1. Rock and Roll
A. Sit on a mat or a carpet with knees bent and feet flexed under a piece of heavy furniture. Place your baby in your lap facing you, his head and back resting against your thighs, and hold him securely.
B. Rock back a few inches until you feel your abdominals tighten. Hold the pose for ten seconds before slowly returning to starting position. Repeat ten times.
2. Have a Seat
Targets legs and buttocks
A. Stand with your heels about 12 inches from a wall, holding your baby face out, with his back and head against your abdomen and chest.
B. Slowly bend your knees as if to sit, using the wall for support. Don't let knees extend past toes. Hold for ten seconds, then slowly stand up. Work up to ten reps.
3. Nursery-Rhyme Plank
Targets the entire body, especially the core abdominal muscles, triceps, upper back, and buttocks
Start on hands and knees, with your baby on his back below you. Lower your forearms to the floor so that your shoulders are directly above your elbows. Slide your knees back about 12 inches, keeping your back flat and your abs contracted. Hold the pose while you sing your baby's favorite nursery rhyme. Work up from 30 seconds to two minutes.
4. Swaying-Tree Stretch
Works hamstrings, hips, and back
A. With your baby on his back and on a mat in front of you, stand with your feet on either side of the mat. Place hands on hips, and slowly bend forward, keeping your back flat.
B. Bend further down, and tickle your baby's feet for a count of ten. Bend your knees and slowly roll up, one vertebra at a time. Do five reps.
5. Kitty Stretch
Targets abdominals and chest while opening up back and shoulders
A. Start on your hands and knees, head and back in a straight line, with your baby on his back below you. Arch your back upward and contract your abdomen in and up toward your ribs, lowering your chin to make eye contact with your baby. Hold for five seconds.
B. Lift your head to look up, and reverse the arch. Hold for five seconds; do ten repetitions.
6. Fly With Me
Targets back, abdominals, buttocks, shoulders, and hamstrings
Start on hands and knees, with your baby on his back below you. Lift your left arm until it's parallel to the floor. Next, extend your right leg behind you, parallel to the floor. Hold for five seconds, then return to start. Repeat with opposite arm and leg. Do five times on each side.
7. Baby Bend
Stretches hamstrings and lower back
Sit on a mat, legs together and extended in front of you. Lay your baby on his back along your legs, and support him with your hands. Slowly bend forward at the hips as far as you can. Hold for ten seconds, give him a kiss, then return to an upright sitting position. Repeat ten times.
Copyright © 2004. Reprinted with permission from the October 2004 issue of Parents magazine.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.