4 Unconventional but Functional Exercises With Your Baby
With over 10 years of experience in sports and fitness, over 4 years as a Class 2 soccer/football referee in Singapore, Yana brings an abundance of knowledge and real sports experience to her clients. You can inquire about her training or yoga services at www.XodusFitness.com
A few weeks ago my husband and I were working out and noticed how much interest our nearly 4 month old baby boy was taking in our workout. He’d smile and make faces at the things we did. Sometimes, I think he thinks we’re making these workout faces at him or something.
“No honey, this is the face I make when the exercise is really challenging.”
A light bulb came on and my husband mentioned to me that some of the moves he has to make while holding this little 16 pound bundle were like little exercises. So I began to think and sure enough, there were so many things I was doing with my little guy that were indeed exercise-worthy.
Whether you’re doing work while holding baby or playing with baby, these exercises with your baby will get you stronger and give you that endurance you need to keep up with their demands for more.
The great thing about this little weight set you have is that it increases in weight weekly, so your workouts will always progress in load.
So lets cut to the chase with exercise #1:
It’s not like I hadn’t done a lunge or reverse lunge before, but it wasn’t until I was on my knee one day picking something up that I had dropped, while my baby was in one arm that I realized that I was naturally doing a lunge.
Hold your baby in one arm, engage the abdominals and take a step backwards or forwards. Slowly descend until your knee is on the ground. Normally, Lunges are done without a touch, but I prefer to descend to the floor in this case under control because I want to stabilize my baby at the bottom. If you feel more confident and comfortable, you can go without a knee touch, but if you’re actually picking an item up from the floor it’s probably best to place the knee down.
Muscles Worked: Hips, Abs and Core, Shoulders, Arms, Legs
Key Points: Be sure to squeeze the shoulder blades back and keep the arm that your baby is in tucked nicely to your side. Remain under control as you descend to the floor.
Playtime with baby requires a lot of energy. My husband often does things with my baby that I have trouble doing, particularly overhead positions. These moves are generally reserved for fathers, but ladies there’s nothing like a nice pair of strong shoulders for those cap sleeved shirts and tanks.
Why let my husband get all the benefits of great arms and shoulders from playing around with baby? I’ll have what he’s having.
Hold your baby in front of you. Do a quarter squat with the butt just above a parallel position with the floor. As you stand, push your baby up into the air above your head. Be sure to smile. Making sounds helps too. Our little guy loves it. He giggles and slobbers directly on my face.
Muscles Worked: Hips, Legs, Core, Shoulders and Arms
Key Points: If you can’t lift your Baby’s weight above your head then this is not the exercise for you. Ideally you’d like to progress with your baby from the point which they can hold their head. Take it very slow. This is NOT an explosive exercise. Sets of 3 may be enough for you.
This exercise I usually do with a Steel Club. It provides a tremendous amount of grip strength and works the heck out of the shoulders, biceps and back muscles, as well as the core.
With baby close to you, give her/him a little kiss for reassurance and then push away from your body, keeping your abs tight and your back muscles squeezed together. Extend the arms in front of you as you exhale. Inhale and bring baby back to you.
Muscles Worked: Core, Shoulders, Arms
Key Points: This is an extremely tough exercise with your baby. Honestly a 16 pound baby may be too havy for the average mommy, but I think our little guy is heavier than most at this age. If you’re unable to do this one, that’s ok. Consider strengthening the shoulders in other ways or with a lighter weight and working your way up to your baby’s weight.
4. Russian Twists:
Sometimes I have to move my little fella to the other side of my body while seated in my bed. Well, I could always get up and move myself, but wouldn’t it be a whole lot less work to move him instead of myself?
This is a classic exercise that is usually done with Medicine Balls or Kettlebells, but your baby can easily substitute.
Start with knees bent and slightly leaned backwards and your baby on your lap. Lift and twist and place baby on one side. Then lift and twist and place your baby on the other side of your body. Repeat.
Muscles Worked: Arms, Shoulders, Abs and Core.
Key Points: Brace your abdominals. If you don’t feel your abs engaged, lean back a little bit more. Some practice of leaning back without your baby is probably a good idea. Many times the abs and core have been disengaged due to the trauma of pregnancy. But if you were fairly active throughout your pregnancy, then you shouldn’t have much trouble re-engaging your midsection once again.
It took me a while to get that midsection to work again and I know you can do it too.
So give these exercises a try and let me know how it goes.
Please feel free to leave me a comment below and share this post with friends that may be pregnant or Post Partum.
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