The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
Read more »
Quickie #2: Abs & Arms:
These moves will help you carry your baby comfortably. Do them in the order listed.
THE BENEFITS: These exercises strengthen the back, shoulders, biceps and triceps, as well as the abs.
1. BABY BENCH PRESSES: Lie faceup on the floor, knees bent, feet flat. Contract your abs. Hold baby under his arms, fingers wrapped around his torso, and bring him close to your chest (A). Gently raise him straight up, straightening arms; don’t lock elbows (B). Pause (say “peek-a-boo!”); then lower to starting position. Do 10 reps.
2. BABY OVERHEAD PRESSES: Sit on the floor cross-legged, holding your baby in front of your chest (he is now hanging vertically) with your arms bent (A). Lift your baby up overhead, extending your arms (B). Pause, then lower and repeat. Do l0 reps. Alternate one set of baby bench presses with one set of baby overhead presses, rest, then repeat twice.
3. CURL-UPS: Lie faceup on the floor, knees bent and feet flat. Rest your baby just above your pubic bone so his back is leaning against your thighs (A). Hold him securely under his arms with your fingers wrapped around his torso. Contract your abs and lift your head, neck and shoulder blades off the floor in 2 counts (B); lower in 3 counts. Do 15–20 reps.
4. REVERSE BABY CURLS: Lie faceup on the floor and bring your knees toward your chest; place your baby with his chest on your shins (A). Contract your abs to gently tilt your hips off the floor; lift your head and shoulders off the floor at the same time (B). Lower and repeat (this will rock the baby forward and back). To progress, do a curl-up at the same time. Do 15–20 reps.
Quickie #3: Climbing & Lunging:
Climbing stairs is a quick and effective way to burn calories and work your lower body at the same time. If you wish, do these moves with your baby nestled against you in a front carrier (though you’ll be able to do a more vigorous workout without him). Find a staircase at home, at a local stadium or in a shopping mall that has at least 12 steps. Begin with a few minutes of brisk walking, then alternate climbing and lunging. (You can also walk up hills.)
THE BENEFITS: You will tone the quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks and calves.
CLIMBING: Climb the stairs, making sure your heels come down first, then roll your weight through your arch to the ball of your foot. Your arms should be bent and swinging in opposition to each step. For variety, run up the stairs and walk down (without baby).
LUNGES: Stand facing the lowest step. With your hands resting on your hips, step up with your left foot. Keep your foot there as you bend both knees. Staying erect, lower your torso until your left thigh is about parallel to the ground. Then straighten your legs, step down and repeat with your right leg.