Targeted moves to help you get your body back
Shoulder and arm toner: Holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand, stand with feet farther than hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Inhale, then exhale as you raise your arms to shoulder height, palms down. Lower arms, turn palms upward, then bend your elbows and curl weights, squeezing your biceps. Straighten arms and repeat full sequence 10-15 times, working up to 3 sets.
Chest toner: Sit at a45-degree angle on a chair with a high back, supporting your lower back with a firm cushion. Holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand, lean back, arms bent at shoulder height, palms facing forward and abdominals contracted. Inhale, then exhale as you reach both arms forward, squeezing your chest, until the weights touch at chest height. Slowly, return your arms to start position. Repeat 10–15 times, working up to 3 sets.
Tummy toner: Lie on your back, knees bent 90 degrees with legs parallel to the floor, arms flat and palms down. Inhale through your nose, then exhale through your mouth as you push your arms into the floor and curl your hips up, contracting your abs (shown). Slowly roll your spine down, returning hips to starting position. Repeat 10-15 times, working up to 3 sets.
Lower body toner: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand, shoulders back and down, abs contracted. Step your right foot forward into a lunge, bending both knees to 90 degrees (shown). Push off with your right foot and lift your right leg back to starting position, squeezing your buttocks. Step forward with left leg, repeating sequence. Do 10–15 times on each side, building up to 3 sets.
Pelvic floor toner: Lie on your back, knees bent, arms and feet flat on the floor. Hold a small, soft ball between your knees. Lift your hips as you squeeze the ball with your knees and do a Kegel (shown). Slowly lower your hips and relax your muscles. Do 10–15 times, working up to 3 sets.
Read our Welcome to Postpartumville article where surveyors—doctors, trainers and physical therapists—who can help guide you, body part by body part, through this strange new land.