Kelsey Wells’ 10-minute post-natal strength routine

It’s time to start moving after pregnancy and once your ob-gyn gives the all-clear.

This exercise was created by Kelsey Wells, a personal trainer who has earned certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the creator of the brand-new Sweat app program Pregnancy With Kelsey. It’s a terrific method to strengthen your body after giving birth. Additionally, Wells holds qualifications from the National Personal Training Association in both prenatal and postnatal fitness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that exercise after giving birth not only benefits your heart and lungs but also has the potential to improve your mood.

Even though you may often walk with your infant in the stroller, a strength regimen may seem challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. According to research, there can be substantial obstacles to postpartum fitness including ongoing exhaustion, time restraints, and a lack of appropriate activities.

That’s where quick, portable exercises like this one fit in. There is not much equipment needed (just two dumbbells and a mat if you wish). It only lasts for 10 minutes, so you can fit it in during naptime, tummy time, or whenever your schedule permits.
Keep in mind to proceed at your own pace and take pauses as necessary, even if it means taking more breaks than are advised. And if your child wakes up from a nap in the middle of your workout, stop immediately and resume when you can.

If your doctor has given you the all-clear to exercise, Wells advises trying to do the program two to three times per week.
Super Mobility Set
Do the whole superset twice, giving each exercise 30 seconds to finish.

1. The four-point thoracic rotation
Begin by getting down on all fours, your hands and knees both below your shoulders. Keep your spine neutral and contract your abdominals. Draw your shoulder blades back and down by placing your right hand on the back of your head. In order to bring your right elbow toward your left elbow, keep your lower body motionless and twist your torso. Your starting point is here. As you breathe in, slowly turn your torso to open your chest and extend your elbow as far as you can upward. Keep your lower body motionless and your spine neutral. Hold for a count of three to five while taking deep breaths.

To get back to the starting posture, turn your torso toward your left elbow while exhaling. Hold for three to five counts, taking deep breaths all the while. For 30 seconds, repeat.

2. Glute Bridge 
Put your feet on the floor with your knees bent, hip-width apart, and your spine in a neutral position while lying flat on your back. By your sides, with your arms at your sides. Your starting point is here.

Inhale. To activate your core while exhaling, bring your ribs to your hips. When your body forms a straight line from chin to knee and your weight is supported by your shoulders and feet, press your heels into the ground and engage your glutes to lift your pelvis off the ground. As you breathe in, lower your pelvis to the starting position. For 30 seconds, repeat.

Superset for Strength
Complete two laps by performing 10 reps of each exercise, then repeat the set. After each set, pause for 30 seconds.

1. The deadlift in Romania
With both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your legs with the palms facing your body. Push your chest out a little bit by pulling your shoulder blades back and down. Draw your pubic bone toward your belly button gently (to engage your pelvic floor). Your starting point is here. As you inhale, slant your knees a little. Allow the dumbbells to run along the length of your thighs and halfway down your shins as you tilt forward from your hips without changing the angle of your knees. Keep your chest out in front. The extension of your spine should be your head. Exhale.

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To extend your knees and hips and get back to the starting posture, press through your heels and tighten your glutes and hamstrings. Throughout the exercise, the dumbbells should remain in touch with your legs. Ten times in total.

2. Bend-Leg Toe Tap 
Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and your hips and feet positioned together on the ground. Your legs should be in a tabletop position with your toes pointed, knees stacked over your hips, and shins parallel to the ground. Press your spine firmly into the ground. This is where everything begins. Inhale.

Maintaining the angle of your knees and keeping your left shin parallel to the floor while exhaling, bring your ribs toward your hips and descend your right leg until your right toes barely touch the floor. Lower your leg only as far as you can while keeping your spine on the floor if your spine begins to lift off the floor. Return your right leg to the beginning while taking a breath, then switch sides. 10 times on each side, repeat.

Perform ten repetitions of each exercise, then repeat the set to finish two laps. After each set, pause for 30 seconds.

1. Shoulder Press 
With your feet hip-width apart on the ground, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Extend both arms upward while holding the dumbbells with your palms facing away from your body. This is where everything begins. As you breathe in, flex your elbows to lower the weights to chin height. As you exhale, stretch your arm and shoulder back to the starting position. (Avoid “shrugging” your shoulders.) Ten times in total.

Dumbbells are not necessary for this exercise; bodyweight alone can be used.

2. Bench Chest Press
Lay flat on your back while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your feet should be flat on the ground and hip-width apart while you flex your knees. With your palms facing away from you and your hands slightly broader than your shoulders, hold the dumbbells directly in front of your chest while extending your elbows. Your starting point is here.

With each inhalation, lower the dumbbells toward you until your elbows just touch the floor. To get back to the starting position, exhale, extend your elbows, and push the dumbbells away from your chest. Ten times in total.

3. Bent-Over Row 
With your feet firmly planted on the floor shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing inward. Keep your knees slightly bent and hinge forward from your hips to bring your body parallel to the ground. Arms extended exactly below the chest. This is where you start.

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Inhale. Exhaling, maintain your elbows tight to your sides, and draw the dumbbells in toward your body. Examine the area between your shoulder blades for a slight pinch. To lower the weights and return to the beginning position, exhale and extend your elbows. Ten times in total.

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