Its only been 3 years since I had a newborn and I still remember the struggle of wanting to work out but somehow not knowing how to find the time to do it between feedings. I wanted to have the same workouts I had pre-baby and was so caught up in that drama, that I created a problem that simply didn’t exist.
For those of you caught in that same loop of wanting to work out “like before” and not being able to get your workout routine started, here is a great routine you can get done from the comfort of your home, WITH your baby!! This is a simple, but effective, workout that puts your new baby right there with you to cheer you on and keep you accountable.
Before you begin any new workout regime post baby, always check with your practitioner before getting started, particularly if you´ve had a c-section. Also, for baby´s safety, make sure the little bundle of joy can hold her head up on her own (somewhere around weeks 13-16).
The only equipment you need is a baby carrier for this routine.
Let´s get started.
To warm up you can chose to have baby in the carrier securely strapped onto you or simply put baby on the floor or on a bouncy chair. Dance. Yup, put some music on and just dance. Start slowly and move onto larger movements using your legs and your arms. You know that scene in the movie The Proposal starring Sandra Bullock? The dancing scene. That´s it. Get your dance on; both you and baby will enjoy it! Dance for 5-8 minutes. That´s only 2 songs, pick your favorites, and get moving!
Once your heart rate has raised a bit its time to get the workout started. If you don´t have baby in the carrier, now is the time.
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Shoulders rolled back and relaxed, chin up, tummy tucked in with your core engaged and knees slightly bent.
- Lower yourself to a seated position (put a chair behind you if it helps) by sitting back onto your heels.
- When you are pushing up from the bottom position, push off from the heels, and squeeze the glutes at the top.
- Get squatting for 12-15 reps and repeat 3 times.
Keep baby in the carrier for this one as well.
- Keep your upper body straight, Shoulders rolled back and relaxed, chin up, tummy tucked in with your core engaged.
- Step forward with one leg and lower your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Your front knee should be directlly above your ankle and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor.
- Hold on to a chair if you need some assistance to keep stable. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position and squeeze your tush at the top.
- Alternate with each leg as you step forward and complete 12-15 reps on each leg for one set.
- Repeat the set 3 times.
For other variations on the lunge read this article. You may need to put baby on the bouncy or on the floor for some of the variations. A great variation to do with baby is the walking lunge, one of my favorites, especially if you have a long hallway in your house!
Push ups are a great exercise to work out your upper body. Form is key when doing push ups. Baby should be off the carrier at this point and on the floor slightly in front of you.
- When doing your push ups remember to keep a straight head/neck position, keep a controlled tempo and keep your hands below your shoulders.
- Position your body with your arms straight out, abs tight, holding your body in a plank position. Your hands and arms should be below your shoulders with your fingers pointing forward and you should keep your shoulders back and stable (away from your ears).
- Once you are in position, lower your body until your chest is a few inches above the floor, kiss baby or make some funny faces, and return to starting position. 10 push ups, repeat 3 times.
Oh, you can´t do a push up with your legs straight out? Keep your knees on the ground (all else remains the same) and work your way up to the full push up.
When you got into your push up position you started out in plank. You can do the plank with your arms straight out or with your forearms on the ground. Baby can be on the floor, just below your torso at this point, this should keep you motivated to keep your core nice and tight throughout the plank.
Try to hold 20 seconds and repeat 3 times.
There are some great variations to the plank and you can find them here.
Last exercise in this simple workout.
- Lay on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your baby in a seated (or reclined) position on or just above your pubic bone and hold firmly under the arms with your fingers wrapped around baby´s torso.
- Lift your shoulders off the ground for the crunch, smile and make a funny face for baby, wait for the response, then return to starting position.
- 12-15 crunches for 3 sets.
There you have it, a simple but focused at-home workout you can do with or without your baby – your perfect workout partner!