A round-up of Baby A-wake news, testimonials and events relating to our ante and post natal pilates based courses.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Training Session Via Twitter

As I was training in the gym a couple of weeks ago, with my phone and twitter page on view, I realised I could happily tweet whilst doing interval training. It has to be said I normally advise clients to not watch TV, let alone tinker with their phone. The reason for this is, when using such distractions, your intensity will lower, your technique will suffer and your workout will be less effective.

As I started to tweet on each rest period of my session however, I realised that, rather than making my workout worse, it was providing me with a motivation tool to keep going. I was tweeting to the world at large and wasn't even sure if anyone was listening, yet it still helped me to work with more determination
What then, if we were all tweeting together as we worked out? Encouraging each other in one big group session? It gave me the idea of a #trainingsessionviatwitter and at 12.30pm this Thursday 19th August, we will start our first session. Anyone can join in, anywhere. You can do this in the park, gym, at home, in the office. You can be of any fitness level. Now, apologies for this, but have to do it - the official stuff...Please note that I nor my company Body A-Wake Ltd can be at all responsible for any accident, injury, death or near mishap occurring as a result of the training advice or tweeting activity given through this idea. Anyone joining in must be a healthy adult and if you are not sure of your health status then you must get approval from your GP first. If you are pregnant or recently had a baby you also need consent from your GP. Don't be a donkey by doing this in a place or position where you could come to harm - riding a bike through Trafalgar square comes to mind, as does any water based activity or high risk sport. Treadmills are tricky - I've seen some nasty accidents where a slight lack of concentration can send you flying off the back...What you do need to do is follow the advice below and follow me It's worth having this page to hand on your phone and having a little practise run-through before the session on Thursday. Good luck and I'll see y'all (well your avatar at least), Thursday, 12.30pm sharp! (Best to get there a few minutes early if you can)

How to do this...Choose your mode of exercise, you can either be doing cardio on a stationery machine such as a bike or x-trainer in the gym or walking or running in the park. Alternatively you can choose one of our cardio options below which are ideal for working out at home or in the office. Make sure you are wearing suitable clothing, shoes, have water to drink and have eaten something within two hours - grab a banana half an hour before if you haven’t had time for anything else.

How it works
Follow this intensity guide...

1 - Easy peasy, working up a sweat but could chat for hours at this pace
2 - Starting to feel challenged but only just and can talk comfortably throughout
3 - Getting harder now, but can still talk comfortably
4 - Really hard can only keep this up for a minute or so.

If you feel any pain, feel sick or faint, STOP.

If you are pregnant or recently had a baby and not use to exercise, stay within levels 1 - 2. If you are new to exercise or pregnant or recently had a baby but use to exercise stay within levels 1 – 3. Also click on Baby A-Wake Complete Antenatal and Postnatal Exercise and Wellbeing DVD For more advice before your start.

The workout will have 4 components, 1) Warm up, 2) Cardio mode 3) Recovery tweeting exercise, 4) Cooldown. It will last approximately 30 minutes. I will send you tweets so that you know what to do at any given moment during the 30 minute session, plus some handy hints and tips to keep you going. During your recovery 'tweeting' exercise, you can reply to me and let me know how you are getting on. At easier intensities you can also tweet during your warm up and cool down sections BUT, make sure you don't lose your intensity. During cardio sections, you shouldn't be able to tweet, if you can - you are not concentrating or working hard enough!

1) Warm up (5 MINUTES)

Before you start – be aware of your posture at all times, back tall, tummy in, shoulders back and down and looking straight ahead.
If out in the park or on a cardio machine, start warming up at a pace between levels 1 – 2, if you are new to exercise, stay at level 1, if you are use to exercise, take it to level 2. Start with slower smaller movements and gradually increase.

Otherwise you will do...

- Walking or marching on the spot x 1 minute, As you march/walk, roll shoulders back x 10, then place your hands on your shoulders and circle your elbow backwards x 10.
- Next lift your knees alternately, bringing opposite elbow to knee, back up tall x 1 minute
- Next curl your legs behind you, bringing your heel up towards your bum x 1 minute
- Next repeat 1 minute of knee lifts and 1 minute of curls but move a little faster, whilst staying at the right intensity.

