As many of you know, I recently had a baby girl! Since I’ll be taking some time off, in addition to having some great recipes, cooking videos and blog posts/articles all ready to share with you, I am also going to be having a BABYSITTER BLOG, where esteemed colleagues in my field will be sharing a blog post with you! I hand picked these people (most of whom are my friends and co-workers!). I hope you enjoy their posts!
Today’s guest post is from the amazing pregnancy fitness powerhouse Sara Haley!
I first came across Sara through her Expecting More prenatal fitness DVDs, when I was pregnant with my FIRST baby. Since moving to LA, I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting her in person. Check out her post for some great do-at-home exercises, and see what I mean!
By Sara Haley
Hey everyone! I’m Sara Haley, mom of two and pre/postnatal exercise specialist. A big thanks to Abby for asking me to guest blog during her “maternity leave.” I thought it only appropriate to share some of my exercise recommendations for moms. Although these exercises are especially effective during postnatal recovery, they are effective during any stage of motherhood. Once a woman has gone through pregnancy, her body is forever different. These moves train, target and tone the areas that have been effected by pregnancy. If you want full workouts, make sure to check out my 4th Trimester Workout DVD (or downloads) that I also developed for moms, no matter how long ago you had your baby.
- Your CORE is the area that was most affected by pregnancy. Your abs and low back help support you in functional every day activities, from cooking and cleaning to lifting and carrying for your baby. My 4th Trimester Workout has innovative standing, seated, and mat core moves that will help strengthen your core and tighten your abs so you can maintain good posture, live-pain free, and get your abs back after baby! Resistance Fight is one of my favorites.
Resistance Fight: Lie on your back and lift one leg up to tabletop so that your knee is in line with your hip. Take your opposite hand and push against your thigh. As you try to push your leg away with your hand, resist by pushing your leg into your hand in opposition. While all this is happening you should be focusing on pulling your navel towards your spine and closing your rib cage. You may feel your body start to shake. Begin by holding for 15 sec on each side and gradually increase to 60 seconds.
- As a new parent, you are constantly picking up and carrying your little ones (and all of their stuff), which means your ARMS and BACK muscles are needed more than ever before. Key moves like Towel Tighteners will help create strong, lean muscles to help you keep up with baby.
Towel Tighteners (tightens your triceps and back): You will need a towel to assist you (or light hand weights when you are ready). Hold your towel behind your back, stand shoulder width apart, soften your knees, and hinge forward at the hips. Pull your navel to your spine, as you lift your hands up behind your back. Lower back down and repeat anywhere from 20-40 reps. Your goal is to work to fatigue.
- Life moves fast once baby arrives and before you know it your little ones will be crawling, walking, and eventually running! CARDIO exercise is key to helping increase your endurance so you can keep up with your little one. Interval drills like Go Time paired with active recovery help burn fat even after the workout is complete.
Go Time!: As a mom, I always feel like no matter how organized you think you are, when it’s time to get out the door all chaos hits. (Hence the title of this move). There are 3 options for this move, so you can progress as you get stronger. Begin by doing a football run. Count to four, and then walk your feet together into a squat and then back out wide into a squat (option 1), or you can scoot your feet together so that you are on your toes and back out into a squat (option 2) or when you are ready, jump up into the air and back into a squat (option 3). Do this move as strong as you can for 30 seconds, Rest for 15 seconds and repeat.
- As a mom, your body will often feel taxed. Therefore, it’s important to incorporate DYNAMIC STRETCHING, like Baby Back Relief, into your workout routine to help your muscles recover and keep your body from feeling tense, tight and overused.
Baby Back Relief: You will need a towel to assist you. Begin seated on the floor with your legs in front of you. Place the towel under the arches of your feet. Bend your knees as much as you need to, tuck your chin to your chest, engage your core, and pull on the towel as you round your back. You should feel an immediate stretch in your back. Hold this position for a count of four. Release and then repeat 4-6 times as needed.
I hope you will find these exercises effective. If you’d like to have more guidance or perform them as part of a complete workout, visit http://sarahaley.com/about/expecting-more-the-4th-trimester-workout/ to purchase my 4th Trimester Workout. Please use code AP20 for 20% off your purchase!
For more, check out my website, SaraHaley.com, and you can find me at the following social handles – I’d love to hear from you!