Bring Sexy Back Post-Baby
Kate Middleton’s no princess when it comes to fitness: The Duchess of Cambridge was a field hockey star and cross-country runner in her boarding-school days, has recently been spotted doing everything from cycling to rowing, and reportedly stayed in shape throughout her pregnancy by swapping her regular strength-training routine for long walks and prenatal yoga.
Although Middleton’s super-healthy lifestyle makes the new royal mom more likely to lose her baby baggage, even fierce fitness junkies need help getting back into shape after giving birth. So to help a mother out, we asked celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, author of The BODY RESET Diet and the man behind Megan Fox’s post-baby bod, to share the best workout strategies for new moms.
His first piece of advice? Get an activity tracker (he recommends Fitbit) and make sure you’re taking 10,000 steps per day. “You can do this almost immediately after you give birth, as long as you have clearance from your doctor,” says Pasternak.
Your next priority: Put your back into it. “You want to focus on the muscles in the back of the body, which will ‘open up’ your posture and give the illusion of lengthening everything,” he says. “This helps after 9 months of carrying all that weight in the front of your body.” Do the moves below—3 sets of 20 reps—twice per week, and you’ll have a rockin’ rearview, whether you’ve given birth or not!
Lie facedown on floor with arms extended straight overhead and legs straight, hip-width apart. Simultaneously lift right arm and left leg (keep your gaze forward, neck in a neutral position) until they are several inches off the floor. Pause and hold for several seconds. Slowly lower back to the starting position and switch sides to complete 1 rep.
PRONE HAMSTRING CURL
Lie on your stomach, propped up on your forearms, with your hips down and your back as flat as possible. Rest the laces of your right shoe on top of your left heel. Repeat the exercise using your left hamstring, with your right leg working as dead weight. Do all the reps on your left leg, then repeat with your left shoe on your right heel.
LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION
Lie on your back with your arms extended straight up toward the ceiling, your palms facing each other, and a dumbbell or water bottle in each hand. Hinging at your elbows, lower the weights down between your shoulders and ears, then extend them toward the ceiling and return to the starting position.
BENT-OVER DUMBBELL ROW
Begin by kneeling over the side of the bench at the gym (or padded or cushioned chair at home), placing your knee and hand of your supporting arm on the bench. Position your foot of the opposite leg slightly back to side. Grasp the dumbbell from floor (start with 1-2 pounds weights and slowly increase, or use canned food or water bottles if you don’t have weights at home). Pull dumbbell up to your side, perpendicular to the bench, until it makes contact with your ribs or until your upper arm is just beyond horizontal. Lower the dumbbell until your arm is extended and shoulder is stretched downward. Repeat [20 TIMES?] and repeat on opposite side with the other arm.
SEATED TRUNK TWIST
Sit on the ground with your knees bent, feet together, and heels on the floor. Sit as tall as possible with your back erect. Clasp your hands (or hold a light hand weight) close to your body between your navel and your ribcage. Keeping your back straight, exhale and slowly rotate your torso to your right side. Pause briefly at the end of the twist, inhale and then gently exhale while rotating to the left side. Repeat the movement back and forth.
—Written by Cathryne Keller, Fitbie Contributor