2) Cardio Mode (19 mins)
You need to be able to do your cardio at harder and easier levels. If you are walking or running in the park, just move at a harder or slower pace. If in the gym, find a level on your machine that gives you the correct intensity.
Otherwise you will do any one of the following. Again, go at a faster pace to increase intensity but make sure you follow the technique described below. Never sacrifice technique for speed. For more variety, choose 2 or more options. You can also do things like running on the spot, faster knee lifts and legs curls as described in the warm up.

STEP UPS - choose a stair run, bench or low wall of around 20 – 40 cm high. The higher it is the harder it is. Your height however is also important, make sure your step up height is below your knee height and that you are able to step up correctly i.e. stand tall, step up with your right foot, whole foot on the step. Follow with your left foot, pushing up through your right heel. Step back down with your right, then with your left and repeat. Half way through the allocated time (I will give you a half way tweet point) you need to change your leading leg.

SKIPPING – you can use a skipping rope or mimic a skipping movement, i.e. - Lift your right knee. Hop on your left foot as you bring your right heel down in front. This is your hop skip action, i.e. lift right knee, hop on left, strike down with right heel in front. Rotate your forearms forward once for each hop skip action. As your right heel strikes down, place your weight onto your right foot and repeat the pattern by now lifting your left knee, hopping onto your right foot and striking down with your left heel. Keep repeating.

LUNGE JACKS - Start with your feet together. Step out wide to the side with your right foot and lift your arms to the side, as if doing a jumping jack. Bring your foot back to the start, arms back by your side. Repeat with left leg out to the side. Keep repeating, alternating from right to left. To make the exercise harder, substitute lunges for jump jacks, e.g. jump jack x 4, lunge x 8 and repeat. The bigger the moves you make and the more jacks you add, the harder it will be.

3) Recovery Tweeting Exercises
These are simple exercises that will keep your heart rate up whilst also working on your lower body strength at the same time as being able to tweet your progress! If you are running/walking or using a cardio machine you can instead stay in this mode, just work at a lower intensity so you can recover but make sure it’s safe for you to tweet whilst you do this.

SQUATS - Stand with your feet wider than hip width, feet turned out at 45 degrees. Squat back, weight into your heels, back up tall (don't round your back). Keep your knees behind your toes as you squat. The best way to describe a perfect squat is to imagine your bums on fire and you want to stick it in a bucket of cold water behind you! Lift back up squeezing your bum and repeat.

REVERSE LUNGES - With your feet hip width, take a big step back with your right foot so that you weight is distributed between your left heel at the front and your right toe at the back (your right heel should be off the ground) bend at both knees to lower your torso, vertically to the ground . Keep your back up tall. Lift back up, step back in with the right foot and repeat on the left. Keep repeating.

SIDE SQUATS – Start with your feet together, step wide to the right, right foot turned out at 45 degrees, and squat down as in the squats description above. Lift back up but draw your right leg in to work your inner thigh. Repeat to the left and keep repeating, alternating right to left.

4) Cool Down (6 minutes)
Walk around or on the spot for 2 minutes, taking big slow, deep breaths. Now do the following stretches, holding each one for 30 seconds...

LOWER LEG - Lean against a wall, right leg bent, in front, left leg straight behind and heel on the ground. Lean forward with your whole body, back tall. Hold and change sides

FRONT THIGH - Lift your right foot off the floor. Bend your knee and take a hold of your ankle or back of your shoe. Keeping your knees together, push your hips forward. Hold and change sides

BACK THIGH - Stick your right leg out in font on the floor or a low bench, heel down, toes up, lean forward keeping your back straight to bring your chest towards your lower leg. Stick your bum out behind you. Hold and change sides

BACK & BUM - Kneel on your hands and knees, hands in line with shoulders and knees in line with hips. Arch your back up like a cat, hold, then take your knees wide and sit back resting your bum on your heels with your arms out stretched in front.

How it will happen (times are approximate)
Warm up 12.30 - 12.35 level 1 - 2
Squat or recovery tweet mode 12.35 - 12.37 level 1 - 2
Cardio 12.37 - 12.39 level 2 - 4
Squat or recovery tweet mode 12.39 - 12.40 level 1 - 2
Cardio 12.40 - 12.42 level 2 - 4
Backward lunge/recovery tweet 12.42 - 12.43 level 1 - 2
Cardio 12.43 - 12.45 level 2 - 4
Backward lunge/recovery tweet 12.45 - 12.46 level 1 - 2
Cardio 12.46 - 12.48 level 2 - 4
Wide Squat/recovery tweet 12.48 - 12.49 level 1 - 2
Cardio 12.49 - 12.50 level 2 - 4
Wide Squat/ or recovery tweet 12.50 - 12.52 level 1 - 2
Cardio 12.52 – 12.54 level 2 - 4
Walk cool down 12.54 - 12.56 level 1 - 2
Lower leg stretch 12.56 - 12.57 level 1
Front thigh stretch 12.57 - 12.58 level 1
Back thigh stretch 12.58 - 12.59 level 0
Back and bum stretch 12.59 - 13.00 Relax!!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weight Management During Pregnancy - Why Our Opinion Counts

