Back in shape

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents -

Dance-in­spired moves help you get your body back IF YOU’RE LOOK­ING for a rel­a­tively light post-baby ex­er­cise to help get your fit­ness lev­els up and the baby weight off, try chan­nel­ing your in­ner bal­le­rina. With th­ese six tar­geted moves you’ll soon be back in pre-baby shape.

THE PRO­GRAMME

✓ Do this work­out ev­ery other day, al­ter­nat­ing with a day of car­dio ex­er­cise, a yoga or Pi­lates class or an at-home ex­er­cise DVD rou­tine. ✓ Warm up for 15 min­utes by walk­ing briskly, march­ing in place while do­ing op­po­site knee-to-el­bow knee lifts, or danc­ing around the room with your baby in your arms or a front car­rier. ✓ Cool down af­ter­wards for five min­utes by stretch­ing your lower back and legs – bend over to­wards the floor while stand­ing – hold­ing each stretch for at least 30 sec­onds while hold­ing still.

1 CURTSY LUNGE WITH BICEPS CURL

Stand with the mid­dle of the band un­der your right foot and point your left foot to the side. Hold one end of the band in each hand, arms at your sides, palms fac­ing your thighs [1A]. Step your left foot be­hind your right and bend your knees into a curtsy as you bend your el­bows and curl your arms to­ward your chest [1B]. Slowly straighten your arms and legs and re­turn to the start­ing po­si­tion. Do five to 10 reps and switch sides.

2 SIDE STRETCH WITH OVER­HEAD RAISE

Stand with your feet far­ther than hip-width apart, feet and knees turned out com­fort­ably from the hips, abs tight. Place a work­out band across your lower back, hold­ing an end in each hand and wrapped around your palm, el­bows bent and hands on hips. Bend your knees into a plié as you lean your torso to the left and raise your right arm over­head (as shown). Straighten your legs and lower your right hand to the start­ing po­si­tion. Do five to 10 reps, then switch sides.

3 CIR­CLES BACK

Face the chair back and hold it with both hands at arm’s length, feet turned out and abs pulled in. Point and slide your left toe for­ward, then cir­cle it to the left and back as you bend your right knee and lean your torso slightly for­ward (as shown). Straighten your right leg as you sweep your left toe in a cir­cle back to the start­ing po­si­tion. Do five to 10 cir­cles, then switch legs.

4 BAL­LET SIT-UPS

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet to­gether. Wrap the band around your feet, hold­ing the ends be­tween your knees. Lie back with your knees open, with the sides of your feet touch­ing the floor, arms straight and fin­gers reach­ing to­ward your knees. Bend your el­bows as you curl your head and shoul­ders off the floor into a crunch, bring­ing your fists to­ward your chest in a biceps curl (as shown). Slowly straighten your arms as you curl your torso down to the floor. Do five to 10 reps.

COOL DOWN AF­TER­WARDS FOR FIVE MIN­UTES BY STRETCH­ING YOUR LOWER BACK AND LEGS

5 PLIÉ WITH AT­TI­TUDE

Stand hold­ing the back of a chair with your right hand, legs far­ther than hip-dis­tance apart, feet turned out and abs pulled in. Bend your knees while low­er­ing your hips into a plié. Squeeze your glutes (but­tocks) to help steady your pelvis [5A]. Straighten your legs and lift your left leg to hip height and turned out in an “at­ti­tude” po­si­tion [5B]. Re­turn to plié po­si­tion. Do five to 10 reps, then switch sides and re­peat.

6 MOV­ING ARABESQUE

Face the chair back and hold it with both hands at arm’s length, feet hip-width apart and turned out, abs pulled in. Shift your weight to your right foot and point your left toe back, keep­ing your legs straight [6A]. Keep­ing your hips still, lift your left leg off the floor into an arabesque. Squeeze your glutes and keep your shoul­ders back and down [6B]. Slowly lower your left toe to the floor, end­ing in the start­ing po­si­tion. Do five to 10 lifts, then switch legs. YB

1B

1A

5B

5A

6A

6B

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