Most women who give birth to a child, at one point or another, think about starting to get back into shape. My first fitness post focused on my main method that I used to kick start my journey, but lets face it -- sometimes a killer workout just isn't going to happen some days. We all have our days that are either jam packed busy, or we have cranky kids, an injury, or we are just plain exhausted and a workout lands at the very bottom of our to-do list. It happens! So I want to share with you a way that you can incorporate a very light workout while you get to play with your little one.
Photo courtesy the author.
I started doing this when my girls were about 7-8 months old. As they got older, they enjoyed it more every time, now they absolutely love doing this with mommy! (My arms on the other hand are usually screaming by the time we finish at least 2 rounds each.) Bonus: if you are doing this with more than one child, it also teaches important lessons such as sharing and patience as you can only do this with one child at a time.
Push ups and Planks: If you have a toddler, let them sit on your back while you do pushups and/or planks, this is fun for them and adds weighted resistance for you! If your child is younger and not yet balanced enough, lay them on their back (not directly under you!) and you can make goofy faces at them.
Bench Press: Instead of using a bar or dumbbells, have your child lay on you (tummy to tummy) and lift them straight up and then back down. Repeat. Remember to breathe!
Curls: Like the bench press, you can use your child by lifting them so they are in the superman position, with your arms fully extended. Curl up, then uncurl bringing them down so your arms are back to starting position. Again, don't forget to breathe!
Reverse Crunch: Lie on your back, feet flat on floor, knees up. Have your child rest their tummy against your shins/knees. Lift your feet off the floor so your legs are at a 90 degree angle, keep your hands on your child either by holding hands, or on their sides to keep them balanced. Contract your abs and bring your knees toward your chest. Then bring your knees back to a 90 degree angle. This is great for the pooch! Breathing: Breathe out while doing the move, in when returning to starting position.
Squats: Hold your child either under their arm pits, on their sides, in the superman position, etc. and squat down, ensuring that your knees do not extend past your toes. Return to standing position.
Pelvis Lifts: Lie on your back, feet on floor, knees pointed to ceiling. Have your child sit between your stomach and thighs. Using your glutes and legs, push your pelvis to the ceiling while tightening your butt muscles. Then lower back to the floor.
Note: I am not a certified trainer, but through experience and research I have found these very effective. You will have to modify these according to you and your child. Not all kids' balance is the same, just as our strengths are not the same. You need to use your judgment on how to hold your child during these to ensure safety. Safety for your child and for you is first priority! No injuries please...
Also, always breathe! Any workout you do will be most effective if you keep your core muscles tight and you breathe! Breathe out during the move and in while returning to start positions.
Until next time...
P.S. how do you incorporate your kids in your fitness routine??
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