It's true: Boot camp workouts have recently become quite the rage, but Stacy Berman has long known that this type of workout is one of the most effective ways to shape up. Her signature boot camp plan is a 6-week progressive workout, where 10 to 15 exercises get modified each week to challenge bootcampers to surpass plateaus and reach their fitness potential. Berman conducts her classes in Central Park, where participants use their body weight and the great outdoors as their gym. Every class is a combination of kickboxing, martial arts, yoga and sports drills. Berman, who is a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist, also teaches bootcampers the building blocks of healthy eating to help them meet their goals and beyond.
Whether your baby is a month old or already a toddler, it's time to stop wondering if you'll get back into shape and just start doing it. Even if your progress seems slow, don't ever think of giving up. "The body changes during pregnancy, and what worked for you pre-baby may not work after," Berman states. "One thing to keep in mind is that it will take dedication and focus to get back to your pre-baby shape, but it can happen!"
Don't worry if you can't jump into Berman's classes at Central Park -- or any organized fitness class, for that matter. The fitness professional says that new moms can whip themselves into shape at home with workouts that focus on full-body moves that target post-pregnancy problem areas, such as the lower body and abdominals.
"Below you will find a routine that burns lots of fat and calories while tightening, toning and reshaping your body," says Berman. "The bonus with these exercises is that they can be done at home, no gym required, which cuts down on time, leaving the new mom more baby time or time to catch up on much-needed Z's."
Warm up for five minutes before starting this workout. For each exercise, do as many repetitions as you can for 1 minute. Take a short break, then repeat.
Targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals.
Start position: Move into a deep squat position; knees should be at a 90-degree bend. Don't let your knees pass over your toes at any time. Keep your weight on your heels.
Movement: Without standing up, step back into a reserve lunge position and hold for 2 seconds. Make sure to push through the heel of your front foot. Without standing, return to the squat position. Repeat on your other leg.
Note: The idea is that you do not stand up until you have completed the 1-minute set.
Targets the core muscles and adds cardio element.
Start position: Start in standing position.
Movement: Bending your knees, place your hands on the floor in front of your feet. Jump your feet back so you are in a full plank/push-up position, keeping your shoulders directly above your hands with your hips in line with your shoulders. Focus on keeping your abdominals tight. Jump your feet forward and stand. Repeat.
Note: If this move is to advanced for you right now, place your hands on the floor in front of your feet and step one foot back at a time to come into a plank/push-up position. Hold your abdominals tight for a few moments, then step one foot at a time back to start position and stand tall. Repeat.
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