Tighten Your Postpartum Body: 5 Genius Strength-Training Exercises

Use these moves to shape up after pregnancy.

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Lose the Baby Weight

We know, losing the baby weight can be overwhelming. How can you bust out scorpion push-ups when you're so sleep-deprived you can't even stay up for your favorite TV show?

The better (and safer) bet: easing back into working out with a beginner's routine. It gives you all the benefits of strength training (boosted mood, lower blood pressure, increased bone mass and—perhaps most importantly—firmed up softer spots) with zero learning curve. And don't worry, you won't sacrifice sculpting for simplicity.

What to Expect: Twice a week, do 1 set of 12 to 15 reps of each of the following five moves in order, resting 30 to 60 seconds between exercises. After 3 weeks, increase the weight and/or do 2 sets. Grab a stability ball or chair and a pair of 3-to-5- pound dumbbells, and get ready to get fit.

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Tripod Row

Works back and core

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and get on all fours with wrists under shoulders; extend right leg behind you. Bend left elbow, drawing weight toward left ribs (shown). Lower weight to complete 1 rep. Do 12 to 15 reps; switch sides to complete set.

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Ball Squat

Works legs and butt

Stand with a stability ball between your back and a wall, walk feet out in front of you and place hands on thighs. Squat until thighs are parallel to ground (A). Rise up onto balls of feet as you reach arms overhead (B). Return to starting position.

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Lying March

Works abs

Lie faceup with knees bent 90 degrees and aligned over hips, arms extended at sides and palms on the ground (A). Pull abs in, then slowly lower right foot, stopping just before it touches the ground (B). Raise right leg to starting position and repeat on left side to complete 1 rep.

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Fly to Tri

Works chest and triceps

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie faceup with knees bent and heels on a ball (press it against a wall for extra stability) or chair. Extend arms over chest, palms facing each other and elbows slightly bent. Lower weights out to sides (A); return to starting position. Then bend elbows, lowering weights toward head (B). Extend arms back to starting position.

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Curl to Press

Works biceps and shoulders

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on a stability ball or chair with knees bent and feet on the ground. Extend arms at sides, palms facing forward. Curl weights toward shoulders (A), then rotate palms away from you as you press dumbbells straight overhead (B). Reverse the motion to return to starting position.

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5 Exercises for Your Post-Baby Belly

Trim and tone your new-mom midsection with these crunch-free moves. more
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