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Get that post-baby bod back in shape

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Coleen Rooney seemed to ping back into shape after giving birth, but for those who need to tone up, we've got the five most valuable exercises from celebrity trainers
 

26 MARCH 2010

Do you ever wish that, just once, a celebrity would not ping back into perfect shape within hours of leaving the maternity ward?

Heidi Klum routinely seems to have a catwalk show booked in weeks after delivering, and Coleen Rooney was pictured on the beach looking untouched by pregnancy shortly after giving birth for the first time.

With that in mind, if and when you want to get back in shape, we’ve got five of the best exercises to help you get started, from the brand-new London studio of Ellis Stockwell - the trainers who helped Jessie Wallace shape up after the birth of her daughter.

Work your belly - The plank is great for strengthening those all-important abdominal muscles. Lie down flat, with your forearms on the floor straight in front of you and lift your hips off the floor, keeping your head, shoulders, hips and knees in a straight line, your eyes facing down, your tummy drawn up towards the ceiling and making sure there’s no arch in your back. Hold for 30 seconds and work gradually up towards one minute. For the first two weeks or so, though, start from your knees until you build up muscle strength.

Work your sides - Do the sideways plank. Lie on your side, head in your hand with the other forearm on the floor and lift your hip a couple of inches off the floor, keeping your head, hip and feet in a line. Hold for 20-30 seconds and eventually work up to a minute. Swap sides.

Work your upper body - Half press-ups are the best, according to Ellis Stockwell, using your knees until you’ve got the strength to do a full press-up.

Work your legs, stomach and back - Wall squats are simple. Lean back against a wall, feet two-foot in front, hip-width apart and bend until you’re in a seated position, keeping your head, shoulders and lower back pressed against the wall. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three or four times.

Work your core, legs and bottom - For the warrior lunge, stand with feet hip-width apart and take a big step in front, bending the back leg two inches from the floor, with hands above your head, palms together, arms straight. Repeat 20 times on each leg.

Tom and Paul at Ellis Stockwell advise waiting six weeks at least before starting exercise after having a baby – two months if you’ve had a Caesarean or a difficult birth – and always checking with your doctor first. “And don’t do any jumping around - no high impact exercise as the joints have expanded during pregnancy and birth and need time to realign,” adds Tom.

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