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Post pregnancy exercises

We have compiled 9 of the best post-pregnancy exercises sorted by intensity to get you into your pre-baby body fast! Consult your GP prior to commencing any exercises after birth, particularly before attempting any advanced exercises, and remember to always listen to your body.

Beginner: Kegels

Target: Pelvic muscles

Sit on a bench with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Contract your pelvic muscles, as if you're trying to stop from urinating, and stand.

Hold Kegel and return to bench, then release.

Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Intensify: With back to bench, stand a foot in front of bench seat and bend elbows to clasp hands in front of chest. Lift leg straight in front of you a few inches off ground and bend right knee to sit down briefly on bench as you Kegel. Keeping left leg raised throughout, stand up immediately, releasing Kegel and pressing through right heel to straighten right leg. Do 12 reps. Switch legs, repeat.

Beginner: Floor Bridges

Targets: Hamstrings and butt

Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides.

Engage core and squeeze butt to lift off the floor, pressing heels into the ground.

Kegel at the top of the bridge, hold for three seconds, and slowly return to floor. Release Kegel at bottom of bridge.

Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Beginner: Crunch Beat

Targets: Abs and legs

Lie faceup on mat with knees bent 90 degrees, legs lifted, calves parallel to floor.

Place hands behind head, elbows out, and crunch up, lifting shoulders off mat.

Extend legs diagonally up, cross ankles, and extend arms overhead. Holding this position, switch feet over and under each other 8 times. Return to start.

Do 8 reps.

Intermediate: Forearm Plank

Targets: Abs, obliques, thighs, and butt

Get into plank position (abs engaged, back straight, forearms on floor, legs extended).

Hold for 30-60 seconds, keeping hips up and abs tight.

Lower knees to floor, resting for 30 seconds before resuming.

Complete a rep of 4-5 planks.

Intensify: After you've held a plank for 30-60 seconds, move into side plank, shifting body weight to left hand and rotating body to extend right arm directly up, palm forward. Stack right foot on top of left. Hold for 30-60 seconds, switch sides.

Intermediate: Hamstring Curl

Targets: Hamstrings and butt

Lie faceup on ground with arms slightly out to sides, knees bent and calves resting on center of stability ball, feet flexed.

Lift hips up, squeeze abs tight and bend knees to curl ball in toward you.

Slowly push legs back out, keeping hips up at all times.

Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Intermediate: Modified Squat Thrust

Targets: Abs, legs, and butt

Lower into squat position, hands touching floor just in front of feet.

Quickly step legs back so that you are in push-up position. Without pausing, step feet forward just in front of your hands and return to standing position.

Do 1-3 sets of 5-10 reps.

Intensify: Instead of stepping feet back, quickly jump feet back and forth.

Advanced: Wide-Stance Deadlifts

Targets: Lower back, legs, butt

Deadlifts are a great, practical exercise for new mothers as they mimic motherly duties such as putting your child into it’s cot.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand with palms facing body.

Slowly bend forward, pushing your butt back while lowering dumbbells to shin level.

Tighten glutes and return to start.

Do 1-3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Advanced: Push-Ups

Targets: Shoulders, chest, abs, arms

Start with hands and toes on floor, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Bend at the elbows and lower chest about an inch from the ground.

Straighten arms and push away from the floor, returning to start position.

Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Advanced: Walking Lunges

Targets: Legs and butt

Stand with feet together, hands on hips.

Take a large step forward, bending so both knees are at 90 degrees.

Push through the heel of the front leg and return to standing position.

Repeat on opposite side.

Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

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