Many women struggle to regain their bodies back even years after having children. Blame it on the shift in priorities from diapers to soccer training to prom shopping and eventually weddings. Finding “me-time” is one of the biggest sacrifices. It’s very easy for many women to just give up and assume they will never get their body back again.
Leah Keller, pre and postnatal fitness expert and founder of The Dia Method, a revolutionary new exercise system, offers three basic steps that can be incorporated into your daily routine. Whether it has been 5 months since that baby or 5 years, it’s never too late to get your sexy back.
Below, Leah recommends performing this mini-workout 3-4 days a week to strengthen and tone the entire body while specifically targeting the infamous post-pregnancy pooch.
You will need: a 2-5 lb. dumbbell; a wall, countertop or stable furniture; resistance band and water.
1. LUNGE WITH TRICEPS OVERHEAD To lift the butt, tone the thighs, flatten the abs, firm the upper arms, and elevate the heart rate.
Begin by taking one big step forward, and then bend the back knee slightly, lifting the back heel off the ground as you tuck your pelvis into neutral. Aim to make your torso as flat as possible in both the front and the back. Feet should be hip width apart, toes pointing straight ahead. Bring the weights overhead and tuck your elbows toward the head so they point forward. Take a breath as you lower into your lunge and bend the elbows, lowering the weight behind your head. Then exhale and draw your abs toward the spine as you lunge up and straighten the arms. Perform 2-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
2. CHEST OPENER To strengthen upper back and rear shoulders while opening the chest and restoring shoulders to neutral posture.
Stretch the band across the chest so that the middle of the band rests tautly on the sternum. The arms are just shy of straight. Keep wrists straight and shoulders low, away from the ears throughout the entire set. Take a breath to prepare, and then exhale and draw your abs toward the spine as you pulse the arms further back and down at a diagonal angle, drawing the shoulder blades toward the spine to open the chest. Keep the ribs together! Think about widening the collar bones with each pulse, but the ribs should stay together and the spine remains straight (do not arch the back). This is a small but powerful movement that anchors the shoulders and restores healthy posture. A welcome relief for new moms who spend so much time rounding their shoulders as they cradle little ones! Perform 2-4 sets of 15-20 pulses.
3. PUSH-UP TWIST To flatten and firm the abs, trim the waist, lift the chest and define the upper arms.
Stand facing a wall or a secure piece of furniture. Place hands shoulder-width apart on the wall or other stable surface, draw the body into plank position with shoulders down away from the ears, and your entire spine in a straight line. The feet should be hip width apart or wider. Take a breath to prepare. Then exhale and draw the abs toward the spine throughout the entire pushup – all the way down and all the way up. At the top, inhale as you lift one arm and twist to the side, pivoting your feet so your entire body faces sideways (perpendicular to the wall); exhale as you pulse the abs to the spine three times in this side plank position. Then inhale as you return to starting position. Repeat, alternating sides. Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.