Leading Fitness Expert Jane Wake Comments on the NICE guidelines on Weight Management during Pregnancy...

As stakeholders in this guidance, we were able to comment on specific detail on the guidance draft and are very happy to say that all of our comments were taken on board! Thanks to all parties and associates of Body A-Wake Ltd who supported me to bring these comments to NICE.

We are therefore very much behind this guidance and believe this to be a positive step towards encouraging women to be healthier during the pre-conception, pregnancy and postnatal period. At last we finally have the full support of influential leaders when it comes to exercising during pregnancy. No more should women be stared at in the gym, or seen as an oddity when exercising in the park. Finally we can do away with the scare mongering tactics of the tabloid press who paint a negative picture of women who exercise during pregnancy – labelling us as fanatics who are desperate to stay in shape and not pile on too many pounds. This guidance reinforces our philosophy on encouraging women to partake in healthy forms of moderate to lightly vigorous exercise. And if you don’t want to read the full guidance, written below are my top tips to help you stay in shape. For further information go to Baby A-Wake Complete Antenatal and Postnatal Exercise and Wellbeing DVD.

-Exercise moderately - where you can comfortably talk, for at least 30 minutes daily. Try to make this continuous and if you are new to exercise, start off with 10 minutes, adding 1 - 2 minutes each week. Walking, swimming and antenatal programmes are ideal.
- Do pelvic floor exercises - your pelvic floor lies between your pubic bone and your tail bone – imagine you could pull those two points together and lift them up inside you - pull up slowly and release x 10, 3 times, daily.
- Watch your posture and use your tummy muscles to support your back and help you get back into shape more quickly after birth - imagine your belly button is a lift going back horizontally with 5 floors. Lift back towards your baby, 5th floor being as far as you can pull in. Release and repeat, 10 times, 3 times daily.
- When active use your pelvic floor and tummy muscles to support your back and make you feel more comfortable - see tips above but think about pulling up to just 2nd floor with your tummy whilst you move around.
- Take time to relax and breathe, deeply and slowly - breathing can be the biggest helper to you in childbirth and understanding how to use slow deep breaths and gentle movement during childbirth is a great way to relieve pain.

- Don't exercise to extremes, research shows that little and often gives better results than harder, less frequent exercise.
- Don't do any exercise after the first trimester that could result in abdominal trauma - Ball sports (tennis, netball, football etc), horse riding and skiing are out, instead think of exercising in safe environments where you can control what goes on - be wary of cycling.
- Don't train for a sports event - switch your focus to exercising for YOU and YOUR baby.
- Don't do ab crunches - these can course excessive strain to your torso during pregnancy and could make your abs less flat after birth.
- Don't scuba dive or go to high altitudes (6000 ft)
- You are currently advised to not exercise lying on your back after the first trimester.
- Don't continue to exercise if you have any of the following symptoms. Stop immediately and seek medical attention - Dizziness or fainting, vaginal bleeding, sudden water discharge, signs of Labour, headaches, decreased fetal movement, chest pain, calf pain or swelling
- Don't exercise if you feel any pain, STOP immediately, change what you are doing and if the pain persists, seek professional help.
- Don't over stretch or push too hard - your joints are less stable and more vulnerable due to hormones. Take care in what you do.

-Check with your GP or midwife before you start exercising.
-Drink plenty of water daily – 2 – 3 litres.
-Stay cool and wear comfortable clothing.
-Go to specific antenatal exercise programmes where the instructors are specifically trained to help you.
-Keep it simple and easy to follow.
-Get plenty of sleep.
-Eat healthily and regularly, you only need around 300 additional calories daily but you want to make sure these are from good healthy sources.
-Exercise with other pregnant mums, sharing your thoughts and feelings with other new mums is as important as the exercise itself.
-Listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right, STOP.

