Toning Up at Home Post-Pregnancy

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After the baby is born and your schedule gets back to something similar to normal it is time to take care of you. With all of the craziness and changes going on everyday one thing that you can and should control is how you look in the mirror. This in turn will affect how you feel about yourself. A positive attitude then carries over into every other aspect of your day making each part just that much easier.

It kind of makes it a no-brainer to start working out then doesn’t it?

First things first, check with your doctor and make sure you are cleared to begin lifting. This program will be basic toning and cardio using either 5 or 8 pound dumbbells.

Toning Up at Home

You will need either a set of 5-pound or 8-pound dumbbell. Both are recommended so toning up at home post pregnancyyou can graduate after building up your strength. A good attitude and desire to improve your body are also good things to have!

Cardio – The goal is to try and get in 3 sessions a week with at least 30 minutes of cardio that you enjoy. This can be jogging, biking, or walking with the baby in a stroller. Or you can do a cardio DVD or even an elliptical machine. Make sure to go at a good pace but one that allows you to still talk. If you do 45 to 60 minutes then slow the pace down a little bit. Remember you are getting back into shape so ease into it.

Strength Program – For the strength aspect you will train 3 days a week with a rest day in between. This will be a simple circuit program. Ideally you will go through it twice and then work up to three times. If you find yourself fatigued after the first circuit then stop and go for two the next session.

  • One Legged Rows – Grab you dumbbells and stand on one foot. Lean forward at the waist and let you other leg travel out behind you for balance. Lower the dumbbells so your arms hand straight below your shoulders. Pull the dumbbell back to your waist in a rowing motion, pause, and then lower. Do 6 reps and then switch legs and do another 6 reps.
  • Chair Push-up and Knee Raise – Use a stable kitchen chair and place your hands shoulder width apart on the corners with your body flat behind you on a push-up position. Slowly go down and press back up. At the lock-out draw your left knee up towards your chest and then back. Repeat the push-up and knee raise alternating legs for 12 total reps.
  • Jumping Jacks – Do 30 Jumping Jacks with arms out wide.
  • Squat and Press – Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down as deep as you can, keeping your back flat and making sure your knees don’t go past your toes. The key is to drop your rear down and back. Push with your legs back to standing and then press the dumbbells overhead. Do 12 total reps.
  • Hamstring Curl and Kickbacks – Stand on one foot with the leg slightly bent and the dumbbells in hand. Lean forward slightly and keep your elbows close to your body. Simultaneously straighten your arms out while bending your free leg at the knee to curl your foot towards your buttocks. Squeeze the muscles at the contraction and then lower both your ankle and weights. Do 6 reps on one leg and then switch for 6 reps on the other.
  • Bicycle Crunches – Lie flat on your back with hands touching your head and elbows out wide. Raise your feet off the ground and start doing a bicycle motion with your legs and you lift your shoulders off the floor, twist, and touch your elbow to the opposite knee during the cycle. You are doing a combination of ab crunches with twists. Perform 30 reps.
  • Lunge Curls – Stand in a lunge position (one leg forward and one back) with the dumbbells held in your hands. Lower your back knee down to the ground and then use your legs to bring yourself back up while simultaneously curling the dumbbells to your shoulder using your biceps. Pause at the top and lower the weights with your body. Do 6 reps and switch legs before doing 6 more reps.
  • Jumping Jacks – Do 30 Jumping Jacks with arms out wide.
  • Side Plank – Lie on your side with your arm under you placing your forearm flat on the ground. Extend your arm so it is straight to your elbow underneath you. Keep your body straight from your shoulder down to the feet (one crossed over the other for balance) and raise your hips off the ground for a straight line. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and then switch sides. As you grow stronger hold this position longer.
  • Push-up Plank Extension – Start in a push-up position on the ground. Keeping your back flat and abs tight lift your right leg off the ground and out about 6 inches while simultaneously raising your left hand off the ground and extending it out to the side. Slowly lower both and repeat with the other side. Aim for 8 to 10 extensions with each side.

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