Whether you’re trying to maintain your fitness routine, kick-start a healthy habit before the baby arrives or lose that post-baby belly, working out in the privacy of your own home can be a nice option for mommies who are not quite ready to brave the gym with abs that don’t resemble steel (yet!). We’re here to give you the skinny on which pre- and postnatal exercise DVDs fit your lifestyle.
Best for: spiritual mamas
Anna Getty’s Pre & Postnatal Yoga Workout $20 at amazon.com
This 2-disc DVD box set includes one disc designed for the prenatal period and a second disc for the postnatal. The prenatal workout focuses on establishing a spiritual connection between both mom and baby and mom and her changing body. Each exercise is geared towards loosening and stretching the parts of the body that are under stress due to pregnancy. Anna Getty encourages expecting moms to connect the mind, body and spirit in preparation for labor. The postnatal workout is organized into nine 10- to 15-minute workouts designed for the busy mommy. Each workout becomes progressively more challenging, which eases new moms into a workout routine that will push, but not overwhelm, your recovering body.
Bottom line: If you’re looking for an exercise routine that focuses on mind and body simultaneously, this is the one for you!
Extras: Mom and baby yoga, Q&A with LUNA’s registered dietician and a one-on-one with renowned pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene.
Best for: workout veterans
Gabrielle Reece Fit & Healthy Prenatal Workouts $15 at amazon.com
This comprehensive prenatal workout solution is conveniently divided into six 15-minute segments designed for each month of the first and second trimesters. Host Gabrielle Reece filmed each segment while in different stages of her own pregnancy, so you will not feel alone while struggling to acquaint yourself with your changing body. Although you will need specific equipment before getting started —a stability ball, light hand weights and a resistance band—these tools will ensure that you are getting a gym-quality workout in the comfort of your own living room. The workouts may seem challenging to exercise first-timers, but you’ll notice the pay-off when hitting the gym post-baby feels like a walk in the park!
Bottom line:If you are a seasoned gym rat, this is the exercise DVD for you!
Extras:Little known safety tips, including the best way to get down and back up off of the floor while expecting.
Best for: moms who like options
10 Minute Solution Prenatal Pilates $15 at amazon.com
Comprised of five mini workouts that take a mere 10 minutes each, this DVD leaves you with no excuse not to get a little sweaty each and every day. For women who like a little variety in their routine, this DVD offers the genius option of personalizing your own workout. With a quick click of the remote, you can pick and choose which 10-minute segments to add to your routine. If you’re in a rush, choose just one workout, but if you have a little more time on your hands, pick between a combo of buns and thighs, core or flexibility focused workouts.
Bottom line: If you get easily bored doing the same routines and have ever-changing time constraints, this trusty DVD will become as indispensable as your PDA.
Extras: A swift and to-the-point postnatal ab workout to get that belly flat again, fast.
Best for: quick, focused workouts
Patrea’s Prenatal Fitness for the Entire Body $15 at amazon.com
Arguably the best thing about this complete prenatal fitness DVD made up of six 15-minute workouts is the convenient timer in the corner of the screen that counts down your remaining exercise time. Somehow noticing the time has fallen from 15 minutes to 11 while you were busy focusing on leg lifts makes your daily workout regimen seem much more manageable. Plus, you can pick and choose the area you want to work on each day. Invest in a good exercise ball and discover just how easy it is to fit in a well-rounded workout—no matter how busy your schedule!
Bottom line:If you need a workout routine that is quick, easy and to the point, this DVD was made for you.
Extras:Information about the usefulness of kegel exercises, the weight-loss benefits of breastfeeding and how to do a Diastasis Recti self test.
Best for: releasing aggression
Postnatal Power Tae Bo Workout $15 at amazon.com
New moms rejoice—the highly successful Tae Bo fitness collection has expanded to the mommy crowd. Shellie Blanks Cimarosti, daughter of Tae Bo founder Billy Blanks, leads fellow moms in a modified version of the standard Tae Bo workout. Sprinkled with motivational tips for new moms, this collection of body-part-specific workouts is packaged in convenient 10-minute increments. Because this workout is based on martial arts, all of the kicking and punching offers an added bonus of taking out the stress that comes along with early parenthood on someone other than your well-intentioned partner! Perhaps the most motivational part of this DVD is the knowledge that the muscle-flaunting hostess gave birth a mere 10 weeks prior to shooting the video.
Bottom line: If you’ve been fighting the urge to throw the occasional jab or right hook, this DVD will help you fit in a workout while releasing your pent-up aggression.