updated 10/05/2012 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/05/2012 AT 5:00 PM ET
Given the high marks from judges that Melissa Rycroft and partner Tony Dovolani have received on Dancing with the Stars’ all-star season, it’s hard to tell that the reality star is having trouble getting her moves down.
But Rycroft, 29, admits that since giving birth to daughter Ava Grace last year, her body isn’t as mobile as it was during her first time competing on ABC’s hit show.
“I think Tony and I noticed right off the bat that my body is very different than it was,” she recently told PEOPLE during rehearsal.
“Not necessarily shape-wise, but in how it moves, and how – more importantly – it doesn’t want to move anymore. I think my hips are mad at me from what they went through. The flexibility is gone. I’m fighting a little bit more, but you know, we’ll get there.”
Body obstacles or not, the upbeat pair is preparing for icon week, where they get to pick one of their favorite routines from a previous season and put a new spin on it.
“I’m in charge of it,” Rycroft says. “We’re doing samba, and we have some things in here that 100 percent we know we haven’t seen on the show before. And that’s exciting because after 14 seasons, you’ve really seen pretty much everything. When you’re not allowed to do lifts, you have to get really creative.”
Of the number, Rycroft says, “I think this dance has a ‘wow’ element, and I think at the end, people are going to go, ‘What just happened?’”