Many women who are new to motherhood finds the lack of time and busy schedule of taking care of their newborns and maintaining their home a hindrance to getting back to shape and working out. This is one of the main reasons why they tend to prioritize their fitness less.
But, gone are the days when new mothers were told to just lay down their beds and rest for faster recovery. As more and more studies prove that more active mothers are more likely to recover faster and heal from post delivery state than those who are not, the society is more accepting and encouraging for the better wellbeing of moms and their babies.
In fact, some months ago, video compilations of mothers working out with their babies went viral online. The series of videos and exercise routines inspired full time and hands on mother to prioritize their health and body, as much as they prioritize their kids. These were shared over a million times in Facebook and were commented by almost thousands of people all over the world. Many were inspired by the mothers’ dedication to staying fit while still taking care of their children and began to acknowledge the importance of maintaining overall fitness without compromising their families, especially their children.
There are many ‘Mommy and Me’ workouts you can do at home, and the beauty of it, you can customize it as much as you want to make it comfortable for you and your baby. Given that you consult your doctors before proceeding with working out, these exercises are for mommies out their that gives importance to their bodies as much as to their kids.
Exercises for the Core and Abs:
- Rock and Roll
Sit on a mat or a carpet with knees bent and feet flexed under a piece of heavy furniture. Place your baby in your lap facing you, his head and back resting against your thighs, and hold him securely. Rock back a few inches until you feel your abdominals tighten. Hold the pose for ten seconds before slowly returning to starting position. Repeat ten times.
- Tummy Time
Lying on your stomach with your baby in front of you, rest arms on either side of you in an airplane position and keep legs just wider than hip-width apart on the floor with toes pointed out. Then simultaneously lift your arms, legs and chest up off the ground, keeping arms and legs as straight as possible without locking elbows or knees. Hold for 10 seconds (sing to your baby if you want). Slowly return to start. Aim for 10 repetitions.
- Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes
Lie flat on your back with arms at either side, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Then, with your knees together, lift your legs off the floor, making a 90-degree angle—knees should be over hips, calves parallel to floor. Hold for five deep breaths (about 20 seconds), keeping your navel pulled toward your spine; return to start. Extra challenge: Place your baby on your belly and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, too. Repeat three times.
- Alphabet Abs
Lying flat on your back with your child next to you, place your arms at your sides and extend your legs straight up toward the ceiling, feet together. Then draw each letter of the alphabet with your toes while saying the letter to your baby. Keep the moves slow and be sure to keep your navel pulled in toward the floor. Aim to do one set of the entire alphabet.
- Superman Raises
Laying on your back, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Stabilize baby so he is resting on your shins, and hold onto his hands.
Slowly extend your legs away from you, holding onto baby’s hands until they are as far as you can reach. This move will really work your ab wordpress theme muscles! Bring knees back into chest, and repeat the movement 10 times.
For the Upper Body (Chest, Arms And Shoulders):
- Kitty Stretch
Start on your hands and knees, head and back in a straight line, with your baby on his back below you. Arch your back upward and contract your abdomen in and up toward your ribs, lowering your chin to make eye contact with your baby. Hold for five seconds.
Lift your head to look up, and reverse the arch. Hold for five seconds; do ten repetitions.
- Shoulder Press
Sitting up straight, hold baby in front of you so that you are face to face. Lift baby up and out away from your body, and then slowly lower back to your face. Repeat 10 times.
For the Lower Body (Legs, Hamstrings and Buttocks):
- Front-Carrier Squats
Stand with your baby in a front carrier (if he’s heavy, sit him on the ground), feet just past your shoulders, toes turned out slightly. Inhale and lower your body down to sit in an imaginary chair, weight over heels, navel pulled in, tailbone pointed to floor. Exhale and return to start. Aim for three sets of 12.
- High-Chair Lunges
Put your baby in a high chair or stroller and face him, with your left foot back about three feet and your hands on your waist. Then bend both legs until your right thigh is parallel to the ceiling, making sure your right knee stays in line with your ankle. Blow a kiss (or give a treat like a piece of O-shaped cereal) to your baby, then slowly return to standing, pushing through your right heel. Aim for three sets of 12 on each side.
- Have a Seat
Stand with your heels about 12 inches from a wall, holding your baby face out, with his back and head against your abdomen and chest. Slowly bend your knees as if to sit, using the wall for support. Don’t let knees extend past toes. Hold for ten seconds, then slowly stand up. Work up to ten reps
- Baby Bend
Sit on a mat, legs together and extended in front of you. Lay your baby on his back along your legs, and support him with your hands. Slowly bend forward at the hips as far as you can. Hold for ten seconds, give him a kiss, then return to an upright sitting position. Repeat ten times.
Total Body Workout:
- Nursery-Rhyme Plank
Start on hands and knees, with your baby on his back below you. Lower your forearms to the floor so that your shoulders are directly above your elbows. Slide your knees back about 12 inches, keeping your back flat and your abs contracted. Hold the pose while you sing your baby’s favorite nursery rhyme. Work up from 30 seconds to two minutes.
- Multitasking Move
Lying on your left side, prop your upper body up on your left forearm, making sure your elbow stays under your shoulder. Left leg should be on the floor, with your right leg stacked on top of it and right arm resting straight out over hip. Then, placing your weight on your left arm and shoulder, lift your hips off the ground so that you come into a side plank position. If you can, hold the position while you extend your right arm over your head, palm facing down. Aim for two sets of 10 repetitions on each side.