Amy Rodriguez: Returning to the US National Soccer Team Postpartum

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Call me a soccer Mom. I’ve earned it. – Amy Rodriguez

I love this quote by Amy, if only all of us had her skill level when we call ourselves soccer moms!

Amy Rodriguez has a pretty amazing story. The US National Team soccer player, had her first baby in August 2013. She was able to rehabilitate and return to training with the US National team 4 months after giving birth. Almost a year later her team won the World Cup in July of 2015.

Amy talked about her return to soccer in an interesting Podcast on Move Forward Radio, a podcast of the American Physical Therapy Association.

http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Radio/Detail.aspx?cid=00f4d8ef-0561-48bd-928f-8337ad9fcca0#.VlE-F2SrS_V

Here’s a few of the points that Amy talks about that I found fascinating:

  1. During her pregnancy she did not play soccer. She was guided by coaches and Physical Therapists who recommended that she walk, do Pilates and strength training as allowed. She definitely stayed active. It wasn’t completely clear in the interview, but it sounds like she didn’t run during her pregnancy.
  1. After the birth of her son, Ryan, she didn’t do any exercise for 6 weeks, as recommended by her medical team.
  1. At 6 weeks postpartum, she worked on her core muscles, started strengthening her leg muscles in the gym x2/week and x2-3/week cardio training. She saw a Physical Therapist who does internal pelvic floor exercises. Amy says they worked “with those female muscles that you don’t even know you have” – love it!
  1. She did a lot of specific strengthening work before she got on the field to do agility and speed work. Initially she felt uncoordinated, out of balance, tired, jiggly while running and her brain didn’t work fast enough to keep up with the ball.
  1. Overall she didn’t run for several months.
  1. She returned to training with the US National Soccer team 4 months postpartum, but she feels like it took 9-12 month to really feel good, like herself again.

Her main advice to pregnant and postpartum moms: Be Patient.

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Amy is proud of her recovery. Her main goal was to avoid injury and she was successful with that.

What I really got from her interview, was that all of her pregnancy and postpartum exercise seemed very reasonable and common sense. Even though she is a professional athlete, she didn’t push her recovery faster than anyone else. I love that she took 6 weeks off after the birth. I love that she won World Cup 11 months after her son was born.

Overall this is a really inspiring story.

It is possible to fully recover. Be patient.  Be reasonable but persistent. Get a good team of people to help you. You can return to doing amazing things with your body.

Here are some other interesting links about Amy:

Soccer mom blog:  http://www.theplayerstribune.com/amy-rodriguez-uswnt-world-cup-2015/

A short video (1:38 min) on her why for US Soccer team:

http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2015/04/29/15/32/150429-wnt-1n1t23stories-rodriguez

 

What did you learn about how to recover from Amy’s story?

Here’s to a full recovery for everyone!

Update:  Amy’s second son was born July 1, 2016 – which means she missed out on the Olympics in Rio, but I have a strong feeling she’ll be back!!

 

Jennifer xx

 

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