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Health & Baby

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8 Get-Your-Body-Back Moves for New Moms

3. Head Lifts, Shoulder Lifts, and Curl-Ups

Why They’re Good For You: These three movements help strengthen back muscles. They also tone the tummy and abs and burn calories.

How They’re Done:

  • Head lifts: Lie on your back with your arms along your sides. Keeping your lower back flush to the floor, bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Relax your belly as you inhale. As you exhale, slowly lift your head and neck off the floor. Inhale as you lower your head back down.
  • Shoulder lifts: When you can do 10 head lifts with ease, try this move. Get in the same position you did for head lifts. Inhale and relax your belly. As you exhale, raise your head and your shoulders off the floor, reaching your arms and hands toward your knees.
    If this strains your neck, fold both hands behind your head, but don’t pull on your neck. Inhale as you lower your head and shoulders back down.
  • Curl-ups: When you can do 10 shoulder lifts, move on to this. Start in the same position on the floor. Lift your torso until it's about halfway between your knees and the floor behind you. Reach toward your knees and hold for 2 to 5 seconds. Then, slowly lower yourself down.

Don't forget to breathe. Exhale when you exert. Inhale when you relax.

4. Kneeling Pelvic Tilt

Why It’s Good for You: This aaahh-inspiring exercise helps tone your tummy. Strengthening your abs can also relieve back pain.

How It’s Done: Start on all fours, toes touching the floor behind you, arms straight down from your shoulder line, palms touching the floor. Your back should be relaxed and straight, not curved or arched. As you inhale, pull your buttocks forward, tilting your pelvis and rotating your pubic bone upward. Hold for a count of three, and release.

5. Kegels

Why They’re Good for You: This classic exercise will help you tone bladder muscles and help reduce risks of incontinence associated with childbirth. The more kegels you do, and the longer you hold them, the better control you will have over those leaks caused by sneezing, laughing, or picking up your baby.

How They’re Done: Your goal is to contract and hold the muscles that control the flow of urine. To get which muscles they are, start by doing the exercise while you use the bathroom. As you urinate, manipulate your muscles until the stream temporarily stops. Then release and let the urine flow. Remember what that feels like, and when you're not urinating, contract, hold, and release those same muscles. Try to do this 10 times per session, three times a day.

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