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The #1 Way To Tone Your Body After Pregnancy, Trainer Says

It all starts with the core.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

If you're eager to get back into a fitness routine and tone your body after your baby arrives (and of course, once it's absolutely safe to do so), your training should be modified when re-entering the game. Because of the hormonal and physical changes during and post-pregnancy, you'll first want to work on rebuilding your strength, stability, and movement patterns.

The goal here is to focus on regaining core strength and building and maintaining lean muscle rather than high-intensity movements and boot camp-style workouts. Those have their place, but only once you've regained your strength and have a good base.

If you're not sure where to begin once you're ready and able to head back to the gym, we have you covered with these personal trainer-approved exercises. Below is a great, sample, full-body workout that you can incorporate in order to tone your body after your baby arrives. And for more, check out Slim Down and Get Toned With This 25-Minute Walking Workout.

Goblet Squat

trainer doing goblet squat exercise
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Begin by holding one dumbbell in a vertical fashion in front of your chest. Keeping your core tight, push your hips back, and squat down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Drive through your heels and hips to stand back up, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

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Incline Pushup

trainer doing incline pushup
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Place your palms shoulder-width apart on an exercise bench or elevated surface. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, lower yourself under control until your chest touches the pad. Drive through your palms to come back up, flexing your triceps and chest to finish.

As you're lowering down and pushing back up, make sure your neck stays straight, your chest reaches the pad before your chin, and your elbows are at 45 degrees. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Related: Science Says This Abs Exercise Is the Single Best You Can Do

Dumbbell Row

trainer doing dumbbell row exercise
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Position yourself parallel to a bench so one hand and knee are firmly planted on the surface for balance. Grip a dumbbell with your opposite hand, your arm extended straight down toward the floor. Then, begin the motion by pulling the dumbbell up towards your hip, squeezing your lats and upper back at the very end of the movement. Straighten your arm back down, and get a nice stretch at the bottom before performing the next rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps for each arm.

Dumbbell Split Squat

trainer doing split squat with dumbbells
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Get into a split stance position by having one foot forward and one foot back. With your chest tall and core tight, lower yourself under control until your back knee touches the ground, getting a nice stretch at the bottom. Then, push through the heel of the front leg to come back up, flexing your quad and glute to finish. Perform all reps on one side before switching legs. Do 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg.

Related: This Is What Doing Squats Does to Your Body, According to Science

Dumbbell Hip Thrust

trainer doing dumbbell hip thrust
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Position your upper back on a bench or other sturdy surface with your feet in front of you and a dumbbell on your lap. Keeping your core tight, lower your hips down towards the ground, then drive through the heel, squeezing your glutes hard at the top for a second. Come down until control to the starting position before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Dead Bug

trainer doing dead bug exercise
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start by laying on your back with your hands towards the ceiling and your knees up. Fill your belly with air and pull your ribs down so that your lower back presses into the floor. Begin by taking one of your arms and the opposite leg and extending it all the way just above the floor.

Once you've reached that point, exhale all of your air, keeping tension in your core. Then, bring the arm/leg back, and repeat with the opposite side. Do 3 sets of 5 reps on each side.

For more, check out The "Simple" Exercise Rebel Wilson Did to Lose 75 Pounds.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim