Babywearing Circuit Workout
Babywearing Circuit Workout – GUEST POST
We’re thrilled to share this post and workout from guest contributor Beth Jones. Like most moms, Beth struggles with fitting exercise into her busy life as a mom. Read on to hear how she does it and then try out her babywearing circuit workout.
I am a late-in-life mom. My son was born when I was 36 years old, and my daughter at the ripe age of 39. While I waited to start my own family, I had time to observe other moms of young children and began to plan my life as a mom. Before I became pregnant with my son, I was a competitive rower, active hiker, and overall pretty fit chick. I taught PE, I was an athletic trainer and a personal trainer, and spent my days teaching others to be healthy and fit. I pictured myself as one of those very fit stay-at-home-moms who spent the mornings running with their double stroller and two dogs, or days at the gym while my kids happily played in the childcare center. This isn’t happening quite as I planned.
I went into my second pregnancy overweight and the opposite of fit, having fallen victim to the stresses of my job. I did my best to get myself in shape during my pregnancy, with that promise to myself that I would make my health and fitness top priority as soon as I was cleared to workout again. I quickly realized that my dreams of being a superfit mommy gym rat just weren’t going to happen. First, my daughter hates the daycare, and I was lucky to get 20 minutes to myself before I was called to get my screaming child. Second, with the loss of my income (I now stay home with the kids), we just couldn’t afford the cost of the gym. I decided that I needed to put my education to use and become my own trainer. I thought about getting up before my kids, but with a 9-month-old who is not sleeping through the night, early mornings just don’t work for me. Naptime for the kids is naptime for mommy, which basically left me with trying to workout in our basement while keeping the kids occupied. My rower has turned into a track for Thomas the Train, and my attempts at yoga usually end with me as a bridge and the baby trying to latch on during my savasana. Not so relaxing. My son is old enough to entertain himself for about a half hour, so the problem became the baby.
My solution? She’s a chunker (20 pounds at 9 months old), so she became my weight. I’ve created a circuit training routine for myself where I can incorporate my daughter into the exercises. Three days a week I either hold her or strap her in the carrier and get my workout in. The other days of the week I do my best to jump on the rower for some cardio or push the kids in the stroller for a long power walk. When the weather is nice, I take my workout outside — either wearing the baby or using the stroller for a circuit workout. This solution has been my savior. Not only have I been able to fit workouts into my schedule, but I’m happy to say that below my pre-pregnancy weight and working towards the weight I was before my first pregnancy. The added benefit is actually the time that I get to spend with my kids. My son loves to try doing some of the exercises with me, and my daughter gets her much needed mommy time. Of course my nutrition is also a huge contributor to my success, but the “I have no time” excuse for not working out doesn’t work for me anymore. These exercises are super easy and can really help a busy mama reach her goal.
This workout is formatted into a circuit incorporating strength and cardio. The entire workout should take about 30-40 minutes, but could take longer depending on the number of “interruptions” you encounter. Each circuit should take about 5 minutes to complete. Be sure to add your own 5 minute warm-up before starting this workout and another 5 minute cool down at the end.
This circuit features opposing muscle group exercises, and will give you a full body workout. Grab a timer (I used the one on my phone) and set it for 1 minute. For each exercise in the circuit, do as many reps as you can in 1 minute. If you get tired, take a break, and then try to jump back in. You’ll do 2 sets of each strength exercise, and then 1 set of the cardio before moving on to the next circuit (Move A, Move B, Move A, Move B, Cardio). These exercises are designed to be performed while wearing your baby. Have fun!
- Move A: Plie Squat – Start with legs in a wide stance with toes pointed out. Squat down into the plie. As you rise back to standing squeeze your glutes & zip your thighs together. Repeat.
- Move B: Lunge with a Twist – These can be static or walking. Bring your right leg forward. As you lunge down, rotate your upper body towards your right leg. Rotate back to center as you rise from the lunge. If you’re doing walking lunges, lift the left leg back squeezing the glute, as you swing it through for the next lunge. If you’re doing stationary lunges, stay on one side either for 30 seconds or the entire set. Switch to the left leg at 30 seconds or for the second set.
- Cardio: Front Kicks – Bend knees into a shallow squat, holding your arms up by your shoulder or holding on to your baby. Raise your right knee and exhale as you kick out. Inhale, lower your leg and switch sides.
- Move A: Wall Push-ups – Stand facing the wall with your hands on the wall at shoulder level. Walk your feet out behind you to about 1 foot (the more angled you are, the tougher this exercise will be). Exhale as you straighten your arms and push away from the wall. Inhale, bend your arms and return to the starting position. Please be mindful of your baby’s head — we don’t want to bonk it.
- Move B: Single-leg Deadlift – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your knees soft. Place your hands on baby for extra support. Shift your weight to your right leg and raise your left leg straight behind you. Inhale, and while keeping chest lifted and back straight, bend forward towards your knees. Exhale, push through your right foot, and return to standing maintaining the straight-back position. Switch sides. *This exercise can also be done while standing on both legs if balance is a problem for you.
- Cardio: Cross Jabs – Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip width and knees slightly bent. Hold the your arms at chest height with elbows bent and palms facing each other. Extend your left arm across your body until it is in line with your right shoulder. As you return to start, repeat with the right arm.
- Move A: Bicep Pulls – Find something that you can grab on to that will hold your weight (banister, door jam, heavy furniture, a tree, etc.). Face the banister and hold on to it securely with your hands and your elbows bent. Make sure your feet are fairly close to the object (the closer your feet are, the harder the exercise will be). Inhale, lean back and straighten your arm. Exhale as you pull yourself back to a standing position.
- Move B: Dips – Find a sturdy chair, coffee table, or park bench. Sit on the chair, with your arms slightly behind your back and your fingers facing forward. Walk your feet out and lift your hips so that they are just off the end of the chair. Straighten your arms, then inhale and then bend your elbows, lowering your hips towards the floor. Exhale and straighten arms to raise back up.
- Cardio: High Knees – Bring opposite elbow to knees, alternating while “marching.”
- Move A: Curtsy Squat – Start in a standing position with legs about shoulder-width apart. Step back and behind with your right leg, squatting down on your left leg (like you’re curtsying). Straighten your left leg and bring your right leg back in line. Repeat a full minute on one leg. Switch sides for the second set.
- Move B: Calf Raises – Standing with feet about hip-width apart. Raise up on your toes and then lower back down (legs stay straight). You can perform these on just one leg for an added challenge.
- Cardio: Step-ups – Use a step, stairs, phone books, etc. to step up and down.