Nice Butt & Bye Bye Gut - Park Workout!
As promised - here are some of my favorite exercises I do to keep my post-baby body looking as close to my pre-baby body as possible! Just because I am a mom doesn't mean I have to accept that a #mombod is what everyone expects. Mom bods are beautiful because the lives they created, but to me, strong is also beautiful, so I have really been focusing on strength training. My baby boy is a huge monster who loves being held a lot, so luckily that helped me build up my mommy muscles in my arms - the other areas I really had to work on! As always, make sure your doctor has cleared you for any exercising!
For my stomach, I really focus on side crunches and lower ab work with leg raises. To do the side crunch properly, start on your side (duh), legs slightly bent. With one arm supporting you, place the other next to your head. Using your core, as you lift your legs, lift your upper body until your elbow meets your knee. I like to do 3 sets of 15 on each side. For the lower belly, lay flat on your back with your arms by your sides, palms on the ground, and feet together. Keeping your knees straight and legs tight, lift your feet about 6" off the ground and hold for 20 - go longer if you can! This is a great exercise to work in in between side crunches. VERY important - when you are flexing your abs and keeping your core tight, remember to feel like you're pulling your belly button to your spine. If you push out, it could train and build those muscles out. You would be strong but with a protruding tummy rather than a flat one!
My biggest problem area after baby was my butt. It had lost most shape, probably from me sitting around on it for the majority of my third trimester! I love tried-and-true squats and lunge kick backs to help perk it back up and build it out a little bubblier than before. If you just want to tone, don't use too much weight, but if you want to build out that muscle think high weight low reps. For squats, make sure your feet aren't too wide, and really fight to get down to your knees being at a 90 degree angle, not putting your knee in front of your toes, but directly over and up. In addition to using a squat rack if available, do some squats - pulses - and holds on a bosu balance ball! The same angle goes for lunges, and when you stand back up, raise that back leg and really squeeze your glute to get it behind you at another 90 degree angle like in the picture. This is a great workout that you can do with your baby in the stroller! You can also do walking side squats, but with these you can spread your legs a little wider as you push along the stroller.
I did this work at my favorite park in Atlanta - Piedmont Park. They have several workout stations by the Active Oval area, but there are many parks in the area that also feature these stations! If you don't want to jump back in to a gym membership and want to do something where you can keep your little one close, this is a great option. Another great workout that you can do with your stroller is a nice jog, and for extra work, look for hilly areas!
What are some of your favorite stroller workouts?