Here it is: the low-impact, total-body workout that I used to get back into shape after having Ava!
Don’t let these pictures discourage you–while I use equipment, I have also provided modifications so you can do these exercises without it.
Consult your doctor before you start exercising after giving birth. Once you get the green light to get moving, follow the routine in the slideshow above. It was created by my trainer, Nonna Gleyzer, for post-partum bodies You’ll see results if you do it three to five times per week and pair it with a healthy diet. (Stay tuned for the post-baby eating plan!)
1. Ronde de Jambe
Facing a ballet barre in fifth position (on your tippy toes with one foot placed in front of the other while touching) kick left leg straight up while keeping stomach tight and back straight. Then, place left foot in front of the other and repeat, ending with your left foot behind the other. Do 10 reps. Switch sides and repeat.
Works: calves, thighs, glutes, hips, hamstrings, quads
2. Side Ups
Sitting on side with one leg under the other, slide an exercise ball under hip and place hands behind head. Press hands into head and head into your hands. Slowly roll over ball and inhale. Exhale as you come back to start position. Repeat between 5 to 10 times on each side. Advanced variation: Do the same move, but straighten arms and place them over your head while rolling over the ball.
Works: obliques and lats
Lie flat on your back with arms stretched straight over your head, resting on the floor. Legs are extended out on an angle; make sure to keep navel to the spine while maintaining a flat back. Using your stomach, roll up and reach arms beyond toes, keeping legs straight and holding at one level. Lift arms straight up, close to your ears. Roll slowly down to the mat. Repeat 3-5 times.
Works: Lower stomach
4. Trapeze Pull-Up
For those who really want to challenge themselves: Hold onto the top of the poles of a Pilates cadillac machine and hook feet onto the top of the trapeze bar. Pull body straight up and arch back behind you, keeping arms straight. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds; return to original position, creating a completely straight line with your body. Repeat 3 times.
If you don’t have access to a cadillac, try this modification: On a yoga mat, lay on stomach and place hands underneath shoulders. Take a deep breath and arch back while lifting chest up and straightening arms, keeping head up. Hold for a few seconds and lower yourself down as you exhale. Repeat 3 times.
Works: Arms, triceps, back, glutes, hamstrings
5. Ballet Arms
Kneeling on the Pilates cadillac machine, face sideways, keeping one hand on the roll-down bar (make sure you’re not grabbing the trapeze bar). Press bar as hard as you can down to your side. Hold for 5 seconds; lift arm back to start. Repeat 5 times on each arm.
If you don’t have access to a Pilates cadillac machine, try this variation: Stand straight with feet together and hold legs together. Squeezing inner thighs, place a resistance ball on your hip and press ball into your hip as hard as you can. Hold; release. Repeat 5 times on each arm.
Works: Triceps, lats, obliques
Pregnant or not, fitness doesn’t have to be daunting. Simply incorporating a walk into your day, whether short or long, can help your body feel a connection to your mind, which is a powerful thing.
Fitness is only part of the equation. Next time, I’ll share all the details on what I ate to take off the baby weight! Stay tuned for part 3…
Want more exercise inspiration? Try this powerful move.