Check out the four quick, easy and effective moves that will make you stronger, more flexible and ready to lift those groceries with your pinkie finger.
1. Plank Hold To Push Up Position
Begin in a low plank position. Elbows should be in line with your shoulders and weight should be pushed into your heels as you raise your body up off of the mat with a straight back. Be sure to pull your abdominal muscles in (think belly button towards the spine) and tuck your tailbone under making a slight c-curve with your tummy. This weill engage your deep abdominal muscles known as the transverse abdominis, which helps support your back. If you feel any pressure in your low back simply raise your hips up a bit, but not too high. Hold for 5 seconds. Walk up to a push-up position one hand at a time without dropping your knees to the mat and hold for another 5 seconds. Repeat this move, walking up and down from plank to push up position and back to plank for 1 minute.
2. Wall Sits
Stand against a wall. Slide your body down the wall as your knees bend and your feet walk out a bit. You should look as though you are sitting in an imaginary chair. Your heels should be in line with your knees and your knees should be in line with your hips, making a perfect 90 degree angle. You shoul feel your quadriceps muscles heat up. Engage your abs by pulling your belly button to your spine, once again working the transverse abdominis. Hold this position for a count of 10 seconds and then rest for 5 seconds. Repeat this for 1 minute.
3. Downward Dog Push Ups
Begin in downward dog. Pull the abs in, once again thinking belly button to the spine.
Slowly bend the elbows as you lower the head, then chest, then stomach, then hips, then thighs down towards the ground scooping the up into cobra position.
This is a slow controlled movement, do not let the body collapse down to the mat. From cobra, inhale deeply, then exhale as you lift up through the belly button back into a downward dog.
Repeat this move 5 times. Modification: If you are not feeling strong enough quite yet, this move can be done on your hands and knees until you are ready to move up to the full downward dog position. Or mix it up a bit and do some on your knees and some in full position.
4. Sit and Stand Squats:
Find a low stool, chair or bench and sit down. Widen the feet a bit and place your hands behind your head.
Engage the abdominal muscles by pulling the belly button in towards the spine. Push through the heels and stand up. Slowly lower back down to a seated position and repeat the move 10 times.
Cycle through all four of these moves three times for a great 15 minute strength workout. All of these moves can be done with your baby or while the baby is napping. Cool down, stretch out and drink lots of water.