We all have good intentions about returning to exercise after our baby is born, but then reality shows up and slams us in the face.
You thought you’d be able to work out during nap time, but Baby refuses to be put down or you have a toddler to wrangle. You eagerly awaited the day your baby was old enough for the gym daycare only to find out he hates it and screams the whole time. So what’s a mom to do? You can either throw in the towel or make the best of the situation, and the best of the situation is that you have your very own workout companion and tool.
Along with your own body weight, using your baby strategically (and carefully!) can provide great resistance for a home workout you can do just about anywhere. Holding your baby for the standing moves not only keeps him close and happy but also provides extra workout benefits: It requires more balance and stability, which forces you to engage your core, giving you an added bang for your buck.
Try these workout moves — each focusing on a different area of your body — next time you’re ready for a quick sweat session. Complete 10 reps per exercise, or side. And be sure to pause if Baby gets antsy.
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Hold Baby, resting on your stomach. Slowly raise your head by tucking your chin down, looking towards Baby, until shoulders just lift off the ground. Then lower them down.
Butt: Sumo Squats
Take a wide stance with your toes facing slightly out, and hold Baby close against your chest. Bend your knees to lower while pressing your hips back until your thighs reach parallel. Raise and repeat.
Inner Thighs: Front Leg Raises
Stand with legs straight, heels together, and toes turned out (like first position in ballet). Hold Baby against your chest. Extend one leg straight forward, keeping it rotated outwards. Lift leg, then lower.
Outer Thighs & Hips: Side Leg Raises
Stand with feet together, legs straight and parallel. Hold Baby to your chest. Extend one leg out to the side, keeping the knee facing forwards. Liftoff the ground, then lower.
Love Handles: Russian Twists
Sit with legs in front of you, slightly bent at the knee forming a “v.” Hold Baby slightly away from your chest using both hands, and lean back slightly. Starting from your torso, twist moving Baby to one side, then to the other.
Arms: “Bench Press”
Lie down on your back with your knees bent. Hold Baby in your hands hovering on top of your chest. Extend arms straight as you bring Baby up in the air, then lower back down to your chest.