Fitness

Two Great Postnatal Exercises

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Today Erica from Knocked-Up Fitness is sharing two effective full body postnatal exercises to help jumpstart your workout routine after baby arrives (of course with your doctor’s blessing!) In case you missed it, last week Erica shared easy tips on How to Get in Shape Quick After Baby.

Here are two of her favorite exercises, with instructions, directly from her Prenatal and After Baby DVD’s, written by Erica Ziel.

Squats with Rotation 

This is a great pregnancy exercise but I LOVE it for everyone, especially after baby. It’s a great way to turn on your glutes, core, plus a little arm work if you add some light weights or an exercise ball. I use this as a warm-up exercise for many of my clients.

1. Stand in a wider than shoulder stance with your legs with feet rotated slightly out.

2. Go into a deep squat.

3. As you stand up out of your squat, rotate to your right pivoting your leg foot. Think about lifting and rotating through your center, working your core muscles. Go back to your center deep squat then repeat on your other side.

Do 20-30 reps

Lunge with Arms

This is another one of my favorites because it works your entire body. Start slowly as you move through these lunges, and yes, even your abs will working to help with your balance.

1. Start standing on your left leg, keeping your knee softly bent the entire time, with arms behind your body, triceps squeezed.

2. Balance and hold your right leg up (if that’s too hard keep your right toe lightly touching the ground to help with your balance).

3. As you lunge back with your right leg reach your arms up to at least shoulder height and work your way up towards getting your arms to your ears.

Do 10-20 reps on one side, then switch.

Try even just doing these 2 exercises back to back 1-4 times a day and see how you feel.

Tips for doing squats and lunges more effectively:

1. Keep most of your weight in your heels.

2. Stick your butt back so you’re working your gluts and not overworking your quads.

3. Think about gently drawing your shoulders down away from your ears, even when you’re lifting your arms up.

4. Kegel it up the entire time, plus scoop your belly in and up when you exercise.

Thanks Erica for sharing these great postnatal exercises. If you have any questions for Erica, please feel free to comment below!

[Disclosure: Knocked-Up Fitness is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor.]

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How to get in shape (quick) after baby

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This guest post on how to get in shape quick after baby is by my friend and Tiny Oranges Sponsor, Erica Ziel of Knocked-Up Fitness.

Last month we posted on our Facebook page to see what moms wanted to know from Erica about pre or postnatal fitness (her expertise) and it  was no surprise many moms tips on how to get back into shape quickly after baby.

Here is her expert advice. Stay tuned for a follow up post next week with a few of her favorite exercises. You will also want to check out her at home After Baby 2 DVD Workout Set.

How to Get in Shape Quick After Baby

by Erica Ziel, Knocked-Up Fitness

I love the inspiration moms have for getting into shape quickly after baby but there are so many factors that can greatly affect how long it takes for you to accomplish this.

First, stop comparing yourself to the celebrities out there who are back “in shape” within the first 3 weeks!

If you had a personal chef to cook for you and a trainer who made you workout 2 hours a day then maybe just maybe you could do that quickly….BUT…time for a reality check.

As a new mom your body is going through so much! Did you notice that it took you 9 full months to take on your beautiful pregnant body? I hate to break it too you but it’s not coming off in 3 weeks.

Plus after each pregnancy it usually takes your body longer to recover. Your body needs to heal from delivery. Take this time to enjoy those first weeks with your baby and getting the hang of nursing if you are. Here are a couple things you can start doing right away…

After Giving Birth

KEGELS.  So important! Start doing them within the first 24 hours of delivery (even if you had a c-section.) Then, start walking, slowly.

Walking is a great time to bond with your baby, by baby wearing. Find a wrap or baby carrier to strap your baby to you and walk. I loved my Moby wraps for all 3 of mine, and you can place newborns in them, just be sure you have them positioned correctly.

From there, you really need to wait until your doctor has cleared you to do more. When that time comes follow my tips below to help speed up the process.

7 Tips for Getting in Shape Quick After Baby

1. Start where you left off working out in your 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

2. Avoid crunches in the beginning. Wait until you know your abdominal connection is back. This usually takes longer with each pregnancy. A bellyband can really help you re-connect with your abs after you’re back to working out. Use it to help you focus on your abs working and reconnecting rather then as a support.

