The Complete Workout
Get your pre-baby body back with this 12-week program from Caroline C. Creager, author of Bounce Back into Shape After Baby. ¿ Be sure to get your doctor's okay first.
-Having your baby was the hard part, getting your body back in the shape, easy. This 12-week program will generally bring your body back into the shape with an ab flattening and toning routine. Be sure to get your doctor's okay beginning any workout program. This one gets you move and you get 2 exercises that strengthen abs and pelvic floor muscles. Be careful about overdoing it in the beginning, back off if you feel pain or fatigue or experience increased weighting. You should also try to do some general cardio exercise like walking for a few minutes everyday. Weight Press: You'll need lightweight dumbbells and an exercise ball or a low chair or couch. Lie on your back with your heels on the exercise ball or couch. Hold the weights just above your chest with your palms facing forward. Press the weights straight up over your shoulders as you exhale. Hold this position for 3 counts then lower the weights. In the beginning, do this move 3 times. Gradually work your way up to 12 reps. Once you've mastered 12 reps, rest in this position for 1 minute. Then repeat the set. The weight press targets your arms, chest, and shoulders. Navel Crunch: You'll need a couch or chair for this exercise. Kneel on the floor in front of a chair with your knees hip-width apart. Bend forward at your waist and place your elbows on the chair. Breathe in and exhale, slowly contracting your navel in toward your spine. Pull your navel in and hold for 5 to 10 seconds, breathing gently, then release. Do this move twice in the beginning. Work your way up to 10 reps. Once you've mastered 10 reps, rest for one minute and then repeat the set. The navel crunch works your deep abs and your pelvic floor. The sucking face of workout focuses on gradually increasing the intensity of the exercise as you grow leaner and stronger. Continue to do the same one exercises, but you should have your dumbbells. Modified Navel Crunch: Get own on your hands and knees. Raise your right heel to butt height and raise your left hand straight out in front of you. Contract your abs in towards your spine. Lower your arm and leg, returning your hands and knees and reverse, raising your right arm and your left leg. Do 10 reps of this exercise, alternating your arms and legs so you complete 5 reps on each side. Remember to contract your abs each time you raise your arms and legs. Squat with Ball: You'll need an exercise ball. Place the ball between a wall and the curve of the lower back. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and lower yourself 5 to 10 inches, keeping your shoulders level and your hips square. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then stand back up. Start with 5 reps and work your way up to 12. Once you've mastered 12 reps, rest for 30 seconds and do another set. This exercise targets your thighs and butt. Push-Up on Ball: You'll need an exercise ball. Lie with your abdomen on the ball and walk your hands forward on the floor until the ball rests under your thighs. Pull your navel in towards your spine, bending your elbows, and lower your upper body towards the floor. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then push up. Your elbows are straight, but not locked. Keep your head aligned with your spine and your abs engaged. Start off doing 5 reps, and work your way up to 15. Once you've mastered 15 reps, rest for 1 minute and then do a second set. This exercise targets your arms, chest, shoulders, and core muscles. The last phase of this workout focuses on regaining your prepregnancy strength. Your new routine should include 3 sets of the phase 1 and phase 2 exercises plus the following 2 moves. You should also increase your cardio time in about 45 to 60 minutes 4 or 5 days a week including 2 days of intervals. Forearm Flank: Get into a push-up position. With your weight on your forearms and toes, align your elbows on the floor under your shoulders. Make a straight line from your head to your heels and hold this position for 20 seconds while breathing gently. Now, Rest for 30 seconds by placing your knees on the floor. Repeat this exercise 3 times, working your way up to a total of 6 reps. Forearm Plank targets your abs, back, arms, and legs. The Balance Core Strengthener: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, step forward with your left leg and lift your right leg behind you bending forward slightly as you raise both arms over your head. Hold for 20 seconds, and then relax for 30 seconds. Keep your hips square and your arms close to your ears. Lift your back leg up to hip-height or as high as you can. Repeat this move six to ten times, alternating your legs in the lift. This move targets your abs, back, arms, legs, and shoulders and improves your balance.