Even if you’ve just had a baby, these moves will give you a full body workout that will leave you looking and feeling stronger than ever. Complete with easier modifications and added challenges, this workout will have you in “yummy mummy” shape in no time.
Perform each exercise/sequence 20 times. Some moves will require a set of free weights; start with a weight that’s challenging and go up from there (12lbs suggested). Want to keep it interesting? Write all of the exercises on index cards, except the hustle warm-up which naturally comes first, and throw them into a box. Pull them out one by one to randomly set the order of your workout each day.
Take breaks for water as needed and remember that you may need to work up to 20 reps of each move. Modify the moves or challenge as needed, depending on your abilities.
Benefit: By lifting your legs high, your hips and hamstrings will mobilize and your core will activate. As you kick your butt, your quads dynamically stretch as you reach your heel towards your butt.
Squat with hands on the floor in front of you. Jump your feet back to push-up position and simultaneously lower your chest to the floor. Pushing up with your arms, return to squat position. Jump up and clap your hands together.
Modification: Walk feet out and in, instead of jumping back and forth; hold the top of a push up, instead of lowering your chest. Reach up instead of jumping.
Challenge: As you jump up, simultaneously kiss your feet together and clap your hands.
Benefit: Quickly raises your heart rate.
Holding a 12-lb weight in both hands, with your feet shoulder-width apart, pick up your right toes and your left heel and rotate all the way to the right. As you rotate, bring your free weight up to form a diagonal line from your shoulders. In one motion, swing your weight down over your left leg as you rotate into a lunge. Repeat 10 times one side, then rotate for 10 times on the other side.
Modification: Clasp your hands without a weight using straight arms.
Challenge: After rotating up, squeeze butt to lift back leg off the floor.
Benefit: Targets obliques; one of the best belly blasters around.
Rotate your hips out with your knees tracking over your toes, and squat to the floor putting your hands on the floor in front of you. Push and jump up from the floor, landing with bent knees to protect the joints and return to squat position for next jump.
Modification: Put your hands on your thighs instead of the floor; reach up instead of jumping.
Challenge: On each jump, turn 180 degrees; after 10 jumps, rotate the opposite direction.
Benefit: A cardio booster that targets the legs and butt, and opens up hips.
Hold a weight in each hand in a plank position (top of a push-up), feet wide. Soften the knees and squeeze the legs together (like a jumping jack). Jump back out to wide plank. Row one weight to your rib cage, keeping hips square to the floor. Repeat jack and then row the other side. Do 10 on each side.
Modification: Execute entire combination on all fours with no jack.
Challenge: Repeat 12 jacks followed by 12 rows on both sides.
Benefit: Better than crunches, the plank defines abs and strengthens core. Rowing strengthens and sculpts your back and shoulders.
Modification: Shorten the distance and slow down.
Challenge: Bend your knees to get closer to the floor; touch the floor each time you shuffle to the end. Hold one free weight at chest level.
Benefit: Targets the inner and outer thighs; raises your heart rate.
Sit with your hands on free weights behind your butt and feet right under your knees; toes lifted off the floor. Holding the weights (to keep wrists comfortable and stable), lift your butt off the floor. Bend at the elbows to lower body back down, working triceps. Push back up, and keeping your arms straight, walk your feet out and in (right, left, right, left). Lower back down into a dip. Do 10 times with each alternating leading leg.
Modification: Omit the walk.
Challenge: Elevate your body on a chair or table and walk out and in when you lower and push up.
Benefit: Goodbye flabby arms; challenges core, glutes and hamstrings too.
Begin with one leg crossed behind the other. Reach opposite arm across toward supporting leg. Just like a professional speed skater, hop side to side, and cross back with the opposite leg. One rep is one hop right and one hop left.
Modification: Slide feet instead of hopping; tap leg down rather than balancing on one leg.
Challenge: Land on one leg with the opposite foot crossing back but not touching the floor; staying low, try to touch the floor with the reaching arm.
Benefit: Targets “saddlebags,” outer thighs, hips, glutes and abs simultaneously.
Begin in the top of a push-up position, hands directly underneath shoulders. Lower yourself down, keeping elbows close to sides to work triceps and chest. As you return, rotate body completely to one side with your top arm raised and stack feet into a side plank. Hold for a count of 2 before returning center. Push up again and rotate to the opposite side. Do 10 on each side.
Modification:Do push-up with knees on floor; when rotating to side plank, cross the top leg behind the front leg.
Challenge:As you push up slowly count to four and in side plank, lift your top leg up.
Benefit:Works every muscle in your body; and when keeping elbows tight works triceps—no more turkey arms.
Begin on all fours with left leg extended back and right hand behind head. Round your back to the ceiling and slowly bring opposing knee and elbow to meet in the center of your body. Repeat 10 times each side.
Modification: Keep both hands on the floor and just extend the leg.
Challenge: As you extend back out, lift the leg and rotate your torso to your right.
Benefit: Strengthens and lengthens spine; works entire core, especially the lower back.
Holding one weight at chest level, start with legs shoulder-width apart. Squat down with chest lifted and weight on your heels. Come up quickly, straightening legs for full hip extension. Cross your right leg behind your left (enough so you see your right foot on the other side) and lunge down, lowering your weight to the floor. Bicep curl the weight to your chest as you stand back up. Repeat 10 times each side.
Modification: Omit weight and place hands on hips.
Challenge: Add a balance challenge by lifting the moving knee up to your thigh in between each squat and lunge, and/or add a shoulder press as the knee lifts up.
Benefit: Tone your entire lower body, including glutes, quads and hamstrings and inner and outer thighs.
Lying on your back, with hands behind head, pull knees into your chest and lift shoulders up off the floor. As you slowly extend one leg out, rotate your torso to the opposite leg. After you rotate, lift your torso up even higher and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times per side.
Modification: Keep the extended leg on more of an angle.
Challenge: Lift your shoulders even higher off the floor; lower the extended leg closer to the floor.
Benefit: Strengthens abs; eliminates love handles.
Why Do I Need a Pap Smear? Pap smears screen for cervical cancer. Here’s why and how often you need a Pap.
Healthy & Happy: Tips on Preventing Preterm Birth Nurses give advice on what you can do to help prevent your baby from being born too early.