I was talking with a soon-to-be mommy, and she asked me what gym I belonged to. I almost spit out my drink laughing since I haven’t set foot into a gym in God knows how long. The biggest reason/excuse for not going to the gym is never having the time, especially when balancing the responsibilities of work and home life. However, I have to remind myself that just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you need to rule out exercise all together! It’s important for mamas to exercise, no matter what form it may be…jogging, weightlifting, zumba, kazaxe, kickboxing etc. Exercise after having a baby has so many benefits, including boosting energy and preventing postpartum depression.
If you don’t have time to leave the house to go for a run or get to the gym, you can do your own workout with your baby! It’s a great way to engage with them and also get your strength training in! I came up with a few exercises that you can do with baby, but keep in mind that you always want to clear it with your doctor before you start exercising. All of these are great for engaging the core, which is essential to re-strengthen after pregnancy! Here are a few of my mama/baby calisthenic exercises:
1.Pushups over baby:
Put baby on his/her back and situate yourself over them in high-plank/push-up ready position. As you come down to do a pushup, be sure to keep your spine aligned and don’t let your hips or shoulders dip. You can sneak a quick kiss or nose touch. They’ll love it!
2. Planks Over Baby:
Assume plank position on forearms and flat back. Draw your tummy in towards your spine and hold it. Help the time pass by making funny faces at baby. I found lip-raspberries to be a favorite. Start with 15 seconds and work up to 60 secs.
3. Modified Sit-ups with Baby
Start with knees bent and feet flat on ground. If baby has the balance for it, have him sit straddled on your pelvis. Lift legs up into tabletop position as you lift your chest towards the ceiling/sky without flexing at your neck. Open the legs up to butterfly position to target the low tummy area.
4. Squats with Baby
Start standing with feet apart and baby close to your body facing towards or away from you. Squat down by bending at the knees, flat back and push your bottom back as if you’re about to sit on a chair. For correct form, always be sure your knees always stay directly above your feet and do not push forward as you squat.
5. Lunges with Baby
Just as you did the front squats above, you can do lunges with baby in the same fashion. Start with feet together, step forward into 90 degree lunge, making sure your knee does not shift in front of your foot.
6. Overhead press with baby
This one is great for making those Michelle Obama arms and is always a giggle-buster for babies. You can do this in standing, sitting or laying down. Start with baby facing you at chest level. Raise baby up, being sure you are pushing baby up and not pushing baby out in front of you. You want to have good body mechanics so that you are not straining your back or working accessory muscles that may get overstressed.
I used to go for jogs or play tennis with my husband, but it’s difficult to get the time away to do those things now that we have kids. I loved this shirt from JamThreads “My kids are my cardio”, because the amount of chasing around that I do with them is probably surpassing my daily 10,000 steps. Check out JamThreads for other fun mama and kid graphic tees like this and use discount code “THERAPEUTICMILES” to get 20% off your order!
Hope you have fun with those exercises, get your workout in while playing with your little one! Do you have any exercises that you love to do with your baby? Would love to hear about them!