When I was pregnant, I assumed during my maternity leave I would have all the time in the world to work out. After all, I would be home all day, right?Forget about the endless feedings, sleepless nights, thank you notes to write and, general understanding about learning how to parent. What really shocked me when I first had Sophia was quite literally, what was I going to DO with her when I wanted to work out?
The thought crossed my mind; will I find the time, energy or space to ever work out again? Despite my exhaustion, in those early days I found myself more energized, and more grounded, when I was able to sneak a workout in.
Your time is precious and limited. Here are some of my favorite quick moves that will get your heart rate up, target those most challenged post-baby areas and, added bonus? Most you can do with your little one.
Target: Obliques/love handles
Annoyed by how your skin is hanging over your pants in a way that it never did before? Try these exercises;
Standing plie with Oblique sync
From a standing position, place your feet turned out, wider than hip distance. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out wide. Lower your head to the left, then pull back up to the middle then right. Think about your core the entire time by sucking your navel in towards your spine .
Side plank with Oblique dips
Come into a side plank by placing your right forearm down on the ground and line your body up in a straight line. Either stack your legs or place one leg in front of the other for a modification. Then dip your obliques towards the ground and back up. Repeat 15 times.
Forearm plank with oblique dips
Come into a forearm plank. Make sure your back is neutral and pelvis tucked. Suck your navel towards your spine. Then dip your hips to the right then up and over to the left. Repeat 10 times each side. Modification: do this exercise on your knees.
Target: Lower Abs
For that unwanted pooch that doesn’t seem to go away…
Forearm plank with knee taps
From a forearm plank position, tap one knee towards the ground then the other WHILE keeping those hips stable and from swaying back and forth. To keep those hips extra stationary, take your feet wider.
Leg lowers from crunch position
Come onto your back, place your hands behind your head,elbows out to the side. Take your legs up towards the ceiling/sky. MAKE SURE your lower backstays nailed to the ground. Lower one leg at a time towards the ground nice and straight. Stoplowering the leg at the point that you feel the lower back popping off the ground. Addedchallenge; both legs at the same time. Modification: Keep your head on the ground.
Many new moms complain about having a flattened bottom. Strong glute muscles may alsohelp alleviate lower back pain, another common complaint throughout and just after pregnancy.
Keep your feet hip distance apart. Weight on the heels. Lower your body down so yourglutes are the height of your knees. Pushing through your heels, extend back up to startingposition.
Feet turned out, wider than hip distance. Lower your body down and press yourself backup. This exercise has the added bonus of also targeting the inner thighs!
One legged Squats
Standing on one leg, place the outer ankle of the other leg across the thighof the standing leg. Bend the standing leg as if you are going to sit down in a chair and standback up. This exercise adds a balance component, which is also very important post-baby. Make sure to repeat exercise on second leg.
Standing on one leg, take one leg behind the standing leg and lower down. Thenstand up and bring the back leg up. Be sure to repeat second side
Target: Lower Back
Glute and core work will help; why not add a supermama to the mix?
Lay on your stomach, face down and two arms extended above. At the sametime, lift your two arms and two legs off the ground. Added bonus; clasp your hands behindyour back for a nice chest opener. Helps with those rounded shoulders we all get from thenursing and carrying baby.
For a cardio boost to quickly get that heart rate up, I love incorporating Tabatas into myworkout regiment. 4 minutes of intense cardio (20 seconds one exercise, ten seconds activerecovery, 20 seconds another exercise).
Here are two great exercises that will give you that cardio boost!
In and outs
From a squat position with legs together, hop your legs out to the side at the sametime then hop back in. Modification, one leg at a time.
Active recovery: jog in place
“Breast Feeding Butt Kicks”
give yourself a big bear hug around the chest while quickly runningin place, allowing your heels to kick your butt. While this exercise was “created” for the nursingmom to help with chest support, it is actually more challenging than just running in place.