My doctor recommended three workouts, that you can easily fit in while baby’s snoozin’ in the afternoon or kicking away in her bouncy seat. Each mini routine is a series of three simple moves that shape up your entire body, especially the core and back muscles you need to strengthen for toting your new bundle of love around!
I wanted to put these exercises up first on the list considering new mommy will need to do these just to make herself almost as she was pre-baby. Not that we don’t love our children but getting back into “fighting” shape is easier said than done.
- Kegels .…These aren’t just for pregnancy!
In fact, all women should do Kegels every day! Kegels are exercises that help tighten and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles attach from your pubic bone to your tail bone and act kind of like a sling holding everything up in place.There are many ways to Kegel. To locate your pelvic floor muscles, try to stop your flow of urine while going to the bathroom. Once you have realized the muscle needed, you can Kegel. Contract your pelvic floor muscles. Hold for three seconds and then relax for three seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Scapular Retractions
These are a great exercise to improve your posture!!! Sit or stand with spine tall and head pulled back in alignment (ears should be in line with shoulders). Squeeze shoulder blades back and together as if cracking a walnut between them. Hold for a second and release. You can also do this exercise with your baby in a front back carrier. Repeat 15 times, 3 times per day.
These are essential for regaining abdominal strength and re-aligning your pelvis. Picture your pelvis like a bucket. When your baby grew, the bucket tilted forward (called an anterior pelvic tilt). Exaggerate it now and you will see that your tummy pooches out in this position and it puts pressure on your low back. You will not only like the way your stomach looks as a result of pelvic tilts; you will also like the way you feel.
Lay down on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Draw in your abdomen without squeezing your cheeks( glutious maximus). Use your muscles to tilt your pelvis back so the small of your back is pressed against the floor. Envision the bucket tilting back if that helps you. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
What you need: Two soup cans or water bottles.
If you typically loathe push-ups, try doing them against a wall, allowing it to take most of the weight. With your hands resting on the wall in front of your chest, arms shoulder-width apart and extended, and your body making a straight line, bend toward the wall slowly and then return a little quicker, inhaling on the way “down” (or toward the wall) and exhaling on the way “up” (or away from the wall).
Do 12 reps, focusing on working your chest muscles. Rest for 30 seconds in between sets, stretching your arms behind you to open the chest. As you get stronger, you can work up to 15 reps per set.
Once the wall push-up becomes easy, try one with your knees on the floor. Got that down? Get up on your toes, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
However you do your push-ups, remember to concentrate on your form.
2. Back Row
With a water bottle or soup can in each hand, bend over at the waist, keeping knees a little bit bent and letting arms hang down at your sides. Now, with your palms facing in, pull your arms directly toward your chest, letting your elbows bend behind your shoulder blades. Your arms should remain close to your side throughout the movement, and you should feel this exercise in your side-back muscles. Make sure your hands are grasping the bottles loosely — think of them as hooks connecting your back to the weight. Do 12 reps per set to begin with, working up to 15 reps.
With your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet pointing out at 45-degree angles, squat slowly down as far as you can comfortably go. Keep your back straight and make sure that your knees don’t extend beyond your toes. (Tip: Try this in front of a chair so you have something to grab in case you topple over.)
Exhale as you rise back up, engaging the muscles in your inner thighs and keeping knees gently bent. Pause at the top and inhale as you lower slowly. Do 20 reps per set, with a 30-second rest in between.
AND FOR THOSE OF US WHO AREN’T READY FOR SOMETHING ON THE FLOOR…
What you need: One paper plate
1. Side Slide
Wearing athletic shoes, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart on a carpeted surface and your right foot on a paper plate. Slide your right leg out to the side, bending the knee into a lunge. Then slide back in to your starting position and repeat. Work your muscles in all directions by sliding out to “12 o’clock,” “3 o’clock” and “6 o’clock” and back. Do 10 sets on one side, and then switch the paper plate to your left foot and repeat on the other side.
2. One-Handed Plank
Get into plank position, as described earlier in the Feeling-Zen Workout. Place your right hand on a paper plate, and then slide that hand out to the side as far as you can and back in. Repeat 15 to 20 times; then switch to the left arm.
3. Core Reach
Now get into a hands-and-knees position, with both hands on the paper plate. Continually pressing into the floor, slide the paper plate as far forward as you can, and then slide it back with your back in an arched position, as if you were a cat stretching. Use your chest muscles when you do this routine to protect your lower back.
And these are just a FEW wonderful exercises to help you get back to your pre-parenthood shape, god only knows that not every mommy can get up and go to the gym. Not with our little ones in tow, unless you have a GREAT gym that has a built in daycare.
That’s about it for this one ladies, enjoy and have a great day with your little monster!!