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Prenatal exercises for a smooth delivery and fast recovery

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Work hard, recover strong

The Dia Method, created by personal trainer and pregnancy fitness guru Leah Keller, uses small, controlled movements that will help you train for a smoother, stronger delivery and return to your firm pre-baby body.

Postnatal exercises

Perform this workout three to four days a week

Supplies:

Tip: Leah recommends a brisk 10-minute walk to warm up.

  • 2-5 lb. dumbbell
  • A wall
  • Countertop or stable furniture
  • Resistance band
  • Water
1

Lunge with triceps overhead

Two to four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions

Lunge with triceps overhead: 2-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Goal:

To lift the butt, tone the thighs, flatten the abs, firm the upper arms and elevate the heart rate.

Step 1:

Begin by taking one big step forward, then bend the back knee slightly, lifting the back heel off the ground as you tuck your pelvis into neutral. Aim to make your torso as flat as possible in both the front and the back. Feet should be hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead.

Step 2:

Bring the weights overhead and tuck your elbows toward the head so they point forward. Take a breath as you lower into your lunge and bend the elbows, lowering the weight behind your head. Then exhale and draw your abs toward the spine as you lunge up and straighten the arms.

2

Chest opener

Two to four sets of 15 to 20 pulses

Chest opener: 2-4 sets of 15-20 pulses

Goal:

To strengthen upper back and rear shoulders while opening the chest and restoring shoulders to neutral posture. This is a small but powerful movement that anchors the shoulders and restores healthy posture. A welcome relief for new moms who spend so much time rounding their shoulders as they cradle little ones!

Step 1:

Stretch the band across the chest so that the middle of the band rests tautly on the sternum. The arms are just shy of straight. Keep wrists straight and shoulders low, away from the ears throughout the entire set.

Step 2:

Take a breath to prepare, then exhale and draw your abs toward the spine as you pulse the arms further back and down at a diagonal angle, drawing the shoulder blades toward the spine to open the chest. Keep the ribs together! Think about widening the collar bones with each pulse, but the ribs should stay together and the spine remains straight (do not arch the back).

3

Push-up twist

Two to three sets of 8 to 12 reps

Push up twist: 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps

Goal:

To flatten and firm the abs, trim the waist, lift the chest and define the upper arms.

Step 1:

Stand facing a wall or a secure piece of furniture. Place hands shoulder-width apart on the wall or other stable surface, draw the body into plank position with shoulders down and away from the ears, and your entire spine in a straight line. The feet should be hip-width apart or wider.

Step 2:

Take a breath to prepare. Then exhale and draw the abs toward the spine throughout the entire push-up — all the way down and all the way up.

Step 3:

At the top, inhale as you lift one arm and twist to the side, pivoting your feet so your entire body faces sideways (perpendicular to the wall). Exhale as you pulse the abs to the spine three times in this side plank position. Then inhale as you return to starting position. Repeat, alternating sides.

More workout routines

The ballet body workout
6 Ab exercises to lose belly fat
Arm-toning exercises

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