Get Back in Shape With Sarah Haley's Postnatal Workout

The Perfect Postpartum Exercise Plan

Postnatal Fitness
Sara Haley

As every mom can attest, it takes a lot of hard work to grow a baby for nine months, and all that growth can do a number on a woman's body. But that doesn't mean you can't reclaim your body confidence after your bundle of joy is born. In fact, prenatal, pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert, Sara Haley, recently released a new postnatal workout DVD, Expecting More: The 4th Trimester Workout.

Unlike many postnatal workouts on the market, Haley's 4th Trimester Workout includes exercises that are safe and effective for moms recovering from a C-section or suffering from Diastasis Recti - a separation of the abdominal muscles that can occur during pregnancy.

Whether your last baby was born six years ago or six weeks ago, check out the workout trailer and follow along with a few of Haley's favorite core-targeting exercises provided here.

Slide Out

Works the core, especially obliques

Sit cross-legged on the floor and place one hand on your belly. Pull your navel toward your back. By keeping your hand on your belly, you should be able to feel your abs contracting. With a towel in your opposite hand, slide the towel along the floor, out and away from your body. Create an "up and over" movement to the side (almost like creating a rainbow with your obliques), so your side body doesn't collapse. Return to the starting position with the same control you used when sliding out. 

Begin with 8 reps on each side and gradually increase to 12 reps.

Get Up

Get Up
Sara Haley

Works the core, legs & butt

Warning: This exercise is harder than it looks.

Begin seated with one foot in front of the other. Hold a towel with both hands, puling itl taut so your back muscles are fully engaged. Reach your arms forward, rocking your weight onto your back leg and pushing up onto your front foot to come to kneeling. Slowly reverse your flow of movement until you return to the seated position. 

Modification Note: When you first do this exercise you may want to ditch the towel and begin with your hands on the floor behind you. Instead of reaching your arms forward, use them to help push you off the floor. Then you can reach them forward and up. 

Begin with 4 reps on each side and gradually increase to 8 reps.

Resistance Fight

Resistance Fight
Sara Haley

Works the core

Lie on your back and lift one leg up to tabletop so that your knee is in line with your hip. Take your opposite hand and push against your thigh. As you try to push your leg away with your hand, resist by pushing your leg into your hand in opposition. While all this is happening you should focus on pulling your navel toward your spine and "closing" your rib cage. You may feel your body start to shake. 

Begin by holding for 15 seconds on each side, gradually increasing to 45 seconds.

Teeter Totter

Teeter Totter
Sara Haley

Works the low back

Lie face down on your mat. Begin with your chest pressing against the floor, legs extended and slightly turned out. Hold a towel underneath your forehead and "pull" your navel to your spine. Point your toes and lift your legs slightly off the floor. Keep your upper body completely still. Lower your legs, then switch positions so your legs remain fixed to the floor as you lift your chest up off the mat. Hold each side of the "teeter totter" a count of two before lowering down. 

Begin by alternating 6 times and gradually increase to 10 times. 

Hover Abs

Sara Haley

Works the core and shoulders

Begin with your shoulders over your hands and your hips over your knees. Pull your navel to your spine and make sure your tailbone is not lifted; your back should be completely flat. Lift your knees off the floor, just enough to slide a piece of paper between your knees and the floor. 

Begin by holding your knees up for 20 seconds and gradually increase to 60 seconds.



Named one of Shape Magazine's 50 Hottest Female Trainers 2014 Sara is a certified international fitness expert (ACE, AFAA, & AFPA Pre & Postnatal Exercise Specialist) who has traveled the globe teaching master classes and educating other fitness instructors and trainers. Sara has her own brand of fitness DVDs, The Daily Sweat®, which include the award-winning prenatal workout program, Expecting MORE, the acclaimed Sweat UNLIMITED as well as the recently launched Expecting MORE: The 4th Trimester Workout