-Exercising mums feel less tired and can cope with the pains of pregnancy (nausea, back pain etc) more easily.
-Likely to have a shorter labour so less stressful and harmful to both mother and baby.
-Exercising mums regain their pre pregnancy figures in half the time.
-Babies are born, leaner, healthier - i.e. have a more ideal body fat weight at birth.
-Research is starting to show that babies of exercising Mums tend to be less colicky, calmer more relaxed babies and even show greater levels of intelligence.

-As soon as you feel able, start doing pelvic floor and gentle tummy exercises as given in our top 5 pregnancy exercise tips. Your midwife will let you know when it’s ok to start these.
-Start with gentle walks before doing any vigorous activity - walking with the pram daily for 10 minutes and building up 3 - 5 minutes each week is ideal.
-As soon as your midwife/gp says it's ok (usually after your 6 week check), start to resume more vigorous activity, such as swimming, cycling walking and running etc. Your prenatal programme is ideal to start with or try a specific postnatal programme such as the Baby A-Wake DVD Baby A-Wake Complete Antenatal and Postnatal Exercise and Wellbeing DVD.
- Focus on hollowing abdominal exercises NOT ab crunches - lie on your back, knees bent, tailbone on the floor , little hollow in your lower back, take deep breathes and try to connect to your pelvic floor and deep tummy muscles by pulling up inside you and drawing your belly button back to your spine. Keep your spine still (place your fingers under your lower back to check it doesn’t move) repeat 10 - 20 times daily.
- If you are breast feeding, research shows that exercise will not affect your milk supply. Not drinking enough or eating healthy however will. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy whole grain starches such as brown rice and brown bread. Eat lean protein such as chicken and fish and drink lots of water, more when exercising (2 - 3 litres daily).

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's a Family Affair!

On the 11th September 2010 we will be launching our Dad's Coffee Club at It's a Kids Thing, 279 Magdalen Rd, Earlsfield.

During the coffee morning we will be running two classes in the ajoining studio; Baby A-Wake's Antenatal Pilates at 8.45am and Body A-Wake's Pilates Flow at 10am. Whilst Dad gets to read the papers or chat with other dads, kids can play and mum can get to work on honing and toning in the unique Baby A-Wake way. Our Antenatal Pilates class is designed to help ease aches and pains, develop strong core muscles and keep you fit for pregnancy and birth. Our Body A-Wake, Pilates Flow class is for all Mums, whether your baby is 2 months or 20 years! Pilates flow is a step up from our regular postnatal pilates class in that we aim to keep it baby free so that you can concentrate on really working hard at getting back into shape. This is an amazing opportunity for the whole family to enjoy a fun filled saturday morning with like minded mums and dads. For more information or to book for a free trial on 11th September call 07929391942 or email

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


If you are looking at this for the first time, read through and check out the 'At a glance' schedule below. You will need to go back and look at previous week's posts for more info on what to do each week.

This week we will be focusing on bottoms!

I once had a bottom of some worth. That was in the days when I did tons of running, including lots of sprinting and hard core stuff that I neither have the inclination or time to bother with now. There are two points in my life when I lost my bottom...1) When I had a knee injury and couldn't train for 4 months and 2) When I had my son - Despite having trained throughout my pregnancy, I struggled to keep up an exercise regime once he was born. This was the main reason why I set up Baby A-Wake and produced the Baby A-Wake Complete Antenatal and Postnatal Exercise and Wellbeing DVD to ensure that new mummies didn’t find themselves in the same situation as me. My bum had disappeared, gone flaccid, turned south. This was because I spent far too much time sitting on it and not nearly enough time using it. Now my bottom, is not exactly J-Lo-esque, but it is vaguely respectable (for a mummy of two, aged 41). In fact I quite like my bum! And here's the thing, if you want your bottom, other wise known as the Gluteus Maximus or Glutes, to not only look better but also help you with your running, you need to give it a bit of unconditional love. Here's how...

Do the following exercise regime - it takes 5 minutes - at least 5 x this week. Continue with the exercises at least 3 x week, after each run is ideal. Also try to activate your glutes when ever you can - when walking, running, standing, lift up tall and give them a little squeeze (think 'penny up there and hold it tight!')

