You don’t need us to tell you about the changes your body goes through after having a baby (er, an eight-pound bowling ball). And don’t worry about not having had time to exercise. You were busy with more important things like nesting, resting and ushering a new human being into the world. Yet now, if you’re ready to reclaim your pre-pregnancy bod, but can’t bear to do a boring sit-up, shake things up with one of these exercise crazes that actually work.
Photo courtesy of Air Aerial Fitness via Facebook
Go Between the Sheets
Sure, hanging upside down and spinning around in a sheet sounds challenging. But, truth be told, if you can do two consecutive push-ups (or hold an infant in your arms for a few hours at a time) then you can do aerial yoga. And if you stick with these upside-down antics, your regular yoga practice will improve ten-fold and your belly will be washboard-flat.
Sign me up! Air Aerial Fitness offers Pilates-, yoga- and ballet-based aerial classes in Chicago and Charlotte. And coming soon — if you’re not afraid of getting tangled up with no one around to save you — an Air At-Home Kit that includes a hammock and training video so you can do it on your own turf.
Photo courtesy of Giovanni Roselli
Learn the Ropes
Ropes are involved. But this isn’t double dutch. The rope workout is the routine that Snooki (love or hate her) used to sculpt her figure after having her first kid. And it worked. Buff body builders — girls and guys — swear by this workout, which utilizes a weighted rope in total body movements like jumping, squatting and shuffling across the floor. Bye-bye, butterfly arms!
Sign me up! Select Equinox gyms across the country offer a class called Whipped! that combines the ropes with HIIT (high intensity interval training) and circuit training for a workout that is ridiculously addictive.
Photo courtesy of YogaHop via Facebook
Get the Best of Both Worlds
Downward dog meets hip-hop in YogaHop, an exercise hybrid that combines calming flow yoga with the uplifting sounds of hip-hop and pop music. A fat-burning 90-minute workout and peace of mind all rolled into one … because what new mom doesn’t need that?
Sign me up! Currently, this class is only offered in YogaHop studios in Santa Monica and Pasadena, California. But we’re willing to bet this high energy workout will spread like wildfire.
Photo courtesy of Kranking Benelux via Facebook
You’re on your feet all day — running from the kitchen for frozen milk to the nursery for a fresh onesie to the garage for more diapers — so take a load off while still fitting in a workout. Kranking was created by the same fitness trainer who developed the iconic “spin class.” There’s nothing complicated about it; essentially, you use your arms (instead of your legs) to spin a cycle wheel. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean you won’t be crazy-sore afterward. Our suggestion? Put dad on duty the next day when your arms feel like jello.
Sign me up! The only national chain that offers Krankcycling is LA Fitness, but the machines can be found in hundreds of smaller, independent sports gyms throughout the country. Visit krankcycle.com to find a spot nearby.
Photo courtesy of Sky Zone via Facebook
Put Some Bounce in Your Ounce
If you haven’t simultaneously lifted both feet off the ground in ten-plus months, now is the time to give it a go. Trampoline workouts are a simple way to jazz up your post-baby workout routine with high-flying fun. You’ll feel like a big kid at one of these sessions, which feature intense, calorie-burning moves on a bouncy floor or mini trampoline.
Sign me up! Slip on your leggings and head to a trampoline arena in your town (they are popping up all over the place) where you can bounce to your own beat. Skyzone has locations across the country including in California, Maryland and New York.
Photo courtesy of Pure Barre
Raise the Barre
If you missed the ballet boat as a kid but always dreamed of being the lead in Swan Lake, a barre workout is for you. Chock full of high-intensity/low-impact ballet-based moves (think: fondue lifts and arabesques) and designed to sculpt, lengthen and tone all over, the workout is a fave of celeb moms Jessica Alba and Natalie Portman. Tutus are optional.
Sign me up! Some studios, like Biker Barre in Washington, D.C., combine barre with spinning for a sweat session like no other. But if basic barre is what you want to try first, go to purebarre.com to find a studio near you.
Photo courtesy of Hoopnotica via Facebook
Surprisingly, the hula hooping workout that newbie mamas Beyonce and Pink are fans of isn’t just a bunch of … well, hooplah. The kiddie toy has actually been scientifically proven to give users a killer workout, especially when it’s weighted. You know that spare tire that you’ve been hanging onto since the baby was born? Well, it can kiss it! Bonus: Some of the movements in a hula hooping session also exercise the mommy brain; it’s sort of like the pat-your-head-rub-your-tummy phenomenon.
Sign me up! Start off by buying a hula hoop and going to town in your backyard. It’s that simple. To learn more intermediate and advanced moves with a weighted hoop, go to hoopnotica.com to find an instructor in your neighborhood.
What workout helped you lose the baby fat? Tell us in the Comments section below.
— Ayren Jackson-Cannady