Our quick, effective workout is perfect for new moms who are short on time and prefer to work out at home. Do the movements in one session or break them up into mini sessions that you can do while the baby sleeps.
The secret: Do as many repetitions as you can very slowly. This builds muscle, which revs up your metabolism.
The movements: 10 seconds on the "up" move; 10 seconds on the "down".
The gear: 1- to 3-pound hand weights; exercise ball; low bench; mat or rug.
Calf Raise (Targets the lower body)
- Holding weight by right side, step onto stair or platform on ball of foot, heel lower than front of foot. Wrap left foot around right leg; steady yourself with left hand.
- Slowly rise up; lift heel as high as you can as if on tiptoe, then lower to a full flex.
- Repeat until you can't do another rep, then switch legs.
Wall Squat With Ball (Targets the lower body)
- Lie on your side with your head resting on your lower arm (use a pillow if you like). Keep your legs straight and your feet flexed.
- Slowly lift your top leg as high as you can, squeeze your buttocks for two seconds, then slowly lower down.
- Don't rest your leg but move quickly into the next rep.
- Repeat until you can't do any more, then switch sides.