- Make sure you are warm - after a run is ideal. If not do some lunging actions for 2 minutes to get your legs moving.
- You are now going to stretch out your hip flexor muscles. These are the muscles that act across the front of your hip. When they are tight, your bum muscles are restricted and can't fire up so easily, hence why you need to stretch the hip flexors first in this routine.
- Kneel on a soft surface on your left knee with your right foot in front so that both of your knees are bent at 90 degrees, right leg in front, thigh parallel to the floor, left leg behind, thigh going vertically towards the floor. It’s best to do this now while you read. Get rid of your chair and kneel at your desk or download this onto your phone so that you can move about.
- Place one had on your tummy and, if the other hand is free, place it into the small of your back.
- Lift your tummy up and in with your front hand and gently press your tail bone down and under with your back hand.
- At the same time, actively pull in your deep abdominal and pelvic floor (PF) muscles (see previous posts).
- You should now be feeling a stretch at the top of your left thigh, over the front of your hip. Hold for 45 seconds and change sides.
- Now lie on the floor, on your back, knees bent, feet hip width and on the floor.
- Take a breath and as you exhale, pull up through you deep abs and PF, tilt your pelvis and lift your bottom off the floor.
- Now squeeze your bum muscles like there is no tomorrow. Aim to feel your backside muscles working like a lift to bring the pelvis up off the floor.
- Hold the lifted position and, without moving or twisting your pelvis, do 10 alternating bum squeezes. Keep your breathing regular and relaxed throughout. Lower and repeat 3 times.
- Hug your knees, one at a time, into your chest, other leg extended, to stretch out your bum. Hold for at least 30 seconds each.

Schedule at a glance

WEEK 1 - Preparation week, find 3 slots in which to run

WEEK 2 - Walk 4 mins run 1 min, x 4, 3 x per week

WEEK 3 - Walk 3 mins, run 2 mins x 4, 2 x per week, Walk 3 mins, run 2 mins x 5, 1 x per week. Do pelvic floor exercises every day.

WEEK 4 - Walk 2 mins, run 3 mins x 4, 2 x week, Walk 2 mins, run 3 mins x 6, 1 x week. Focus on Pelvic floor and running technique.

WEEK 5 - Walk 1 min, run 4 mins x 4 x 2 week, Walk 1 min run 4 mins x 6 . Pelvic floor and abdominal exercise, every day.

WEEK 6 - THIS WEEK’S POST! Run continuously, 20 minutes 2 x week and 30 minutes 1 x week.

Monday, June 7, 2010


In an attempt to make my blog roll a little less lengthy, I am going to make this succinct. My words of wisdom this week?

RUN MUMS RUN! (And a bit about abs and stuff at the end!)

Your running plan at a glance

WEEK 1 - Preparation week, find 3 slots in which to run

WEEK 2 - Walk 4 mins, run 1 min, x 4 (i.e. for 20 minutes), 3 x per week

WEEK 3 - Walk 3 mins, run 2 mins x 4, 2 x per week, Walk 3 mins, run 2 mins x 5 (i.e. 25 minutes), 1 x per week. Do pelvic floor exercises every day.

WEEK 4 - Walk 2 mins, run 3 mins x 4, 2 x week, Walk 2 mins, run 3 mins x 6, 1 x week. Pelvic floor exercises every day and work on your running technique.

WEEK 5 - THIS WEEK'S POST! Walk 1 min, run 4 mins x 4 x 2 week, Walk 1 min run 4 mins x 6. Pelvic floor and abdominal exercises every day.

WEEK 6 - You should now be running continuously! 20 - 30 minutes, 3 x week. Enough to get you through (just) a 5K Race!

So if you are up to week 5 you should be running now with only a bit of walking in-between. On your shorter runs, try slowing down your pace and see if you can run all the way.

Now, to your tummy we go...In part 3 I talked about feeling your tummy come in as you pull up your pelvic floor. In part 4 I talked about drawing your tummy in and feeling your waist wind up as you run. If you have followed the advice on these posts then you should already be using your deepest abdominal muscle - the transversus abdominis (TA for short). This is the muscle that is a major part of your core muscles, is responsible for supporting your back and is the one that gets stretched to oblivion when you have babies. The good news is, with MUMS on the RUN you can get it back and flatten that belly, a) because you are about to reacquaint yourself properly with your TA and b) because running burns more fat than other forms of cardio. Muffin tops beware - no longer are you to rise above the top or, as fashion dictates, squelch behind a zip. Here's how...

