If there’s something that every new mom (and dad) can highly benefit from, it’s a stronger, firmer, more functional body in order to take care of their babies and manage all the other duties that come along with being a parent. Just think about how many countless times during the day new parents pick up their babies, lift strollers and lug car seats, groceries, high chairs etc. If there is no proper technique and no functional muscle utilized while performing all these tasks over and over again, injuries might be the consequence down the line. And who has time to be injured when you have kids to take care of? Nobody!
But who has time to leave your baby and exercise? No worry! Let your baby become your “human weight vest” and make the workout a truly challenging yet rewarding experience.
In honor of babywearing week, here’s 5 babywearing strength exercises that you can do anywhere and any time; no special equipment is needed (while we use BabyBjörn carriers, you can use whatever babywearing style you like)--just “BYOB” (bring your own baby!) and get started!
- DEEP SQUATS (Glutes, Legs):
Set-up: Place feet about hip-width apart with toes slightly pointing outwards. Wrap your arms around your carrier for added support.
Motion: sink your butt back into your heels as if you were sitting down in a chair. Go as deep as you can (at least 90 degrees) then press back up through your heels and straighten your legs. Squeeze your glutes when you are up.
Time: Repeat for 45 seconds straight. 3 rounds.
- SUSPENDED LUNGES (Legs, hips, glutes):
Set-up: Find a flat, elevated surface and place the ball of your right foot on it while you face outward. Wrap your arms around your carrier for added support.
Motion: Sink straight down between both of your legs- make sure you do not press your knee past the big toe of your standing leg. Press back up through the heel. After 10 repetitions switch legs.
Modification: If you are having trouble finding your balance, simply skip the elevated surface and place the foot right behind you on the ground.
- PUSH UPS (Arms, chest, core):
Set-up: Find a flat, elevated surface that is about as high as your hips. Place your hands on the surface shoulder-width apart, tighten your abs and engage your legs.
Motion: Bend your arms as far as the carrier (or your strength) will let you. Right before the carrier touches the surface extend your arms again.
Time: 45 seconds, 3 rounds.
- DIPS (Triceps, core):
Set-up: Find a bench, a couch, a sturdy box or a chair and face away from it. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the platform of your choice with your fingers pointing down to the ground. Extend your legs forward.
Motion: Bend your elbows and sink your butt towards the ground. Make sure your arms stay parallel (no flaring out of the elbows), your chest stays up and your butt stays close to the bench. Once you almost reach the ground, straighten your arms again and squeeze the triceps when you are in the starting position.
Modification: If this is too challenging, simply bend your legs in a 90 degree angle and perform the dips like that.
Time: 30 seconds, 3 rounds
- SIDE PLANKS (Core, obliques):
Set-up: Use the same elevated surface you used for your dips. Place one hand on it while you securely wrap your other hand around the carrier. Stack your feet on top of each other and find your balance in the side plank.
Motion: You simply hold this side plank for 30 seconds. Then switch arms and do the same thing on the other side.
--Melissa Paris and Anja Pierre
BYOBfit™ was created by Melissa Paris and Anja Pierre who aim to introduce the benefits of postpartum strength training to as many new moms as they possibly can. Both women are prenatal/postpartum certified trainers living and working in New York City. For more info on their company, updated class schedule and Babywearing news, head on over to www.byobfit.com.
This post was brought to you by BabyBjörn.