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10 Fun Exercises to Do with Your Baby
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By Kristyn Kusek Lewis
Lying on your left side, prop your upper body up on your left forearm, making sure your elbow stays under your shoulder. Left leg should be on the floor, with your right leg stacked on top of it and right arm resting straight out over hip. Then, placing your weight on your left arm and shoulder, lift your hips off the ground so that you come into a side plank position. If you can, hold the position while you extend your right arm over your head, palm facing down. Aim for two sets of 10 repetitions on each side.
- Denis Horan
Lower-Body Toner: Tush Tightener
Lying on your stomach with your baby in front of you, bend your legs so that they form a 90-degree angle and rest your chin on your hands in front of you. Then, keeping your feet flexed, slowly lift your knees off the floor, squeezing your legs together as you push your feet up toward the ceiling. Hold this position for 20 seconds (you can sing to your little one to help the time pass) and return to start. Repeat three to five times.
Lower-Body Toner: Front-Carrier Squats
Stand with your baby in a front carrier (if he¿s heavy, sit him on the ground), feet just past your shoulders, toes turned out slightly. Inhale and lower your body down to sit in an imaginary chair, weight over heels, navel pulled in, tailbone pointed to floor. Exhale and return to start. Aim for three sets of 12.
Lower-Body Toner: High-Chair Lunges
Put your baby in a high chair or stroller and face him, with your left foot back about three feet and your hands on your waist. Then bend both legs until your right thigh is parallel to the ceiling, making sure your right knee stays in line with your ankle. Blow a kiss (or give a treat like a piece of O-shaped cereal) to your baby, then slowly return to standing, pushing through your right heel. Aim for three sets of 12 on each side.
Lower-Body Toner: Tick-Tocks
Hips expand during pregnancy, which is why you may have lost the baby weight but still can't button your jeans. This side leg-lift can help. Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on your waist. Putting your weight on your left foot, lift your right leg out to the side, keeping it straight and parallel to the left leg. Slowly return to start. Try two sets of 10 on each side.
Upper-Body Shaper: Power Push-Ups
Place your palms chest-high on a wall in front of you. Step back about two feet away from the wall. Slowly lean into the wall, bending your elbows and inhaling for a count of five. Slowly return to start, exhaling for a count of five. Aim for three sets of 10.
Upper-Body Shaper: Triceps Tightener
Sitting on the floor with your knees bent, place your hands just behind your hips, fingers facing forward, arms straight, and your behind lifted a few inches off the ground. As you inhale, keep your shoulders back and bend your elbows, lowering your upper body down to the floor (your bottom should just graze the floor) in a ¿reverse push-up.¿ Exhale as you slowly return to start. Aim to do two sets of 10.
Core Move: Tummy Time
Lying on your stomach with your baby in front of you, rest arms on either side of you in an airplane position and keep legs just wider than hip-width apart on the floor with toes pointed out. Then simultaneously lift your arms, legs, and chest up off the ground, keeping arms and legs as straight as possible without locking elbows or knees. Hold for 10 seconds (sing to your baby if you want). Slowly return to start. Aim for 10 repetitions.
- Denis Horan
Core Move: Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes
Lie flat on your back with arms at either side, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Then, with your knees together, lift your legs off the floor, making a 90- degree angle¿knees should be over hips, calves parallel to floor. Hold for five deep breaths (about 20 seconds), keeping your navel pulled toward your spine; return to start. Extra challenge: Place your baby on your belly and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, too. Repeat three times.
Core Move: Alphabet Abs
Lying flat on your back with your child next to you, place your arms at your sides and extend your legs straight up toward the ceiling, feet together. Then draw each letter of the alphabet with your toes while saying the letter to your baby. Keep the moves slow and be sure to keep your navel pulled in toward the floor. Aim to do one set of the entire alphabet.