My 6 Favorite Post-Pregnancy Workouts
Getting back into shape after having a baby can be a daunting task. But, it can also be somewhat enjoyable. Working out and getting those endorphins flowing, fat burning and that blood pumping helps not only the body, but also the mind. And it also gives us a FREAKING break. And even if you have baby with you as you exercise, you are doing something for you, and that feels AMAZING! Exercise got me feeling "back to normal" after the baby and has really helped me manage all the postpartum stresses these past 8 months. Switching up my workouts has kept me excited about working out. Here are 6 of my favorite workouts that have lifted my spirits and my buns post-baby!
Photo Credit: Steven Depolo
Spin class is one of my all-time favorite workouts. The beat-thumping music and motivating words from the instructor push me through all the hill climbs, sprinting and jumping of a damn-good cardio workout. It is high-intensity, high-energy and highly sweat-inducing. But, don’t go hopping on that stationary bike straight out the postpartum gates. There’s some healing in “tender areas” that needs to happen before you re-introduce the bike seat. When you’re ready to burn some post-baby fat, hop on that bike. You can burn 600-700 calories in an hour class. And you will also build strength and endurance. And any new mom needs both of those!
Photo Credit: Lambtron
Ballet Barre Workouts
You don’t need pointe shoes or a leotard to work it at the barre in one of the many barre classes out there. I am a big fan of Richard Giorla’s Cardio Barre, but any ballet-based cardio class is great for toning and tightening that post baby belly, thighs and especially, the tush. The class is usually run like an extended, ballet barre warm-up. On steroids. It’s high intensity and a way to work towards having a dancer’s body without necessarily being a dancer.
I love to be outdoors in nature. And since much of the first, couple months after my daughter was born was spent indoors, at home, I took any opportunity to get to the local hill and hike. The fresh air, uphill walking and lovely view of the city helps me recharge, reset and be present, while at the same time, toning up my post-baby legs and booty.
BodyPump is a group fitness class invented by Phillip Mills that can be found at health clubs and gyms all over the world. It’s a total body workout that builds muscle and endurance through the use of free weights, barbells and aerobic step to dance mash-up versions of songs like “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. It’s an intense way to whip your body back into pre-pregnancy shape, and then some. The repetitive squats, presses and dead lifts, will make you want to cry, but remember, you pushed a human being out of your girl parts. Get to work, girl!
Golf is a nice, leisurely way to burn calories, tone your legs and explore muttering every swear word in your knowledge bank. I quite enjoy the whole experience of playing golf, even when I look like I’m about to break a club over my leg. It’s called being competitive and, perhaps, just not being that great a golfer. But it’s also a fantastic way to start getting back into shape with some low-impact, post-baby exercise. If you walk the course instead of riding in the cart, you can burn up to 800 calories playing nine holes. Though a round of golf is a bit time consuming for a new mom, it can be a great weekend workout/activity or you can opt for hitting a few buckets of balls at the driving range.
I’m a big fan of hard-core workouts. And participating in a “boot camp” style workout is pretty hard-core. You are forced to push yourself to the limit with intense intervals of cardio drills and strength training performed at different stations using weights, jump ropes and boxing exercises. The instructors’ “take no prisoners” approach won’t allow you cut any corners so it’s go BIG or go home. If you don’t want to mess around and want to cut straight to shedding that baby weight, get G.I. Jane with it, gurl, and join a fitness boot camp.
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