The Best Post-Pregnancy Workout Moves to Feel Like Your Strongest Self

young mom doing post-pregnancy workout with baby at home

Rock that body along with the baby. This post-pregnancy workout is designed to target the muscles that you need to keep up with your little one and regain your strength, including your core, arms, and thighs.

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Your Post-Pregnancy Workout

young mom doing post-pregnancy workout with baby at home

Congrats! You've had the what? After being pregnant for nine months, many mothers are anxious to get back to their normal workout routine and tackle post-pregnancy workouts with gusto. But how soon is too soon? "The general rule of thumb is to head back to the gym six weeks after birth," says Jade Alexis, personal trainer in New York City. Before you do any post-pregnancy workouts, consult with your doctor to make sure everything is safe and determine a proper exercise plan for you. (Here's your guide to getting back to exercise after childbirth.)

Ready to get started? Check out this post-pregnancy workout designed by female trainers to get you back into strength training.

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Beginner: Kegels


Targets: pelvic muscles

  • Sit on a bench with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Contract your pelvic muscles, as if you're trying to stop from urinating, and stand.
  • Hold Kegel and return to bench, then release.

Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Make it harder: With back to bench, stand a foot in front of bench seat and bend elbows to clasp hands in front of chest. Lift leg straight in front of you a few inches off ground and bend right knee to sit down briefly on bench as you Kegel. Keeping left leg raised throughout, stand up immediately, releasing Kegel and pressing through right heel to straighten right leg. Do 12 reps. Switch legs, repeat. (BTW, have you heard about kegel balls?)

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Beginner: Floor Bridges

glute bridge best exercise for women
Peter Ardito

Targets: hamstrings and butt

  • Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides.
  • Engage core and squeeze butt to lift off the floor, pressing heels into the ground.
  • Kegel at the top of the bridge, hold for three seconds, and slowly return to floor. Release Kegel at bottom of bridge.

Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

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Beginner: Crunch Beat

Peter Ardito

Targets: abs and legs

  • Lie face-up on a yoga mat with knees bent 90 degrees, legs lifted, calves parallel to floor.
  • Place hands behind head, elbows out, and crunch up, lifting shoulders off mat.
  • Extend legs diagonally up, cross ankles, and extend arms overhead. Holding this position, switch feet over and under each other 8 times. Return to start.

Do 8 reps.

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Intermediate: Forearm Plank

Peter Ardito

Targets: abs, obliques, thighs, and butt

  • Get into plank position (abs engaged, back straight, forearms on floor, legs extended).
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds, keeping hips up and abs tight.
  • Lower knees to floor, resting for 30 seconds before resuming.

Do 4 to 5 planks.

Make it harder: After you've held a plank for 30-60 seconds, move into side plank, shifting body weight to left hand and rotating body to extend right arm directly up, palm forward. Stack right foot on top of left. Hold for 30-60 seconds, switch sides.

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Intermediate: Hamstring Curl


Targets: hamstrings and butt

  • Lie face-up on the ground with arms slightly out to sides, knees bent and calves resting on center of stability ball, feet flexed.
  • Lift hips up, squeeze abs tight and bend knees to curl ball in toward you.
  • Slowly push legs back out, keeping hips up at all times.

Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

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Intermediate: Modified Squat Thrust

Peter Ardito

Targets: abs, legs, and butt

  • Lower into squat position, hands touching floor just in front of feet.
  • Quickly step legs back so that you are in push-up position. Without pausing, step feet forward just in front of your hands and return to standing position.

Do 1-3 sets of 5-10 reps

Make it harder: Instead of stepping feet back, quickly jump feet back and forth.

Exercise provided by Jade Alexis, FITNESS advisory board member and personal trainer at Reebok Sports Club.

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Advanced: Wide-Stance Deadlifts


Targets: lower back, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand with palms facing body.
  • Slowly bend forward, pushing your butt back while lowering dumbbells to shin level.
  • Tighten glutes and return to start. (

Do 1-3 sets of 8-10 reps.

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Advanced: Push-Ups

Peter Ardito

Targets: shoulders, chest, arms, and abs

  • Start with hands and toes on floor, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend at the elbows and lower chest about an inch from the ground.
  • Straighten arms and push away from the floor, returning to start position. (If this post-pregnancy workout move is too tough at first, consider these 4 push-up variations for beginners.)

Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

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Advanced: Walking Lunges

Day 18: Jumping Lunges

Targets: legs and butt

  • Stand with feet together.
  • Take a large step forward, bending so both knees are at 90 degrees.
  • Push through the heel of the front leg and return to standing.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

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