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Two Great Postnatal Exercises

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.]

How to get in shape (quick) after baby

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]

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

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
10am – 11am

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

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!}

OC Mommy and Me Groups

This post is for anyone that might be interested in OC Mommy and Me groups for moms of babies in their first year.

Even if that isn’t you, please forward this to your new or expectant mommy friends, because a mommy and me group like this for baby’s first year might be a dream come true for new moms needing a little support.

OC Mommy and Me groups meet once a week for 8 consecutive weeks for 1.5 hours in a beautiful office suite in Newport Beach. The groups are for moms with babies birth to one year old and are organized according to the baby’s birth month so the babies are all approximately the same age. 

The brain child of Alexandra Spitz, an OC mommy of a toddler son, the goal of OC Mommy and Me was to create a place where moms could come together for information and support. Unlike activity type of groups for the babies or a meet up scenario, these groups are meant to support the MOMS.

Can I get a “hallelujah!” sisters?!?

Her philosophy is that every baby, mother and family is unique and while every new mom is inundated with hearing all the things they “SHOULD” be doing, her intention was to create a group where all moms are accepted for their choices, and what feels right for their family in a supportive environment.

Alexandra is a Certified Parent Educator, Certified Newborn/Infant Care Specialist as well as a seasoned mom.

Each meeting will cover a parenting topic to discuss ranging from things like the transition to motherhood, bonding with your baby, connecting with your partner, sleep issues, feeding, separation anxiety, etc. to a variety of other first year discussion starters.

The meetings are meant to be an open-forum discussion and a place to ask questions.

Realizing that many moms also go back to work soon after birth of baby, she also has a Working Moms Circle, which is a weekend group that meets on Saturday mornings. Isn’t that awesome?

Tiny Oranges Registration Special! 

The fee for an 8 week group is $250, but when you mention “Tiny Oranges” at registration, you can register for a February group for only $175.

There is a special registration link for you to receive this discounted rate, click here, then proceed to check out via PayPal. When you check out, you will need to put your baby’s birth date and whether you want to enroll in a weekday or weekend class. This promo is good for registration through January 31, 2013.

Being a new mom can be an isolating experience; one filled with many emotions. This “come as you” mommy group is there for you, and who knows the babies might become future BFF’s in the making!

For more information visit

Follow OC Mommy and Me on Facebook @OCMommyandMe on Twitter for daily parenting inspiration.


10 Ways to Help a New Mom

I saw this post from Nice Girl Notes linked on Facebook and I loved it so much I had to do a feature on her 10 ways to help a new mom.

If you are like me and have been out of the newborn world for some time, it is easy to forgot what new moms really need when that little one arrives. However, the one thing I do know they need is HELP.

What is one way a friend or family member helped you when you were a new mom?  What do you like to do to help other new moms? I will start the conversation in the thread below. Please share so we can compile our own list…