Post-Natal New Year Body!

By: Amanda Hargreaves Working Out

Believe it or not, the best way to shed that pregnancy weight is by ditching abdominal exercises…

So many women have approached me for help in shedding post baby weight after they have tried doing lots of abdominal exercises thinking that these would get them right back to their pre-pregnancy body. Newsflash – it won’t. There is no such thing as a quick fix!

The reason for this is that abdominal exercises alone simply do not burn enough calories. These exercises can even make the separation of the abdominal muscles worse.

The abdominals work functionally with the body moving in an athletic way so “spot reduction” does not work. The problem rests with a lack of tone in the abdominals together with excess body fat – so the best way to get fit is to perform activities that burn the most calories.

See my top tips here for getting back to pre-pregnancy body and beyond – you can actually look your best ever after baby!

  • The best way to trim thighs – Perform 300 Squats 3 x a week – This will definitely trim the thighs and is best done first thing in the morning. (Do the squats anyway you choose, i.e. 25 at a time, 50 at a time until you have done 300).
  • Perform boxing for 10-15 minutes 3 x a week – Punching when done correctly involves all the muscles of the body but in particular the shoulders and the back of the arms (banish the flab!). Try working with pads, a punch bag or shadow boxing.
  •  Turn fat burning up a gear by performing 2 minutes of high intensity cardio between your strength training exercises. Intermittent high intensity exercise is the most efficient way of increasing the metabolism and burning calories.
  • Up your daily walking using a pedometer – as most of you have heard, walking 5 miles a day is a great way to get weight off and keep it off. Anyone who burns calories consistently on a daily basis loses weight and most importantly keeps it off long term.
  • Short burst or “wind” sprints activate your metabolism and greatly improve fitness levels. Perform 15 minutes of wind sprints 3 x a week by doing as many 50 yard sprints. This is an excellent way to increase your metabolism for fat loss as well as getting great tone in the legs and glutes (bottom).
  • Use a full body basic strength program. You can’t argue with basic physiology, which is that the more strength a muscle has, it has more tone. Therefore it makes sense to strengthen the muscle to increase the tone.
  • Plan your exercise time a full week in advance by putting it into your appointments calendar – or setting an alarm on your phone! Planning ahead by making time for exercise and planning to eat only nutritious food will achieve the very best results – when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
  • Perform a competitive sport to burn those extra calories by choosing a sport of your choice such as tennis, cycling or racquet-ball. These help you to try a bit harder and for longer, and will certainly help you to burst through your fat burning plateau!
  •  Performing “the vacuum” for 5 minutes a day achieves the ultimate flat stomach – The muscle that flattens the abdomen is called the Transversus Abdominus and to exercise this muscle you simply pull in the abs as hard as you can. Make sure you never hold your breath, and do not perform this right after a meal.
  • Make snacking work for you, not against you. When you’re caring for a baby, exercising and working- you need nutritious calories. Instead of reaching for the cookie jar, prepare snacks in advance such as nuts, dried fruits, yogurt, raw veggies, hummus, tahini on celery or rice crackers and cottage cheese either with berries or as a topping for rice cakes.

Amanda Hargreaves is a leading women’s fitness consultant training clients with a range of needs from the clinically obese to the average weight watcher. Amanda specializes in training pregnant women and in 2006 began developing workouts for all stages of pregnancy. In order to reach the masses, Amanda made her 10-Minute Pre and Post Natal Workouts, a complete video workout for women before, during and after pregnancy, available for free on her website

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