Regain your pre-baby body confidence with these post-pregnancy workouts from Samantha Clayton, Senior Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife. These two basic workouts will help you to kick start working towards having a more toned, strong and healthier physique all around. As a mother of four herself, Samantha knows that change takes time, especially after pregnancy. Setting a realistic goal and timeframe will help you avoid feelings of failure and allow you to actually enjoy the body changing process!
1. FULL CORE ROUTINE – Follow these 5 moves to strengthen your entire core
Time: 20 Minutes
Equipment: Exercise Mat or Comfortable area on the floor
Start the workout with 15-20 perfect form CRUNCHES. Begin by lying face up on the floor with your knees bent. Contract your abs to curl your shoulders towards the pelvis, keeping your hands behind or beside the neck or crossed over your chest. Be conscious to use your abs and not your head to lift your shoulders off the floor, hold for a second then return to starting position.
Next, 30 seconds of BICYCLE AB CRUNCHES. Remaining on the floor, stretch your legs out straight and place your hands behind your head. Raise your legs one at a time so that your thighs are perpendicular to the ground, and your calves are parallel to the ground, but keeping your feet together. Contract your abdominal muscles alternate bending your right leg and straightening your left similar to the motion you'd make while pedaling a bicycle. Use your abdominal muscles to crunch your body forward so that your elbow can reach your knee.
Moving on to a 45-60 second SIDE PLANK. Place your hand on the floor under you and straighten your supporting arm, raising the top half of your body off the ground. You can raise the other arm straight over you or let it rest on your side to help with balance. Keep your legs straight, letting the lower half of your body rest on the side of your bottom foot. Repeat on the other side for another 45-60 seconds.
The LAYING DOWN LEG RAISE works the deepest of the core muscles. Begin lying on your back on a mat. Place your hands under your butt to stabilize your pelvis, then without letting your lower back lift, pull your knees toward your chest, and then straighten your legs back to the starting position. To increase the difficulty, do leg raises on an incline bench. Do 10 raises 3 times.
The VACUUM can be done almost anywhere: sitting up, laying down, in bed, at the office or even while driving your car. All you have to do is suck your belly in as far as you can, and hold. Make sure you are pulling your abs in as if they are meeting your back. When you hold your tummy in hold it in for 10 to 15 seconds then release. Try to continue breathing and don’t hold your breath. Gaining muscular control is the key of this move.
2. ULTIMATE BODY WEIGHT ROUTINE – To burn calories, build muscle and effectively improve your cardiovascular fitness level, training in a circuit style is the way to go.
Time: 30-40 minutes. 3 sets, repeated 2-3 times.
Equipment: Just your body weight
SET #1 = “Simple 20’s” Perform 20 of each exercise, do a modification if necessary, no rest in between each move but you can rest for 2 minutes after the set.
20 modified push-ups.
20 lunges alternating legs
20 Burpees without jumping
20 bicycle- abs.
SET #2 = “Tough 10’s” This second set is a more advanced version of each exercise but for less reps, try to push yourself to do 10 of each move with no rest. Rest for 3-5 minutes after the set.
10 holding squats (hold at the bottom for a count of 5)
10 Full push- ups
10 walking lunges
10 burpees with a jump
10 straight leg toe touch abs.
SET #3 = “Holding 15’s” For the third set hold each move for 15 seconds, remember to breathe while holding.
Hold lunge position
Bridge pose holds
“I believe that embracing your current shape while working towards a more toned one is the best approach, especially if you want to stay motivated and engaged with an exercise and eating plan.” –Samantha Clayton