Living with Harmony ~ A Blog for your Mind & Body


Exercises for New Moms & You

Posted in Core/Fitness,Dumbells/Grip Weights,How-To,Mini Exercise Ball,Toning Balls by Harmony on December 10, 2010

Although these following exercises are intended for new mom’s trouble spots, you may find these exercises perfect for you too.  Two of these exercises use small exercise balls.  We carry three different sizes:  6″ Exercise/Body Rolling Ball, 7″ Exercise Therapy Ball, and a 9″ Exercise Therapy Ball.  These small vinyl inflatable balls have many uses so feel free to incorporate into other exercises, such as holding the ball between your hands during crunches.  The simple act of squeezing the ball between your legs or your hands activates additional muscles and brings more awareness to those areas.

The Wood Chop exercise is to be performed with a dumbbell or hand weight.  Check out these options:  Neoprene Dumbbell Weight Set (2, 3, 5lbs), Grip Weights (3 or 5lbs), or the Soft Weighted Toning Balls (2lbs).

Exercises to Tackle Your Trouble Spots

Exercise: Ball Squats

Ball Squats
Best for Thighs

Exercise: Ball Squats

Do It: In a standing position, place a beach ball between your thighs (you can also use a basketball or a pillow). Holding ball firmly, bend knees into squat position, as if you’re going to sit in a chair (make sure your knees don’t extend past toes). Hold for two counts; return to start position. Repeat 20 times.

Why It Works: This targets the front of your thighs, plus your inner thighs, which have to work to hold the ball in place.

Exercise: Wood Chop with Dumbbell

Wood Chop with Dumbell
Best for Allover Toning

Exercise: Wood Chop with Dumbbell

Do It: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weight in front of you. Bend knees as if you’re sitting in a chair, so thighs are almost parallel with floor. As you bend, rotate shoulders to the left, bringing weight toward left knee. Straighten legs, twisting torso right as you raise weight diagonally over your right shoulder. Repeat 10 times; switch sides.

Why It Works: The squat incorporates your glutes and thighs, while the twisting motion targets your obliques, Pasternak explains.

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Exercise: Walking Lunge with Trunk Twist

Walking Lunge with Trunk Twist
Best for Lower Body

Exercise: Walking Lunge with Trunk Twist

Do It: Start with feet together, holding a ball in front of you with both hands. Step forward three to four feet with right leg, as shown, lunging forward until thigh is parallel to floor, knee over ankle. As you lunge, twist torso right, keeping head and pelvis facing forward. Bring torso back to front. Pushing off with right heel, bring left foot forward into a lunge and twist torso to left. Do 20 lunges — 10 each side.

Why It Works: Lunges target glutes, quads, and hamstrings. The torso twist works your abs, particularly the obliques.

Originally published in the July 2009 issue of Parents magazine.

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