Welcome to mommyhood.
Ever since you’ve given birth, you’ve probably been running around like crazy. Mom life (especially for new mothers) can be hectic.
Most women experience weight gain during their pregnancy, which is completely normal. But in saying this, almost all women are eager to lose their post-baby weight as quickly as possible.
Losing weight after pregnancy doesn’t have to be difficult. If you start off gently, making sure you’ve given your body enough time to recover, you’ll be able to start exercising a few weeks after leaving the maternity ward. Over the course of time, as the post-pregnancy exercises become easier, you’ll be able to modify and intensify them.
Dropping post-pregnancy pounds isn’t just about how you look or feel, it’s also about having a good level of fitness to care for your newborn. Naturally, getting back into fitness after having a baby can be a challenge within itself, but if you combine the following exercises that target the tummy, buttocks, back, arms and legs with a healthy diet, you’ll soon begin to see the results.
Floor exercises to get rid of your baby belly don’t come much easier than the bridge. Not only will you lose your baby tummy fat, but you'll also help strengthen your core muscles, something you’ll find useful when it comes to lifting your newborn. The bridge works the core, hips, glutes and hamstrings, so you’ll eventually see results elsewhere as well.
To start, lie on your back. Allow your arms to rest easily at your sides with your palms facing down. Bending your knees at a 90-degree angle, keep your feet firmly on the floor as close to your hips as comfortably possible. Gently push your hips upwards towards the ceiling as high as you can go while tilting your pelvis and pulling your navel inwards towards the spine. Your shoulders should be touching the floor at all times. Hold the pose for a few seconds and then lower your body to the start position. Do three sets of 10.
There’s nothing like a good plank to help strengthen those core muscles and zap that belly fat. A regular plank (the forearm plank) and side planks work the entire core area. Combine the plank exercise with the bridge to get even quicker results when it comes to tightening your midsection.
Get yourself into the plank position by lying flat on your tummy and raising your entire body on the support of your forearms and toes. Your back should be straight and aligned with the buttocks, and your forearms and toes touching the floor with the legs extended. Start out holding your pose for 30 seconds, and aim to work towards one minute. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat four to five times.
We all know how to curtsey, which makes this amazing post-pregnancy exercise that targets the inner thigh area a hit amongst moms trying to shift their baby weight. As well as your inner thigh area, the carving curtsey also works the abs, obliques, buttocks, quads and hamstrings.
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with your elbows bent by your sides and your hands out in front of your chest with your palms facing outwards. With your left leg, lunge backward and as you do, bring your left foot towards the right one while bending both your knees at the same time into a curtsy position. As you curtsy, swing your left arm that should be still bent forward and your right arm back as if you were a warrior. Do three sets of 10.
You can’t have a fat burning-come-toning workout without including one of the best exercises for women who’re looking to rid a few pounds. Squats are amazing when it comes to working the legs. They will help you burn the fat quickly and build muscle at the same time.
To do the perfect squat, start in the standing position. Bend your knees while pushing your hips backward, thrusting your butt out as far as possible. It’s also important to make sure you keep your chest and shoulders upright. Squat three sets of 16.
Arm circle exercises require little time. Yet, if you practice them enough, you’ll not only help lose your pregnancy weight, you’ll also tone up and tighten the stretched skin. This arm exercise for women targets a number of areas, such as the shoulders, triceps and biceps.
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, extend your arms outwards to the side at shoulder height. Begin making small backward rotating movements, but be sure to keep your shoulders still while doing so. After 20 circles (or rotations), change the direction and repeat. Do three sets of 20 in each direction.
Note: Once you get the hang of it and it starts becoming too easy, challenge yourself and add some weight in the form of dumbbells.
Another simple yet effective exercise to tone up your triceps and back is the tricep dip. Grab a chair or a bench, and you’re ready to go.
Sit on the edge of your chair or bench, making sure you’ve placed your palms facing downwards next to your thighs. Your fingers should be holding onto the edge and your feet should be positioned firmly on the floor in front of you. Making sure to keep your arms as straight as possible, scoot your buttocks forward until it’s in front of the seat. With your elbows bent, lower your hips towards the floor until your arms are parallel to it. After this, push your body up into your starting position. Do three sets of 12.
The Donkey Kick
If you haven’t already heard of the donkey kick exercise, it literally is an exercise that kicks the butt (every pun intended). The donkey kick works a number of large muscle groups. With every leg lift you do, you work all three major buttocks muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus, hence why this exercise along with squats is probably the best way to tone the butt.
Start out on your hands and knees. Make sure you keep your core area nice and tight and keep your back flat. As you’re doing this, lift one leg upwards as high as you can while keeping your knee bent at 90-degrees. Do 12 reps on one side and then repeat on the other leg. Aim at doing three sets of 12.
The idea of jumping lunges for women is scary to many, but it’s much easier than it looks (after all, it only has three main movements). This is an exercise that will also improve your balance as well as help you lose your post baby weight.
Begin by standing on the floor with your feet together. Keep your arms at your sides with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. With your right foot lunge forwards, jumping straight up while you thrust your arms forward, ensuring to keep your elbows bent. While you’re in mid-air, switch your legs in a scissor movement and land with your left leg forward in a lunge position. Do this three times 12.
Carrying a baby for nine months puts extra stress on your back, and it’s essential that you maintain a strong back to be able to pick up and carry your baby with ease. Back raises are perfect for toning up the flabbier areas while making it stronger.
Start by lying down on your chest and placing your hands next to your temples. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, extend your arms out in front of you. Keep your legs firmly together with your feet still on the ground, lift your shoulders up from the floor (aim for three inches, but no higher) and then gently and slowly lower yourself down. As you’re doing this exercise, your neck should remain long, and you should look downwards. Do three sets of 12-15.
Hip Twister Plank
The hip twister plank is like a two-in-one exercise for women who are looking to get back to their pre-pregnancy form. It’s the perfect exercise to tone up your back muscles, but also those dreaded love handles that many of us are desperately trying to get rid of. Ideally, to maximize this workout, you should do it immediately after your forearm plank that helps bust your post-baby belly.
Start out with your regular forearm plank. Holding your ab muscles in as tightly as you can and keeping your shoulders just above your elbows, slowly start rotating your torso from side to side dropping your hip to the floor as you go. To complete one rep, you need to move to both sides. Do three sets of 12 reps, making sure you rest 30 seconds between each set.
When trying to lose your baby weight, patience is a virtue. Forget those celebs that claim to have dropped all their weight in a matter of weeks after giving birth — it’s not realistic, and most of the time it’s not true. Take your time to lose the weight you want, and you’ll reap the benefits of keeping it off in the future.
Until then, enjoy being a mom!