Week Two: Postpartum Fitness Series
Welcome to Week Two of Pregnancy & Newborn’s 6-Week Postpartum Fitness Series. Here are our goals for the week:
- Work out at least one more day this week than last week, between three and fives time total. Complete the Week Two workout for at least three of those days, preferably four.
- Get outside! Strap your little one in the carrier or stroller and get walking for some extra cardio time, calories burned, and endorphins to help with sleep deprivation.
- Strengthen and stretch your butt and back.
- Activate your core even when not performing a specific core exercise.
You ladies did a great job last week. Let’s keep it up in Week Two!
Share your progress on Instagram (@pnmag) and support your fellow mamas on their fitness journeys. When you post a photo of your healthy exercise and eating habits, use the hashtag #PNMag6Weeks to be entered for a chance to win a Chewbeads Jane Necklace and Stanton Bracelet. The more you tag, the better your odds! (We’re giving away a different prize each week—click here to see them all!)
EXERCISE 1: Lunge and side reach
2- to 5-pound dumbbells, 10 to 15 reps[a] Stand in a lunge position with your left leg forward, right leg back. Keep the majority of your weight in your forward (left) leg and heel; stick your butt out. Bend your right arm upward with your elbow pointing down and fist near your ear. [b] As you lower into a deep stationary lunge, reach your right arm up and over toward your left side. [a] Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
EXERCISE 2: Small bent-knee dead lifts
2- to 10-pound dumbbells, 15 to 30 reps[a] Start in a small bent-over squat, sticking your backside out and standing with your legs hip width apart (or closer). Keep your shoulders back and chest lifted. Draw your abs in and up as best as you can. [b] Slowly lower downward, reaching your arms toward the ground, keeping your chest lifted and looking straight ahead. Engage your butt and hamstrings as you bend forward and come back up. Begin with a small range of motion to maintain the glute-hamstring connection, and focus on your core to avoid overusing your lower back. [a] Return to the starting position and repeat.
EXERCISE 3: Reverse fly *
2- to 5-pound dumbbells, 15 to 20 reps[a] Begin in the same position as you did for bent knee dead lifts. Arms are down and in front of your body with your palms facing each other. Keep a slight bend in your elbows; shoulders back, booty back, core engaged. [b] Reach your arms out and up, feeling as though you are rotating in your shoulders. [a] Return to the starting position and repeat.
EXERCISE 4: Hip rolls *
5 to 10 reps[a] Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Slowly articulate one vertebrae at a time as you roll your hips upward. [b] Pause at the top then slowly articulate rolling your back downward. Think rib cage first. Repeat.
EXERCISE 5: Hips rolls + single leg pulses
1 to 3 sets of 10 reps[a] Move through a hip roll (see exercise 4) to a bridge position. Extend your right leg out straight, keeping your knees together. Use your left glute and hamstring to hold up your hips. [b] Slowly lower halfway down then press with your supporting leg to lift you back up. Repeat for 10 reps then bring both feet back together and slowly articulate your back down to the mat. Switch legs for another 10 pulses. Repeat.
[tip] If you’re not ready for single leg pulses, follow the same guidelines with both feet on the mat (like in the hip rolls) and add 10 to 20 pulses.
For a complete workout, repeat exercises 1-5 another one to three times then move on to the stretch.
EXERCISE 6: Pigeon with twist stretch
Go into a regular yoga pigeon stretch with your right leg bent under you and your left leg straight back. Enjoy a good hip stretch in this position. Bend your back (left) leg and twist around with your right arm. Stretch your hip and quad by easing into the stretch and holding for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side and then again on both sides.
* Exercise is also appropriate for pregnancy.