Get your body back after birth with exercise

Rediscover your pre-pregnancy shape with our five-step new-mum exercise plan.

1 of

Ad break

  • Get your body back after birth with exercise

    Having a baby is a life-changing experience – everything’s different, including your body! But you can regain your pre-baby shape with safe, sensible exercise.

    Start off gently and don’t overdo things. This five-step exercise plan is perfect for after you’ve had your six-week post-birth check-up (10 weeks if you’ve had a C-section.

    Follow your doctor’s advice if you’ve had any complications – and you can involve your baby, too!

    The 30% rule

    To find the right tension to tighten your tummy muscles, pull your tummy button in towards your spine (imagine you’re wearing a 10-notch belt done up to the tightest hole). Breathing normally, release to the third notch. This ‘30% tension’ is the ideal level to pull your tummy muscles in to.

     

  • Get your body back after birth with exercise

    Work those thighs

    Lie on your side with your tummy muscles pulled in to 30%.

    Your lower leg and side of your chest should be flat on the floor with your arm supporting your head – don’t lean on your elbow.

    Stretch your upper leg out so it’s aligned with your body, then drop it onto the floor in front of you with the knee bent so you can’t roll forwards. Now lift your lower leg off the floor, toes pointing downwards, to work your inner thigh muscles.

    Do this in two batches of six to eight lifts, then roll over and repeat with other leg.

  • Get your body back after birth with exercise

    Lose those love handles

    Get rid of love handles by working the abductor muscle group on the outside of the hip joint. Lie on your side with your tummy muscles pulled in to 30%.

    Your lower leg should be bent for added stability and the side of your chest flat on the floor with your arm supporting your head – don’t lean on your elbow.

    Stretch your upper leg out so it’s aligned with your body and let your toes drop towards the floor.

    Gently lift your leg so it’s no higher than your shoulder, keeping your toes pointed downwards and your tummy muscles tensed.

    Do two batches of six to eight lifts on each leg.

  • Get your body back after birth with exercise

    Get that flat tum back

    To tone up your tum you need to work your transversus abdominals, or ‘trans abs’.

    To do this, lie on the floor and pull your tummy muscles in to about 30% tension. Make sure your waistband’s slightly raised off the ground with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor.

    Gently slide one leg out to its full stretch and then bring it back up to the starting position – remembering to keep your tummy muscles tensed without arching your back.

    Repeat six to eight times then change legs and repeat.

  • Continue slideshow >

  • Get your body back after birth with exercise

    Curl up with your baby

    Involve your baby in your ‘get fit’ routine by doing curl ups with your little one. This also works the ‘trans abs’ and improves your posture.

    Lie on the floor with your knees together and your legs bent at a 45° angle. Rest your baby on top of your shins, supported under the arms with your hands.

    With your tummy pulled in to the 30% position, take a deep breath in. As you exhale, lift your head up to meet your baby’s head, slightly rocking her forwards on your legs.

    Try completing six to eight curl ups but if your tummy muscles start to dome or bulge, do a few more ‘flat-tum’ exercises instead (previous).

  • Get your body back after birth with exercise

    Top squats

    Tone those central thigh muscles and keep your baby entertained at the same time with a series of squats.

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands positioned on your waist. As you squat down, make sure your knees stay over your toes and don’t roll inwards – your shin bone should be supporting your knee joint.

    One trick to make sure you’re bending correctly is to imagine you’re sitting down with your bottom stuck out.

Last updated on 23 February 2009

Comments

Daily deals from top retailers