Lose the baby inches

Follow former Olympic athlete Sally Gunnell's gentle exercise plan. Sally has devised a post-baby shape-up plan, to target areas such as thighs, waist, tummy and arms. All the exercises can be done at home.

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Gently does it

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  • Get the go ahead from your doctor or midwife before you start exercising
  • Before and after any exercise make sure you warm up and cool down properly. Run on the spot and stretch for about 10 minutes
  • While exercising, keep your tummy tensed but don’t forget to breathe properly
  • If you feel tired or in pain stop exercising or you could end up hurting yourself
  • Do the exercises properly. A few good ones are more effective than lots done the wrong way
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise
  • You don’t need pricey home gym equipment. A non-slip rug makes a good mat and plastic bottles filled with water are as good as weights
  • Try to exercise three times a week. Grab your chance when your baby is napping or being looked after by someone else. If you still can’t find time, take your baby for a brisk walk in his buggy

If you had a Caesarean:

Generally, you should wait until you’ve had your six-week check before starting any exercise. But if you had a Caesarean, you may be advised to wait six to eight weeks. 

Bicep curls for toning arms

  1. For this exercise you will need weights (approx 5-8lb)or fill up some empty water bottles with sand or water. Stand with your arms by your side with one foot forward. Hold the weights firmly in each hand with your palms facing inwards
  2. Making sure your upper arms are still and kept close to your sides, lift the weights up towards your shoulders
  3. Alternate each arm and complete three sets of 15 repetitions 

Tricep dips to firm up upper arms

  1. Stand with your back to a sofa or chair and position your heels about 2ft in front of you. Grip the edge of the chair with your palms down and push yourself up so that your arms are fully extended
  2. Bend your arms, descend towards the floor and push back up to the starting position
  3. Aim to do 10 repetitions. You can make this more difficult by moving your feet further away from the support 

Body lift for inner thighs and bum

  1. Lie at the bottom of the stairs with your hands by your sides and your heels on the first step with your knees at 90 degrees
  2. Lift your pelvis until your body is straight from your knees to your chest. Point your toes and squeeze your buttocks. Slowly move back to the start position
  3. Start with one set of 15 repetitions and build up to three sets of 15 

Power lunges for inner thighs and bum

  1. Stand with your hands on your hips. Put one foot forward about a stride’s length from the back leg
  2. Keep your back straight and slowly bend your knees so that your front knee is over your front foot. Make sure your knee doesn’t touch the ground
  3. With the weight on the heel of your front foot, come back up again. Bring your foot back to the start position, then put the opposite foot forward
  4. Aim to complete three sets of 15 repetitions, alternating legs 

Ab crunches for waist + tummy toning

  1. Lie on the floor with your tummy tensed and your legs in the air with your knees bent. Keep your hands by your head
  2. Curl your legs towards your ribcage. At the same time bring your shoulders forward, keeping your lower back on the floor. Keep your tummy tensed and breathe out as you move forward and breathe in as you go back to the start position
  3. Aim to do three sets of 10 repetitions 

Reverse curls for tummy toning

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  1. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Lift your legs and bend your knees slightly. It is important to make sure you keep your neck relaxed and don’t lift it from the floor
  2. Roll your hips and bum up off the floor so that your knees are by your face and your feet are in the air. Hold this position for about 10 seconds then slowly roll your hips back down to the floor
  3. Repeat a set of 10 three times 

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