I had the privilege of being on a Pregnancy Magazine Google Hangout with the lovely Erica Ziel of Knocked-Up Fitness. So when she emailed me afterwards asking if I’d like to try her postpartum workout DVDs, I jumped at the chance!
With three young kids of her own (ages 6, 4 and 18 months), Erica knows what new moms are looking for when it comes to workouts. The two-DVD set is chock full of short workouts that you can mix and match, and none of which are longer than 27 minutes (most of them are less than 15 minutes). The first DVD is a beginner and intermediate level workout, while the second is intermediate and advanced, so you can progress as you feel comfortable.
My favorite thing about the DVD is that its Pilates-inspired, but with a functional twist. Erica takes standard Pilates moves and tailors them to new moms. You never feel like Erica is pushing you to get back into shape to look good; the exercises are truly ones that will help you in your daily kid-wrangling life. The core gets a lot of attention, as do the chest, back, hips and thighs, but the multitasking moves—like squats that incorporate upper-body strength moves and twists—really do strengthen you for all the crazy bending and squatting and carrying you do on a daily basis.
On DVD 1, Erica walks you through the all-important Kegel and gives great instruction on how to get the pelvic floor engaged. The 11-minute Arm Sculpting workout was no joke—my arms were absolutely burning. The 27-minute Functional Pilates segment had some floor work that had my hips so on fire I actually said, “Damn, Gina!” at the TV. The 16-minute Toning with Squats didn’t just focus on lower body, oh no. Remember the multitasking I told you about? Yep, you do a lot of upper-back strength and tricep work as you get your lower body burning and your heart rate up with many variations on squats.
DVD 2 kicks everything up a notch, with extra oomph for added challenge. There are two additional core segments that up the difficulty level from the first DVD, as well as a Plyo Butt Sculpting (20 minutes) segment, Functional Pilates 2 (27 minutes) and Intense Cardio Intervals. If you didn’t feel the burn in DVD 1, you certainly will here. The Plyo Butt segment will get your heart rate up big and bad with all of the jumping!
Newly postpartum moms will be challenged with the first DVD (heck, I was super challenged, and I’ve got a 15-month-old!), and once you’re stronger, you can progress. This allows you to build up nicely as you gain strength. Erica does a great job of providing modifications should you find anything too difficult (or too hard on your joints). She also keeps it fresh, so I definitely saw some new twists on exercises that I’d never done before.
FBM Rating (Out of 5):
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★★
Fit Bottom Line: If you’re looking for quick workouts that will give you the physical strength you need as a mom, After Baby: Pilates-Infused Functional Workouts is just the ticket!
Do you do exercises that specifically help you for your daily routine? —Erin