Post Pregnancy Toning Exercises

Exercises that involve your baby are good for bonding.

Exercises that involve your baby are good for bonding.

Your pregnancy is behind you. That bundle of joy is swaddled in your arms, cooing peacefully. But you are left with sagging muscles and flabby skin, not the svelte body you had pre-baby. Post-pregnancy toning is possible, though, without expensive gym equipment, extravagant investments of time or a need for a babysitter. By using common household items -- and even your baby -- you can get that pre-baby body back.

Toning Your Upper Body

Hours are spent holding a constantly growing bundle and your upper body has to work hard to support that package. Common upper body exercises, such as bicep curls and modified pushups, help build those needed muscles. Cans of produce or filled water bottles can replace free weights used in upper body exercises. For some exercises, you can even use your baby as a weight, gently lifting her to give your shoulder, back and arm muscles some resistance to promote toning.

Toning Your Post-Baby Abdomen

You will need clearance from your obstetrician before performing abdominal exercises after having a baby. If you did not experience a separation of your abdominal muscles or have a cesarean section, you may be released to exercise at your own discretion. Beneficial post-baby exercises for the abdomen include pelvic tilts, curl ups, and situps. Doing Kegel exercises and bridges, a move common in yoga and stretching, will also help firm a loose, post-baby abdomen.

Toning Your Legs

Now that you can reach your toes to paint them yourself, it's time get those thighs and calves firm again. Your legs will change during pregnancy, and due to hormonal changes and increased blood volume, cellulite forms and will remain post-baby. Exercises that focus on leg toning, such as leg lifts, hamstring curls and seated can-cans will provide a good beginning lower body workout.

Toning Your Glutes

The gluteal region can become seriously out of shape during pregnancy, as fat can build up in the thigh and buttock region. If you had a firm posterior before baby, you may be unhappy with your wobbly post-baby booty. Doing butt-building exercises such as clam digs, squats and donkey kicks will get your post-baby bottom back quicker. Yoga pose such as the Bridge, Horse and Upright Pigeon can be done as your baby naps or plays nearby.

 

About the Author

Having studied at two top Midwestern universities, Catherine Field holds degrees in professional writing and patient safety. Writing since 2000, Field has worked with regional newspapers while publishing fiction online. She conducts medical communication research at a Midwestern medical institution and is slated to write a book based on her research findings.

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