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Top Moves to Get Your After-Baby Body, Fast!

You've brought your baby home and you're ready to get back to your pre-pregnancy form. We talked to the experts to get the best exercises to help whip you back into shape so you'll be rockin' that body along with the baby.

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Danielle St. Laurent
Laura Doss
Andrew Parsons
Crunch Beat
Karen Pearson
Chris Fanning
Jonathan Skow
Candace Meyer
Karen Pearson
Jay Sullivan
Chris Fanning
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Your Post-Pregnancy Workout

Congrats! You've had the baby...now what? After being pregnant for nine months, many mothers are anxious to get back to their normal workout routine. But how soon is too soon? "The general rule of thumb is to head back to the gym six weeks after birth," says Jade Alexis, personal trainer from Reebok Sports Club. Before you do anything, work closely with your doctor to make sure everything is safe and determine a proper exercise plan for you.

Ready to get started? Check out these exercises to get you moving again and back to your normal routine in no time!

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Beginner: Kegels

Target: Pelvic muscles

  • Sit on a bench with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Contract your pelvic muscles, as if you're trying to stop from urinating, and stand.
  • Hold Kegel and return to bench, then release.
  • Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.
  • Make it harder: With back to bench, stand a foot in front of bench seat and bend elbows to clasp hands in front of chest. Lift leg straight in front of you a few inches off ground and bend right knee to sit down briefly on bench as you Kegel. Keeping left leg raised throughout, stand up immediately, releasing Kegel and pressing through right heel to straighten right leg. Do 12 reps. Switch legs, repeat.

Exercise provided by Jade Alexis, FITNESS advisory board member and personal trainer from Reebok Sports Club.

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Beginner: Floor Bridges

Targets: Hamstrings and butt

  • Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides.
  • Engage core and squeeze butt to lift off the floor, pressing heels into the ground.
  • Kegel at the top of the bridge, hold for three seconds, and slowly return to floor. Release Kegel at bottom of bridge.
  • Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Exercise provided by Annette Lang, personal trainer and owner of Annette Lang Education Systems.

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Beginner: Crunch Beat

Targets: Abs and legs

  • Lie faceup on mat with knees bent 90 degrees, legs lifted, calves parallel to floor.
  • Place hands behind head, elbows out, and crunch up, lifting shoulders off mat.
  • Extend legs diagonally up, cross ankles, and extend arms overhead. Holding this position, switch feet over and under each other 8 times. Return to start. Do 8 reps.

Exercise provided by Petra Kolber, creator of the 10 Minute Solution: Dance Off Belly Fat! DVD

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Intermediate: Forearm Plank

Targets: Abs, obliques, thighs, and butt

Getting your core back into prime form is going to help your body bounce back the fastest, says Ashley Borden, FITNESS advisory board member and lifestyle consultant at Nike Elite Athlete. "After two to three months, your body is ready for a new challenge to get back to tip-top shape, but you're likely not ready for a full-blown workout yet," says Alexis. Planks and side planks are great ways to work your entire core without putting strain on your neck and back.

  • Get into plank position (abs engaged, back straight, forearms on floor, legs extended).
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds, keeping hips up and abs tight.
  • Lower knees to floor, resting for 30 seconds before resuming.
  • Complete a rep of 4-5 planks.

Make it harder: After you've held a plank for 30-60 seconds, move into side plank, shifting body weight to left hand and rotating body to extend right arm directly up, palm forward. Stack right foot on top of left. Hold for 30-60 seconds, switch sides.

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Intermediate: Hamstring Curl

Targets: Hamstrings and butt

  • Lie faceup on ground with arms slightly out to sides, knees bent and calves resting on center of stability ball, feet flexed.
  • Lift hips up, squeeze abs tight and bend knees to curl ball in toward you.
  • Slowly push legs back out, keeping hips up at all times.
  • Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Exercise provided by Jade Alexis, FITNESS advisory board member and personal trainer at Reebok Sports Club.

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Intermediate: Modified Squat Thrust

Targets: Abs, legs, and butt

  • Lower into squat position, hands touching floor just in front of feet.
  • Quickly step legs back so that you are in push-up position. Without pausing, step feet forward just in front of your hands and return to standing position.
  • Do 1-3 sets of 5-10 reps.
  • Make it harder: Instead of stepping feet back, quickly jump feet back and forth.

Exercise provided by Jade Alexis, FITNESS advisory board member and personal trainer at Reebok Sports Club.

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Advanced: Wide-Stance Deadlifts

Targets: Lower back, butt, and legs

Although it largely depends on what you were eating and how much you were exercising throughout your pregnancy, most women can return to a normal workout routine about six months after birth, says Alexis. Deadlifts are a great, practical exercise for new moms to use because they mimic mommy duties, like putting your baby into the crib, says Annette Lang, personal trainer and owner of Annette Lang Education Systems.

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand with palms facing body.
  • Slowly bend forward, pushing your butt back while lowering dumbbells to shin level.
  • Tighten glutes and return to start.
  • Do 1-3 sets of 8-10 reps.

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Advanced: Push-Ups

Targets: Shoulders, chest, arms, and abs

  • Start with hands and toes on floor, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend at the elbows and lower chest about an inch from the ground.
  • Straighten arms and push away from the floor, returning to start position.
  • Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Exercise provided by Jade Alexis, FITNESS advisory board member and personal trainer at Reebok Sports Club.

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Advanced: Walking Lunges

Targets: Legs and butt

  • Stand with feet together, hands on hips.
  • Take a large step forward, bending so both knees are at 90 degrees.
  • Push through the heel of the front leg and return to standing position.
  • Repeat on opposite side. Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Exercise provided by Jade Alexis, FITNESS advisory board member and personal trainer at Reebok Sports Club.

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