I am starting to feel like a normal human. It has been 6 weeks since I gave birth to my little lady, and my body is just now starting to feel like my own (before this, I was just a milk machine). I recently got cleared from my doctor to start exercising again, so I am excited to start utilizing time with Dylan each day to get a quick work out in. And I mean QUICK since Dylan only enjoys doing these with me for about 10 minutes (she prefers tummy time as her exercise time).
I wanted to share with you what we do every day, and I made sure all workouts were focused on minimal space and equipment. Plus you can do them with, or without your little one (nap time can always be workout time – but for some reason, mine always turns into laundry time). Feel free to give these a try when your body feels good, and complete 3 reps of 15 for each. Note: You know your body best! Rest if you need to, and if something feels weird, feel free to skip or modify.
1. Bridge Raises
I was working on my booty all during pregnancy, and I swear immediately after birth the thang shrank. Even my husband noticed! Like what happened? Where did my booty go? Oh, just one of those wonders of birth. So, I am back at it to get some junk back in my trunk. This exercise is great for strengthening your glutes, hamstrings and lower back, making it a little easier and safer to pick up your little ones over and over.
Starting on your back, walk your feet near your bum and bend at your knees. Walk your fingertips towards your ankles, and as you exhale press your hips up into the air. Keep your neck straight, and squeeze your glutes on the top of your exhale. Inhale and lower half way, and continue at this breath pace. You can challenge yourself by lifting one leg off and repeat on other side. Dylan doesn’t always join me on this one, but sometimes will sit in my hip flexors and her added weight helps strengthen even more.
2. High to Low Planks
As your glutes rest, we’ll start to focus on your arms and core. Starting on all fours, start to lift your knees of the ground and into plank pose. Squeeze your glutes to support your lower back, and allow your core to take the majority of the effort. Count to 10, then drop to elbows for an forearm plank. Press back up into plank, and repeat every 10 seconds for 15 cycles. You can challenge yourself by propping your feet up on a pillow to add more weight into your arms. Dylan likes to hang out on her back and watch mommy do weird things. I even catch her laughing from time to time, especially if I put on some good music jams while we do this.
To give the arms a rest and get back into your legs, it’s SQUAT TIME! Squats can be done with a little one in your arms, or not. Start with your feet hip width or a little wider. As you inhale, press weight into your heels and sit down low allowing your knees to stay in line with your ankles. Exhale and stand straight up, squeezing the glutes (aka your bootayyy) and quadriceps (aka the tops of your thighs). You can go slowly and focus on strength and form, or pick up the pace and double your reps. Not ready for too much quick movement yet? Feel free to do 1 minute wall sits against a wall (think: invisible chair) to work the same muscles with less impact.
4. Chatturanga Push Ups
I always love to work my triceps, to keep my arms looking strong and lean. This exercise is inspired from my yoga practice, and will keep my body ready to jump back into yoga. Starting with your knees dropped to the ground from a plank pose, make sure your wrists are stacked directly under your shoulders. As you inhale, bend your elbows in towards your body, keeping your arms in to target your triceps. Exhale press back up to your starting position. To challenge yourself and add in an abdominal workout, you can do these off your knees and start in plank. Again, little Dylan just stares at me as we do these with her lying on her back in front of my face.
The best thing about these workouts is that they are free to do and something you can do everyday when you are ready. Enjoy your time with your baby, and remember that momma deserves a break when she’s up for it.