For any new mom, the constant stress of holding a baby can cause poor posture, back pain, and exhaustion. By adding just a few simple exercises to your weekly routine, you can help avoid these issues and build strength at the same time. It is possible to be a mother, fit in your workouts, and not feel like you’re spending your life at the gym.
I love bands and body weight workouts because they are easy to throw together while baby naps or plays on the floor.
This workout focuses on back, core, and butt. The circuit is easy to follow and targets the full body.
Each movement should be performed for a four count movement, and for 45 to 60 seconds based on your fitness level. The strongest person is the slowest person.
Repeat circuit 3–4 times.
- A small child
Targets the butt while using the arms and core as stabilizers.
Leg is straight and in line with the hips. Keep weight even on both sides of the body as you slowly lower the toes of the moving leg to the floor. Once the toes have touched the floor, press against the resistance of the band and return to starting position.
Form reminders: 1. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders, 2. Pull belly into spine, 3. As you lift your leg, think about evening your weight out.
Side Leg Press
Targets the butt, core, and upper body.
This will be the same position as your leg lift but instead of lifting your leg up, you will press it laterally to the side.
Form reminder: Keep a small bend in your elbows and really engage your core.
Primary focus is the hamstrings (which are very important for reducing back pain).
Press one heel into the wall with the other heel slightly above your knee joint. Engage your core, squeeze your bum, and lift your hips to the sky. On your final 20 seconds, hold as high as you can and pulse.
Form reminder: Really press your heel against the wall. If you feel pain in the knee, try moving your heel slightly higher on the wall.
Baby Back Row
Primary focus is mid back (AKA baby-carrying muscles).
Hold your baby or a set of weights. With your elbows close to your ribs, shoulders down the back, and a small bend in your knees, start to lower the baby and slowly bring the baby towards your chest.
Form reminders: 1. Shoulders away from ears, 2. Belly in nice and tight, 3. Small curve in the lower spine to remove pressure off your back.
Primary focus is your abs.
Start on your hands and knees. Slowly start to raise your left leg straight out behind you as you lift the opposite arm straight in front of you. Your arm and leg should come to form a straight line. Squeeze your belly and slowly bring your arm and leg into the chest while rounding your belly.
Form reminder: Do this slow and controlled. This is an amazing exercise for the post-baby belly while not putting too much strain on your core.
Primary focus is your back.
Lay on your belly. Slowly start to raise your upper body and legs off the floor while stretching your arms out into a Superman position. Keep your legs lifted and slowly start to bring your arms back towards your body. Repeat movement.
Form reminder: This may be uncomfortable for you if you’re breastfeeding. If it is, try rolling up a small towel and placing it under your breast bone as a support.
Rachel Doell is an instructor, personal trainer, mother, and wife who loves health and fitness. Her fitness company, Daily Routine Fitness, features simple ways to fit living a healthy life into your everyday routine.
Article was published in The Good Life magazine.