As in part 3, sit tall and pull up through your pelvic floor. Imagine your pelvic floor is a lift going up 5 floors, start to pull up through the floors and at the same time, start to draw your tummy horizontally back 5 floors. Now stand with your feet hip distance apart - imagine a spirit level running from one hip to the other. Take a breath and as you breathe out, pull up through the pelvic floor and TA to 2nd floor, i.e. a third of your total effort. Now take your right foot off the floor. STAND TALL, DON'T let your hips tip, i.e. keep your 'spirit' level. Hold for a count of 10, change legs and repeat 3 - 6 times on each leg. Keep breathing and standing tall. Feel it in your pelvic floor, abs and buttocks (More about your backside in next week's posts!)

And what do you mean you haven't done it yet? STAND UP now! There's no time like the present!

MUMS on the RUN has been created and written by Jane Wake, the UK’s leading authority in exercise for mums and mums to be. Check out her recently released ,Baby A-Wake Complete Antenatal and Postnatal Exercise and Wellbeing DVD.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Due to my rather late posting, I am going to give you a schedule of the whole thing so far plus an insight into the next two weeks so that you can see where you are going. That means if you are looking at MUMS on the RUN for the first time, you will have all the info you need to start, right here. For more background info, please go back and read previous posts.

WEEK 1 - Preparation week, find three times to exercise, 20 minutes minimum and start doing something, e.g. walk, in these slots this week.

WEEK 2 - In your scheduled three slots, start doing bouts of 4 mins walking, followed by 1 minute running and repeat at least 3 - 4 times. For info on warming up and stretching out, please see part 2

WEEK 3 - In your scheduled three slots, increase your level of running so that you are walking for 3 minutes and running for 2 and repeating at least 3 - 4 times. Also lengthen one of your run/walks this week to at least 25 minutes. Focus on pelvic floor exercises - see part 3 post.

WEEK 4 - THIS POST! You should now be officially running more than you are walking. In your scheduled 3 slots, walk 2 minutes and run 3 minutes and repeat, at least 3 - 4 times with one run consisting of at least 30 minutes. This week is also about 'looking good' whilst you run - see below!

WEEK 5 - You should now be up to running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute x 4 including one long session of at least 30 minutes. We will also be looking at ABDOMINALS this week.

WEEK 6 - You should now be running continuously! 20 - 30 minutes, 3 x week. Enough to get you through (just) a 5K Race! If you want to do more than just get through, it's time to now up the pace.

Now I have a confession to make, I am a compulsive running watcher, I can't help myself, If I see some one running I may as well be dropping my jaw and gawping uncontrollably in a potentially illegal manner. The thing is I just can't stand it if I see some one running poorly. I don't mean it in a bad way, in fact I worry about the potential damage they could be doing to themselves and it takes huge strength of will not to run up to them in a desperate attempt to help. If I did they would definitely mistake me for some sort of lunatic and probably want to knock me sideways, but honestly, my intentions are good.

After a rather pathetic athletics career at school I fell victim to the 'toe runner'. A toe runner is someone who never puts their heels down as they run. This results in rather tight calf muscles. You get the same effect if you are permanently ensconced in high heels. It took me 5 years to get over a nasty bout of Achilles tendinitus - sore heels that feel a bit like they are going to snap - not nice. This is therefore my attempt to reach out to all those runners who run a bit...well, they shouldn’t...

Adopting good running technique can not only save you precious energy but also the odd hip, knee, back or, as in my case, Achilles heel. Follow these rules, memorise them and use them like a mantra as you run. Start from your feet and work up. Focus on each body part as you go through the mantra...

- As you take a step, aim to strike down with your heel first in a heel to toe, rolling action – don’t force it, it should feel comfortable. Ideally you should feel a push off on the toe from the inside of the ball of your foot. There should be little or no sound coming from your feet.
- Aim to lengthen your stride slightly and think about creating more movement at your hip joint. Do this by extending your leg behind you and squeezing your big bum muscle - the gluteus maximus.
- Now aim to lift your torso up high. Do this by pulling and lifting your tummy muscles in and up, NOT by lifting your chest up.
- Now shake your arms out by your side and gently bring them back into a natural swing - your arms should be working in opposition to your legs, i.e. right arm forward, left leg forward.
- The above creates a wind up feeling in your waist (that’s if you are contracting in with your tummy - try it NOW at your desk – pull your tummy in and swing your arms in a running action).
- Draw your shoulders back and down to create length from your ears to you shoulders.
- Look straight ahead and dead central, relax your face, relax your jaw and breathe deep and slow.

