Post-Baby Shape Up for the Hips, Butt, and Abs
Pregnancy will likely change your body not only during the nine months you carry junior but for months –or possibly years – after. And since everyone carries weight differently, it’s impossible to prescribe a one-size-fits-all training plan for new moms.
Cardio, of course, is a must. If you are carrying excess weight, regardless of where it is located, you need to burn calories to get it off. At some point, though, you’ll want to tone and strengthen problem areas.
Many women find the excess weight post-pregnancy tends to gather in one of three ‘problem’ areas: hips, butt, and/or abs. The following exercises target these three areas. Pair them with a healthy dose of thirty minutes of cardio most days of the week to get your body to a place you want it to be. Remember, though, it may never be what it was pre-pregnancy, and that’s okay: You made a human being! You’re a rock star! Your body should change a little!
Mountain climbers. Great video here of this exercise, which will work your hips and butt. This one can be tough on the knees, though, so if you feel any pain skip this and focus on the plank below.
Side plank. (These are also great for your abs.) Similar to the front plank, do this one on your side instead (see image here). For more of a challenge, hold the pose longer or dip down and touch the floor with your hip before returning to the upward position.
Incline cardio. During cardio, the more of an incline there is, the more you work your glutes. Do a workout that starts on a 1 for five minutes of warm-up; increase in increments every five minutes until you hit the twenty-five minute mark; then begin to decrease for the last ten to fifteen minutes of your workout.
Squats. Squats are a great way to tighten and tone the butt area. Remember to squat back, not over the fronts of your feet. Add weights for more of a challenge.
Lunges. I love these because they can be done anywhere (I used to do them when I took my daughter to the park) and they require no equipment whatsoever. As with squats, keep your knees behind your feet. You can also add hand weights for more of a challenge.
Hands straight behind you crunch. I learned this one on a Pilates DVD years ago and have used it ever since. Rest on your back with your knees up and your feet on the floor, as you would when doing crunches. Place your arms straight out behind your head, resting them on the floor and clasping palms together. Lift up with your stomach, not your back or arms. Keep your head pointed toward the ceiling. Try to build to 20 reps.
The Kayaker. I also learned this in Pilates. Rest on your tailbone with your legs lifted off the floor and bent in an inverted “V”. Keep your arms in front of you bent, as though you were holding a paddle in front of your body. Then row! As you move the paddle, extend your legs, one and then the other. Try to build up to a minute of rowing with each rep. I also do this one while holding a kettlebell as my ‘paddle’.
Where did you gain most of your weight during pregnancy?