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The media is abuzz with celebrity moms whose bodies seem to bounce back to their original shapes after delivery – almost like a rubber band! This is not that surprising since they have at their disposal personalized trainers, dieticians and nannies, not to mention truckloads of money! But even without the jazz, you can get back in shape through a fitness challenge.
Prerequisites for Taking Up a Fitness Challenge
While you may be all geared up and raring to go for a fitness challenge, do consider the following before taking one up:
1. Body Readiness
However simple your labor and birth were, you need to have your doctor’s okay to start exercising. Parts of your body may still be sore and intense activity may hurt you.
This is possibly the greatest challenge of all! Newborns need to be fed, changed and held frequently, and you need to eat and rest too. If you have an older child, there is even less time.
If your baby is now crawling, you need to be extra cautious when exercising so that you don’t end up hurting your little explorer!
Home Workout Essentials
While it’s a great idea to have a treadmill or elliptical trainer at home, they aren’t essential to stay fit. Get only these basics for home workouts:
1. Yoga Mat
Make sure it’s padded enough to comfort your sore muscles and is non-slippery.
If using these for the first time, get 1 kg dumbbells.
3. Resistance Bands
These are optional at the beginning, but sturdy ones with a good stretch are very helpful as you progress.
4. Swiss Ball
This is also optional but extremely recommended for strengthening your body with low risk of injury.
5. Supportive Shoes
Get a pair that offers good arch support and can tolerate some bounce.
Home Exercises for New Moms
When exercising, remember to do only as many intervals as time will allow; 10 minutes at a time is great. You can also build your own custom workout by mixing and matching moves and interspersing each with a 1 minute cardio interval. Here are some workouts to get you started:
- Hold two dumbbells in both hands with feet hip-width apart and back straight.
- Push your buttocks backwards, bending your knees so that they don’t extend beyond your toes.
- As you bend, move your arms back towards your buttocks, without bending your elbows. Do 8-10 reps.
2. Bridge Pose
- Lie on the floor, back straight, arms by your side and knees bent with feet flat on the floor.
- Inhale and lift your buttocks off the floor, anchoring your feet and upper back.
- Hold for a few seconds and lift your lower back, forming a bridge from your shoulders to your knees. Make sure you’re tightening the muscles in your buttocks and pelvis.
- Hold for as long as you can and lower slowly to the floor.
- Hold two dumbbells in both hands, arms by your side and feet hip-width apart.
- Take a step forward with one foot, bending both knees to a 90 degree angle, ensuring the knee doesn’t extend beyond the toes.
- As you lunge, extend both arms forward, palms inwards. Hold for a moment and come back to starting position.
- Repeat with the other leg, doing 8 reps in all.
4. Knee Lift
- Tightly fix one end of a resistance band to a wall.
- Stand on the right side of the band, holding it in the left hand, and place the other hand on the hip, keeping feet shoulder-width apart.
- Do a bicep curl, bending the left elbow. Keep wrists firm as you feel the tension in your upper arm.
- As you release the bicep curl, lift your right knee to hip level, maintaining balance.
5. Push Up
- Place your palms firmly on the stability ball and assume a push up position with balls of the feet anchored on the floor in a straight line from head to heels.
- Bend elbows outward, keeping abs tight and lowering your body to the floor, back straight.
- Hold for a few seconds and return to starting position. Do 8-10 reps.
6. Chest Fly
- Lie on the floor with dumbbells in both hands, arms extended outwards to both sides. Keep your back straight and eyes should always look straight ahead towards the ceiling.
- Inhale and squeeze your chest muscles; extend both arms upwards. Keep your wrists straight.
- Exhale and lower your arms down to the sides but don’t let them touch the floor. Do 8-10 reps.
These home workouts will definitely get you started on your way to fitness. Remember to not rush through the exercises and do only as many reps as are comfortable; there can be tension but not pain. Being slow and steady will help your pre-pregnancy fitness return and transform you into the hot mommy in town!