Follow this and you will not only run better but you will look better too . You are also less likely to be gawped at. Well by me that is - Can't account for the abusive drivers but who gives a sh-t about them anyway!

MUMS on the RUN has been created and written by Jane Wake, the UK’s leading authority in exercise for mums and mums to be. Check out her recently released ,Baby A-Wake Complete Antenatal and Postnatal Exercise and Wellbeing DVD.

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Monday, May 24, 2010


Week 3 - If you are looking at this for the first time, please look at previous posts (Just click on the headings to the right). If you are chomping at the bit to get started, read all three post in one go. You can then start on week 3 NOW - It just means having to be a bit more gun ho about your approach…

So no procrastinating or getting bogged down on whether you have the time, motivation or inclination - as that well known marketing slogan says, 'Just do it'. Or perhaps you'd be persuaded more by another well known marketing buzz line...'It's the real thing', 'Nothing acts faster than...', 'The power to be your best' (It's big honest - look it up!), 'We try harder', 'The better way to fly', 'Vorsprung durch technik' or may be... 'Whooooah body form'...All of these work equally well for MUMS on the RUN, kind of. Anyway, I'll promise to stop wasting valuable blog space if you get your pieds on the plod, NOW.

This week you are again looking to do three slots. You are however going to add another minute to each cycle, i.e. 2 minutes running, 3 minutes walking. You are also, for one of your runs, going to make it longer. This is the run that you do on the weekends, the one where you have a bit of extra time, the one that goes hand in hand with a pain au chocolat, fresh brewed coffee and the Sunday papers. Oh sorry I forgot, that was before we had children! Well anyway, you know what I mean. This run is going to get longer, much longer. For now make it at least 25 minutes. Here's your schedule this wee...

Run No. 1 - 5 minute warm up (see post 2) , run for 2 minutes, walk 3 and repeat for 20 minutes, cool down and stretch (see post 2).

Run No 2 - as above

Run No 3 - 5 minute warm up (see post 2) , run for 2 minutes, walk 3 and repeat for 25 minutes, cool down and stretch (see post 2).

Your other focus this week is to add a thought, or several thoughts actually, to your pelvic floor. Starting to run and not paying attention to this very important muscle is nonsensical. It's like flying without wings or should I just say trying to run before you can walk. Here's the thing...Our pelvic floor muscles are responsible for supporting the spine and pelvis. They also act when you cough, sneeze and perform a variety of bodily functions. Unfortunately, after babies, they tend to be, like everything else, on the saggy side. There are a number of factors I could bleat on about here but to turn this into a positive, if you work on your pelvic floor NOW, not only is it going to stop you peeing your pants when you least expect it, it's going to support your pelvis and make you a better runner! Most important of all, by connecting more strongly to your pelvic floor muscles, you are going to get a better connection to your deep abdominal muscle. This muscle is not the one you see on the front of Men’s Health Magazine (although you do have one of those too, yes really!). Your deep abdominal muscle is the one that lies underneath, like a corset around your middle. The pelvic floor and your deep abdominal muscle, called the Transversus Abdominis, work on the same nerve response so pull up your pelvic floor and your tummy will come in too. This is, without doubt – And I have had over 20 years to work this one out - is the BEST way to work on flattening your stomach! See I told you MUMS on the RUN was going to be soooo good for you!

Your target this week therefore, as well as your three runs, is to work on your pelvic floor muscle, every day by doing the following, any time, any where - At the bus stop, stuck in traffic, or my particular favourite, whilst at a very boring dinner party, just make sure you are sitting up tall...

Pelvic floor Exercise - visualise your pelvic floor muscle running from your pubic bone at the front to your tail bone at the back like a hammock strung between the two. Imagine you could pull these two points together like a peg being closed. Focus on this, feeling as you aim to draw the muscle together and then pull it up inside you. Your tummy should come in at the same time. Relax, then repeat, 10 times. Do this every day, 3 x a day without fail. You should be doing it right now!

Good luck and I will speak to you next week and don’t forget to let me know how you are doing. You can tweet me,

MUMS on the RUN has been created and written by Jane Wake, the UK’s leading authority in exercise for mums and mums to be. Check out her recently released ,Baby A-Wake Complete Antenatal and Postnatal Exercise and Wellbeing DVD.