5 New-Mom Exercises to Add to Your Postpartum Workout
Despite Chrissy Teigen's claims that she's relying heavily on the magic of Spanx and not 'back yet by any means' post-baby, she's been looking incredible just three months after giving birth to baby Luna whether in denim shorts or a bodycon dress. And if you follow Teigen on social media you know the lady behind the bod is her trainer, Australian native Simone De La Rue.
So, we tapped the former pro-dancer and Under Armour ambassador-who has a celeb following that includes Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, Naomi Watts, and Emily Blunt-for her tips on bouncing back post-baby, even if you can't make it to her NYC or LA based dance-cardio class, Body by Simone. (Although we can attest, it's seriously fun and addicting!)
What makes her dance-cardio method so effective for dropping weight gained during pregnancy? Well, not only is it what she calls a "joyous way of working out," it also sheds major calories. "It's high intensity for 50 minutes, and you can burn anywhere from 800 to 1,000 calories per class," she says. "It's a full-body workout that requires you to use your brain to learn choreography and work on your coordination."
Still, De La Rue explains she doesn't begin training clients until they've waited about six to eight weeks after giving birth (depending on the type of birth) and have a doctor's letter of clearance to be able to come back to working out. Despite the undeniable pressure celebs face to get back to 'pre-baby bodies' immediately, De La Rue recommends one hour sessions three times per week to ease new moms back in gently.
While her clients may seem to have enviable abs so soon after giving birth, De La Rue explains that crunches and sit-ups are initially a no-no, since they put a lot of strain on the core, and can make abdominal separation worse. "It is extremely important to allow time for the ab wall and connective tissue to heal, and for the feeling to come back into the abdominals, so that you feel connected to your body," she says. Instead of traditional sit-ups, De La Rue recommends 'gentle' stability and standing moves that require core strength without the strain.
As for how much time it takes to 'bounce back', it's important to set realistic goals, De La Rue says. "It's important to remember not to compare your experience to someone else. Every birth is different and every female body is different." (Although, De La Rue does note that those who have worked out throughout their pregnancy "definitely bounce back much faster" because the muscle memory and fitness level are already there.)
If you want the benefits of De La Rue's method without shelling out for a private sesh, snag some of her best 'Mummy Modification' moves below that she uses to help clients (safely) sculpt their bodies post-baby. (Next up, Simone De La Rue's Dancer Body Workout.)
1. Standing Side Crunch
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands laced lightly behind your head. Keeping your hips square, bend to the side, bringing your rib cage toward your hip bone, and squeeze. Stand up straight and repeat on the other side. (You can also lift your knee to the side as you crunch, alternating legs with each rep.)
2. Chair Squat
Stand with your feet hip-width apart in front of a chair, hands on your hips. Squat down, kicking your hips back and bending your knees until your butt lightly touches the seat of the chair. Reverse the move, extending your legs and standing back up to the start.
3. Plie Squat
Stand with your feet wide, toes turned out, hands placed on your hips. Bend your knees and squat down, tracking your knees over your toes and keeping your back straight. When your thighs come parallel to the floor, reverse the move and stand back up to the start, squeezing your glutes hard at the top.
4. Seated Crunch
Sit with one knee bent, foot flat on the ground, and the other leg extended straight in front of you. Place your hands on the floor behind you with your fingertips facing your glutes, and lift your chest. Bend the knee of your extended leg and bring it into your chest, simultaneously crunching forward gently. Extend your leg back along the ground and lean back slightly. Do all reps on one side then switch to the other side.
5. Seated Leg Press
Sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs extended in front of you. Bend one knee and loop a resistance band around that shoe, holding an end of the band in each hand. Extend your bent knee and press your foot away from you along the floor. When it's fully extended pause a moment before bending your knee to return to the start parallel to the floor.