3. Focus on full body exercises rather then smaller areas of your body. You just need to get moving and working your entire body. Plus you’ll burn more calories with full body exercises in a shorter amount of time.

4. Squeeze in shorter workouts during your day, this really is an effective way to boost up your metabolism. Every time you exert energy, even 10 minutes, you’ve revved up your metabolism.

5. Be sure you are eating healthy, especially when nursing, your baby really is eating what you are. Use that as extra motivation to clean up your eating even more.

6. Avoid sugar as much as possible, I’m not saying completely. Breast milk is really sweet so you do need carbohydrates to really support your breast milk production. Notice I said “carbohydrates” and not “sugar”. Do the best you can to consume the majority of your carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, rather then breads and sugars.

7. Drink lots and lots of water. This in important for everyone. Most don’t drink enough, so to help with this try keeping a water bottle with you all the time. If you’re nursing be sure you drink at least 1-2 cups every time you sit down to feed your little one.

Thanks Erica!

I will do a post next week with a few of Erica’s favorite exercises.
Make sure to check out her newly released After Baby 2 DVD workout videos. They are amazing – and exercises range from beginner to intermediate so you can do them at your own pace.

[Disclosure: Knocked-Up Fitness is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor]

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Cultivate Your Qi at Dantian Studio [Giveaway]

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One of our new sponsors Dantian Studio invited Susanne and I in last week to experience their unique fitness and wellness center in Costa Mesa to cultivate our “qi.” I was really intrigued by this studio, and wondered, what exactly does “dantian” mean and how exactly can I cultivate my “qi?”

After doing a little research, I learned “dantian“ means the energy center in the body and is sometimes referred to as the sea of qi. Hmmm…this tired mama could most definitely work on my dantian, which on some days manifests itself in a small puddle vs. a sea!

Dantian Studio is a place where Orange County locals can take a break from the daily grind to find their energy within. With a variety of amazing fitness classes, spa treatments, holistic therapies, their goal is to help you achieve harmony for both your physical and spiritual body.

Moms need a retreat like this. We deserve it. We need it. I would love for you to get the chance to try out this studio for yourself, enter to win a week of unlimited free classes below!

A Unique Orange County Fitness and Wellness Center

When you first walk in, you are immediately transported to another place. I am going to be honest, it was one of those mornings that was a little stressful to get the kids out the door. I arrived in a bit of a flurry, but when I entered the studio, calm entered my body. I took in the scent of burning candles, and for the first time that morning, I exhaled. I was taking some time to work on me. It felt amazing.

Dantian Studio Fitness Classes 

Our experience began with an 8am Power Pilates class.

Their fitness classes are small and intimate with a maximum of 8 people per class so you can receive individualized instruction. All classes are taken barefoot to focus on posture and alignment and prevent injury.

Classes include CrossCore 180, Sculpt, Bootcamp, Yoga, Pilates mat, Taji, Power Pilates and newly to be added, Prenatal Yoga, Mommy and Me Yoga, and Little Monkey Yoga for kids.  Coming at the end of this month, they will also offer childcare services for only + $5 per class.

I took a Power Pilates class taught by the owner, Jaime. I am a Pilates-lover. I have been doing it a little over two years now, but her class was unlike any class I have done. We did mat work, then moved to the CrossCore 180, which, let me tell you, was a kick ass workout, and she also mixed in bursts of cardio throughout. It was a total body workout. Loved every minute. Hard, not gonna lie, but such a good hard kind of workout. I am still sore as I type this!

 Dantian Special for Tiny Oranges Readers!

You can click here to see their class schedule.  You simply create a user account, then log in to view the schedule. The system also allows you to reserve your spot in classes online.

First class is typically 50% off, but for Tiny Oranges readers, with mention of this post, you can receive a free class now through May 31st, 2013. Call 714.668.0600 for details.

The entire facility was overflowing with positive energy and inspiring affirmations were written in chalk on every door. Each one made me smile.

My class was only the first part of my experience at Dantian Studio, after I had a massage, infrared body wrap and facial in store for me. Stay tuned for the spa details. Ladies, it was an unforgettable morning and experience. It’s a tough job to get to experience things like this and report back to you, but someone has to do it. Please don’t hate me.

