Giving birth is like running a marathon; it’s one of the most intense physical challenges a person will ever experience. But that’s just the beginning of your postnatal fitness journey. Try these 12 free online workouts to help you get healthier and in better shape. There’s something here for everybody—and every body, from gentle beginner workouts to challenging calorie burns!
What it is: No equipment is required for this 20-minute workout in which you use your own body weight to your advantage. Larie leads you through various sets of lunges and pulses where you keep your core firm and feel the burn.
Why you’ll love it: This is a great option for that very first post-birth foray into exercise because it’s quick and you can modify every move by going deeper or staying higher. Squeeze this into your day during naptime, even micro-naps! And Larie is very chatty, which keeps you focused yet also somehow distracted from all that thigh-shaking.
What it is: Full of movements that focus on the midsection, this short video will show postnatal mamas how to get back their abs by targeting the deep abdominal muscles. These aren’t your traditional ab exercises, but instead a slow reintroduction to the core muscle connections.
Why you’ll love it: The exercises are broken up by lots of restorative stretching, and if you feel like you want to challenge yourself more, you can simply do the video again.
What it is: A chance to spend 20 minutes with your baby on the floor with plenty of stretching and yoga poses for you. You may not break a sweat, but you’ll be engaging all sorts of muscles and connecting with your little one face to face. Great for babies who aren’t yet mobile.
Why you’ll love it: You get the effect of being in a mommy & me yoga class without having to worry about coordinating naps, feedings or heading off tears.
What it is: If you didn’t exercise during pregnancy and are just getting back into the swing of things after baby, you may have to work up to this 30-minute yoga instruction. It’s a basic flow routine with balance and core work.
Why you’ll love it: The voiceover instruction is calming, as is the music. And Sara Beth still encourages pushing yourself through individual challenges.
What it is: Shed baby weight with Jessica Alba’s trainer, Ramona Braganza. There’s not a moment to be bored during this 20-minute workout that covers a ton of ground in a short period of time. Expect lots of floor work, plus tons of squats, kicks, and arm movements.
Why you’ll love it: There are clear modifications to follow if you choose, thanks to a dedicated workout model, and the option to add in small free weights or a chair for stability.
What it is: If you enjoy wearing your baby, then you’ll love this 15-minute baby-wearing workout full of smooth, controlled movements. You’ll do plenty of squats, lunges and low-impact exercises that are safe to perform with a baby strapped to your chest.
Why you’ll love it: The movement will probably put a fussy baby right to sleep!
What it is: Thirteen minutes of Tiffany’s Boxer Babe series with punches, kicks and all.
Why you’ll love it: Anyone who likes a group workout will feed off the energy of this big group video.
What it is: Easy, breezy exercises to shape and tone on a daily basis. You’ll spend 17 minutes doing 14 different exercises and stretches, 12 reps each, mostly lying down.
Why you’ll love it: It’s a great way to decompress and relax before sleep, especially if you’re not sleeping through the night yet.
What it is: A full hour of nearly nonstop movement with a set of stretches in the middle.
Why you’ll love it: Mamas looking to move will appreciate a calorie burn from all the jumping, jabbing and kicking.
What it is: A half hour of strength training with dumbbells and a burst of cardio to boot.
Why you’ll love it: Nancy has infectious energy and gives little pep talks throughout the routine.
What it is: Some simple, ultra-easy seated exercises to start to reconnect your abdominal muscles after pregnancy.
Why you’ll love it: There’s no excuse not to squeeze this four-minute video into your busy day with baby.
What it is: Michelle shows new moms how to safely and properly activate the abs without aggravating any pelvic floor issues.
Why you’ll love it: It’s not sexy, but it’s essential!
—Whitney C. Harris
featured photo: Bruce Mars via Unsplash