Most new moms tell me, “I really want to get my abs back in shape since I gave birth, but I have no time with taking care of the baby!”
This also was a concern of mine after my C-section. But during the times my baby would get fussy, he didn’t quiet with little giggles or swaying, he craved big moves like lunges, squats and playtime on the floor to get him calm.
So we started working out together. A few months later, I created my “Baby Bootie Camp” DVD for moms like me. Here are two of the abdominal moves my baby taught me (always check with your doctor and the pediatrician first):
Patty cake crunches. Lay on the floor face up, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place the baby sitting on your hips, facing you. Crunch up using your abs to lift your shoulders and head off the floor, and touch your right hand to the baby’s left hand.
Then lay back down and repeat on the other side. Play your game of Patty Cake with the baby for as many reps as you can.
Plank tummy time. My pediatrition always tells us to do tummy time with the baby — to get him used to laying on his stomach when not sleeping, so he’ll eventually build his crawling muscles. Check with your doctor to find out when you can do this. If approved, place the baby face down with his hands in front of his chin — he should hold his head up in a “cobra” pose (if you’re familiar with yoga terms).
While he practices his tummy time, you can hover next to, over him, or in front of him and do steady planks where you balance on your toes and hands, like at the top of a push-up. Your hips, shoulders and ankles should be in line.
You can also go up and down on your forearms to “walk the dog” and show your baby how you can support yourself.
If the baby would rather be facing up, do a plank over top of him and rotate into a side plank with one hand overhead and feet staggered, then back to center, and plank on the other side. The baby bootie camp style is to include some tickles or other type of attention on the baby so he or she feels like you’re playing with him. You can even add a push-up between your side planks and plant a kiss on his or her cheek between sides.