Smart workout perfect for mums continued

Smart workout perfect for mums continued

Only got one minute?
Lazy Pilates...


Even the name sounds good. Starting with a one-minute lie down, which can be done while you're still in bed, the download from postnatal Pilates expert Bev Densham is designed to be ultra-gentle. It also includes a five- and 11-minute workout, featuring stretches and exercises to improve your core, plus the bonus of a five-minute relaxation exercise at the end in which you visualise your favourite beach.

Two apps are due for release later this year; meanwhile you can download the MP3 file for £10.

Expert tip

'We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to lose weight quickly,' says FitnessGlo expert Patricia Friberg. 'Remember, if it took nine months to put the weight on, it will take at least nine to take it off. Setting realistic goals is important, and understanding that many factors, such as a lack of sleep, can temporarily get in the way.

Best for...instructor feedback

What's the skinny?

The drawback to exercising at home is not knowing if you're doing it right. But with live streamed classes, at Instructor Live you can chat to the trainer and get instant advice, or follow recommended plans – including an eight-week postnatal recovery option – if you'd rather choose your own workout times. With more than 700 classes ranging from ten minutes to an hour, there's also plenty of variety, so you're more likely to carry on once you're past the postnatal period. Need more incentive? You can earn activity points to swap for spa treatments or exercise equipment.

Where do I sign?

Try free for 30 days, then sign up for one of three price plans from £5.99 a month. Sign up here.

Best for...A five-minute fix

What's the skinny?

Some days, even finding ten minutes to yourself is tough... which is why one of the yoga classes on Movement For Modern Life is a five-minute supermum version. There are also seven- and 20-minute videos, and post-caesarean yoga is coming soon. The key to these classes is making yoga as easy and accessible as possible – the manifesto says they believe in '4am sessions. In dodgy tracksuit bottoms. In the privacy of your own home'. Sounds just perfect...

Where do I sign?

After a 14-day free trial, subscriptions cost from £10.99 per month. Sign up here.

Best for...choice

What's the skinny?

The bonus of online classes is you don't even have to be in the same country: sister sites YogaGlo and FitnessGlo come direct from California. There are 20 or so postnatal yoga videos, from a first post-birth workout to something to beat back tightness or the 'reclaim your body' option. Coming later this year is a new eight-week programme for new mums on FitnessGlo, mixing cardio, Pilates, strength, barre and yoga fusion.

Where do I sign?

After a 15-day free trial, unlimited classes cost $18 (around £10.50) per month at, and $12 (£7) on

Best for...A streamlined body

What's the skinny?

Forget any memories of parading around in a tutu aged five – ballet can transform your body. While 'pure' ballet would be too intense post-pregnancy, the 15-minute postnatal workouts at Ballet Beautiful have been created by professional ballerina and new mum Mary Helen Bowers, whose daughter was born in December. 'You don't need dance experience,' she explains. 'It works because it targets the muscles we use in ballet to build grace and athleticism, so you look like a dancer without having to dance.' Legwarmers optional.

Where do I sign?

Single videos cost from $8 (around £4.50) for permanent access, along with monthly subscription. Sign up here.

Best for...All stages of motherhood

What's the skinny?

Inspired by new mums who wanted quick but effective workouts, Vicky Warr created a set of postnatal videos to help strengthen your core, flatten your tummy, tone arms, legs and bum, as well as de-stress. There's a mix of ten-minute options to try while the baby naps, as well as 30- to 40-minute versions if you have longer, along with workouts to keep going when the six months are up. Look out for Vicky's app coming later this year.

Where do I sign?

Monthly membership costs £9.99. Sign up here.

Best for...getting your body back

What's the skinny?

Rather than being just a small section in a bigger set of online workouts, everything on the MuTu (short for mummy tummy) website is for mums. The 12-week MuTu system is aimed at new mums and promises to help strengthen your body after birth, including the ambitious-sounding 'total core restoration'. Created by postnatal fitness expert Wendy Powell, it gives you a video update every seven days with a mixture of ten-minute stomach exercises and 20-minute workouts for the week. You can also access the complete plan if you want to check back or adapt it to your own schedule.

If that all sounds too intense, there's an eight-week MuTu Focus programme focusing on your core, pelvic floor and alignment without intensive exercise. On the website you'll also find information sections for mums-to-be, new and not so new mums, with tips on exercise and diet.

Where do I sign?

The 12-week plan costs $97 (around £58) or $67 (£39.50) for the eight-week option. Sign up here.

Best for... the whole package

What's the skinny?

It's not just what you do, it's what you eat that matters – especially when caffeine and biscuits have been the only way to get you through the day. Cue Mission Clean and Lean, whose 21-day Mama plan includes daily ten-minute workouts plus meal plans packed with essential fats, vitamins and minerals designed to boost energy and help milk production. With a variety of meal choices and nothing more strenuous than a rec check lined up for Day 1, you don't have to dedicate hours to following the plan. They also 'encourage regular snacking'. Hurrah!

Where do I sign?

The programme costs £56; signing up gives you (and other mums following the plan with you) access to a private Facebook group for all the details plus 24-hour support. Sign up here.

Find out the top 10 dos and don'ts for post-pregnancy exercise from expert Dr Joanna Helcke


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