than others’, and that’s absolutely fine! Prioritize your health and well-being, and relish the journey of rediscovering the joy of running at your own pace. With patience, dedication, and the right support, you’ll soon be lacing up your running shoes and hitting the pavement with confidence, free from any discomfort, leaking, or dragging sensations.

If you have any questions at all, please reach out to us.


Bec @ Total Balance Healthcare



This blog post is an educational tool only.  It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.

Phone: (03) 9773 8085


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