Tackle your Postpartum Trouble Spots: Arms

Written by guest blogger, Autumn Bonner

Hi Moms! Are you starting to feel more toned and tight from our first 2 trouble spot workouts?  In case you missed them, check out my previous articles about how to tone your tummy and your butt.  Today we complete the program by tackling our arms!  

Your arms are actually one of the few parts of your body that doesn’t go through major change during pregnancy, but the normal weight gain that comes along with growing a baby may have left you with a wiggly wave.  You know the kind I mean, when you wave and then your under arm keeps waving?  To get rid of the extra fat and tone those guns, it takes the same 3 keys: toning, cardio, and healthy eating. 

Let’s talk about toning for a minute. Many women are afraid of lifting weights or doing push-ups for fear of ending up with hulk arms.  Good news, women simply don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up like men do (even when you lift heavy weights).  So don’t be afraid to really challenge yourself with the strength exercises below.  You’ll end up with the toned tight arms you desire, no hulks in sight! Plus, strong arms are really a necessity for motherhood. Have you lifted a car seat carrier lately?  The everyday tasks of mothering include lots of lifting, pulling, and pushing. The moves below will strength all the muscles in your arms and shoulders to prepare you for your daily life as a mom. 

Here’s your 20 minute Arm Toning Plan! For this workout you’ll need:

  • Your baby 
  • Ergobaby carrier (or similar carrier)
  • Timer (you can use your phone)
  • Chair
  • Diaper bag or dumbbell 
  • Mat 

As with any exercise plan, be sure to get your doctor’s clearance before starting a new activity.

Warm up – Put your baby in the Ergobaby carrier. For 1 minute, march in place and pump your arms to raise your body temperature and prepare for the workout.  Then switch to a step touch for another minute and swing your arms as you move. Repeat both moves again for a total of 4 minutes.

Cardio/Strength – We are going to alternate between 1 minute of cardio and 1 minute of strength, so get your timer ready. 

1 – Tricep Dip – This move tackles the wiggly wave! Sit on a chair with your hands by your sides gripping the edge of the seat. With your feet flat on the floor move your hips away from the bench (keeping your butt near the edge). Bending your elbows back along your sides, lower down slowly, then press up to the starting position. Complete as many repetitions as you can in 1 minute. Your little one provides some extra weight to challenge your triceps. 

 

 

2 – Power Punches – Let’s sculpt the shoulders! Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width and your toes and knees pointing outwards (like a dancer’s plie squat).  Extend one arm to the side and alternate punching high and low as quickly as you can.  As you punch, squat up and down with your legs. Stay on one arm for 30 seconds and then switch to the other arm. You will really feel this in your shoulders.

 

 

3 – Diaper bag curl – Whether it’s a diaper bag, infant carrier, or bag of groceries, we use our biceps all the time as moms! For this move, grab your diaper bag (or a dumbbell) and hold it in one hand. Keeping your elbow near your side, perform a curl to lift the bag up to your shoulder. Slowly return to the start. Repeat as many reps as you can for 30 seconds and then switch arms.

 

 

4 – Mountain Climber – For the last two moves, take your baby out of the carrier and lay him/her below you on a mat. The mountain climber is a total body move that is great for cardio.  Your arms are stabilizing your body so they will get a workout too. Come into a plank position on your hands. Make sure your hands are directly below your shoulders and that you are a straight line between your head and your feet. Bring in one knee at a time towards your chest.  The faster your pace, the more challenging this move will be. Try to keep going for a whole minute.

 

 

5 – Push up kiss – Give a little love and get toned arms! Assume a push up position. You can choose to be on your knees to start or your toes for more challenge. Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and that your hips are in line with your body. Slowly lower down and give your baby a kiss at the bottom, then push up to the top.  Keep going for a full minute.

 

 

Take 1 minute to rest and then repeat these 5 exercises once more. 

Stretch – Finish by stretching as your baby lies nearby on the floor and rehydrate.

So there you have it! You now have a complete workout program to tackle your trouble spots and help you fit back into those pre-pregnancy jeans. When you feel like you are ready for more, I encourage you to sign up for a free 30 day trial of my online program for moms at www.MyTailoredFitness.com. We have an entire workout program designed for moms including more great exercises you can do with your baby in the carrier. Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter for more fitness and nutrition tips!  Here’s to a healthy and happy 2014!