Thank you Dantian Studio for finding my “qi” that day ~ my little puddle grew into a sea with happy waves that took me through the rest of my day with happy heart to share with my family. Me time goes a long way.

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a free week of unlimited fitness classes at Dantian Studio! No purchase necessary.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Disclosure: Dantian Studio is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor. We hope you will cultivate your qi there too.]

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From Knocked-Up to Knock Out: After Baby Workout DVD’s

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I am sure all of us can relate to just how difficult it is to find time to exercise after a new baby arrives. Ugh.

Erica Ziel of Knocked-Up Fitness, a personal trainer specializing in fitness-infused Pilates and pre/postnatal fitness, gets it ~ she’s a mom of three herself.

Driven to help new moms everywhere go from knocked-up to knock out, she recently released a DVD set of After Baby Workouts you can do at home, on your own schedule, to help get you back into shape and feeling better in no time.

But I am going to let you in on a little secret…these After Baby DVD’s are for any mom.Erica recently sent me the set for review and I have been loving the workouts even though my “babies” are now almost 4 and 7!

They are quick, effective (I personally love the 20 minute Plyo butt sculpting segment for bikini season prep) and get the exercises in and get you done before you have a chance to complain. Promise.

With a combination of 10, yes TEN, different workouts ranging from 10-27 minutes, you can mix and match the segments you have time for based on your busy schedule and the areas you want to focus on.

And hey, like Erica says, a short workout is always better than no workout at all!

DVD 1 eases you into the beginner workout with core exercises focusing on Kegels more than crunches. Workouts include arm sculpting, squats and other conditioning moves.

When you are ready, DVD 2 will motivate you to the next level with more intermediate to advanced workouts, challenging your core with a focus on rebuilding abdominal strength.

As a bonus, the After Baby Workout DVD set includes a fabulous workout booklet which answers questions, provides tips and my favorite, includes a variety of weekly workout combinations so you have a guide to follow as far as a sample of which segments to do on which days.  It makes it really easy and also gives you a schedule to hold you accountable!

Local OC Pilates Workouts with Erica Ziel

Erica trains out of Body Design studio in Newport Beach and has the following group reformer Pilates sessions open if you are interested in exploring training with her in person:

Prenatal Reformer Pilates
M-W-F
10am – 11am

Intermediate to Advanced functional Pilates Reformer Class:
Mondays and Fridays
6am – 7am

www.Knocked-UpFitness.com

You can also follow Erica for daily fitness inspiration on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

{Disclosure: Knocked-Up Fitness is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor and I am thrilled to tell my OC moms about these amazing workout DVD’s!}

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National Sleep Awareness Week 2013

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Did you know that this is National Sleep Awareness week?

This campaign began on March 3 and ends on March 10th with the return to Daylight Savings Time where many Americans lose an hour of sleep! Yawn.

This year’s Sleep in America poll held by the National Sleep Foundation focused on the relationship between sleep and exercise.

Serta (maker of the Official Mattress of the National Sleep Foundation) recently shared with me the results of this poll.


Sleep and Exercise

Approximately 1 in 4 Americans report their overall sleep quality as bad but Americans who exercise report the best sleep, and those that exercise vigorously are twice as likely as non-exercisers to report a good night’s sleep every night or almost every night. 

Non-exercisers tend to be more excessively sleepy than exercisers and have more symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea which increases risk for heart disease and stroke. Approximately one-half (51%) perceive their sleep quality to improve on days they exercise.

Want to feel more energized in your workouts?

Tips for Sleeping Better

o   Exercise regularly.

o   Keep your bedroom quiet and cool with a comfortable, supportive mattress such as the such as Serta’s Perfect Sleeper, the official mattress of the National Sleep Foundation that addresses the 5 most common sleep issues such include tossing & turning, lack of support (leading to back pain), sleeping too hot or too cold, partner disturbance and mattress roll-off or sag.

o   Practice a relaxing bed time ritual.

o   Remove work materials.

You can check out this infographic below to learn more about the Sleep in America poll and click here to read my review on my Serta iComfort mattress, which has personally made a huge difference in my quality of sleep and how much more exercise I get as a result.

 [Disclosure: I am a part of the Serta blogger team and received a complimentary mattress to facilitate my reviews. All opinions are 100% my own. I love, love, love my mattress.]

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