Last year, during the final stretch of pregnancy, I felt large and not-so-in-charge: My belly was a balloon and more helium was being pumped in every second! Around that time, my tween niece took one look at me waddling around with a watermelon stuffed into a winter coat and asked with sincerity and concern if I would just pop right back into my regular size after the baby was born. If only it were that simple!
After Isaiah arrived, I did not magically snap back into shape overnight and his naps became my hottest time commodity. My first question to myself the minute he was asleep was usually do I want to shower, eat or nap? While I really wanted to exercise, I did not want to use precious naptime for it, so I thought, why not work out right alongside my baby? The little guy needed his tummy time too, so we set up shop smack dab in the middle of our living area. Isaiah had this gym to get in his vigorous baby workout (let me tell you this kiddo became a baby crunch master), and I got in my exercise groove right next to him. Be sure to get the green light from your doctor first and then take advantage these awesome post-baby moves.
The pelvic tilt is a great way to strengthen your abs! Lie down on your back (Warning to sleep-starved new moms: Do not close your eyes!). Bend your knees. Press your back to the floor by tightening your ab muscles and slightly bending your pelvis up. Stay in this position for 10 seconds and repeat five times. As you get back into the rhythm of post baby exercise, work up to 10 to 20 repetitions.
After you finish with The Tilt, keep lying down on your back (You’re welcome!) so you can move right into a floor bridge, which targets your hamstrings and butt. Make sure your knees are bent, feet are flat and arms are by your sides. Now it’s time to engage your core and squeeze your butt to lift off of the floor while pressing your heels into the ground. At the top of the bridge hold a kegel for three seconds, slowly return to the floor and then release the kegel. After you do several sets of 10-20 reps, it’s time for a well-deserved cuddle break with your snuggly workout buddy.
The baby overhead press that is! Since you just took a cuddle break with baby, stick with your cutie for this next exercise. Just be sure that your little one can hold up his head on his own.
Okay, now you are all set for an exercise that will strengthen your back, shoulders, triceps and biceps. Oh my! Sit with your legs crossed and elbows bent as you hold your baby in front of your chest. Lift your baby in the air until your arms are straight, but don’t lock your elbows. Pause there for a moment and then lower your baby to the starting point. Try to do 10 reps a few times, and I bet your pint-sized workout partner will love this one.
Working out alongside my son right in our living area was fun for me, and I’ll never forget how he rolled over for the first time during one of our exercise sessions. I hope you can get moving with your little nugget and make some of your own memories along the way!