No equipment needed mommy and me upper body workout
As a new mom, especially during the “fourth” trimester, I don’t think I spent more than a hour away from my baby, literally. When she did sleep ( which was not very much), it was either on me or right next to me in her dock a tot. My daughter, like most newborns, just loved to be held by her momma, ALL THE TIME! She’s most content this way, so I had to get creative in trying to squeeze my workouts in. I soon discovered she loved being on my yoga mat with me or in her baby carrier while I exercised or cleaned the house.
Today I wanted to share my favorite post partum no equipment required upper body workout. The best part is you can do this with your little bambino and most of the moves double as core strengthening! As with any exercise program I discuss on this blog, always consult with you doctor first before beginning, especially if you had any complications post partum. Of course you do not have to have a baby to perform this routine, it’s designed for all women looking for a quick an effective home workout.
You can modify any of the planks or push ups by performing them on your knees. You will still gain strength this way and can always challenge yourself when you are ready! I love these exercises because it also works your core by engaging your abdominal muscles! If you are not sure how to properly engage your transverse abdominus muscle (TrA), you can check out my post on my favorite post partum abdominal exercises here.
I like to perform my exercises on a yoga mat, but if you don’t have one it’s ok, just perform on a surface where you will not slip! I like to do these exercises with my baby, but as you all know, some days she just may not want to cooperate, so I try to squeeze them in whenever I can! Also, my little one is 5 months old and is now able to roll over but as long as I keep her entertained, this program works for me! Extra points if you are able to do this workout with a baby on the move! Rest for 30 sec -1 min in between exercises. If you are just starting, begin with this complete circuit 1x through. If you are more experienced or want more of a challenge, you can perform 2-3x!
Mommy and Me Upper Body Toning Workout
- Plank holds: Begin in a plank position with proper form. Wrists should be under your shoulders, core engaged, squeeze your thighs and press back through your heels to take some of the pressure of your shoulders and distribute your weight evenly. Place your baby on her back on your yoga mat right underneath your face so you can smile and interact while you exercise. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 5x. Work your way up to 1-2 minute holds!
- Plank punches. Begin in a plank position as described above. Engage your core and keep you back straight as you punch one arm straight out in front of you and then back to start. Repeat this on the opposite side. That’s 1 rep. Repeat 15x.
- Plank leg extensions: Begin in a proper plank position. Engage your core, keeping your back straight and lift one leg up towards the ceiling as you squeeze your butt! Do not arch your back. This exercise works your core, booty and shoulders as you have to stabilize your spine. Repeat 15x on each side. You can also perform this exercise on hands and knees if the plank is too much for you!
- Tricep push ups: Begin in a plank position (drop to you knees if you are modifying). With this exercise it’s very important to keep your elbows glued to your ribcage to keep good form and engage the triceps properly. Inhale and bend your elbows into a pushup and then exhale as your bring yourself back to start position. Repeat this 10-15x. Bonus points: give your baby a kiss each time you lower into a push up!
- Wide armed push ups: Begin in a plank position, however this time keep your hands wider than shoulder width to work your chest muscles more. You can perform this on your knees as well. Keeping your core engaged and your back straight inhale and lower into a pushup; exhale back to start. Repeat 10-15x
- Side plank rotations: Begin in a plank position, wrists under shoulders, engaging your core, squeezing your thighs and pressing back through your heels. Bring your right hand in a little bit and rotate to the right into a side plank position as your lift your left arm up towards the ceiling. Pause and then come back to center. Smile at that sweet baby and repeat on the other side. That is 1 rep. Repeat 10x
- Tricep dips: Begin in a reverse table top position as shown with finger tips facing you. Keep your back nice and straight, hips lifted and shoulders down away from your ears. Inhale and bend at the elbows to 90 degrees and then exhale pressing back to start position. Perform this 20-30x .
- Sidelying single arm tricep push up: Lie on your side and wrap your bottom arm around your waist. Place your top arm in front of you (at shoulder height) palm down and fingertips facing toward your head. Press down through your hand as your lift you upper body up off the floor, straightening your elbow and squeezing your tricep. Lower down nice and slow. Repeat 10x on each side
- Baby overhead shoulder press. My little girl weighs over 15 pounds now and my arm gets tired from holding her. So why not have some fun and use your baby as a weight! Hold you baby in front of you and lift her up overhead the back down. If your baby is anything like mine, she will either smile and laugh with you or spit up on you ( oh well, nothing we’re not used to) Repeat 10-15x!
These exercises are a great way to tone your arms without any equipment needed while playing with your baby. Some days, my babe just did not want to cooperate so I would try to squeeze them in throughout the day whenever I could. Sometimes I would only get 1 round, but I believe it’s better than nothing! Now that I am back to work I like to squeeze in a round in the am before she wakes up if I can. It’s all about fitting it into your schedule whenever you can!
I hope you enjoy this workout!
You can check out some of my favorite mommy and me workouts here!
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Dr. Allie Flowers, PT, DPT, RYT
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