During times like these, home workouts have never been more relevant or useful. With families isolating at home and no access to gyms and traditional exercise equipment it can feel tricky to get into exercising. But we believe there is still exercise you can do at home, and at times like this, exercise can do you the world of good.
Not only does working out have major benefits to your health and fitness, which is always handy when you are trying to keep up with little people, it can also help with your mental well being and help boost your mood. On top of this, at this time, exercise can bring a little routine to these long lockdown days and give you something to focus on. There are also some amazing post-natal exercise groups out there that have taken their classes online which will give you that important sense of community and motivational support, as you meet like minded people all going through the same thing.
We can hear your thoughts already and we know it can be hard to find the time or space to do exercise when you have a little mini me needing your attention. A great way to add exercise into your routine is to bring your little one along for the ride. We don’t mean get them involved in the lunges, we’re talking about using the lifesaver that is your baby carrier and popping your little one in there whilst you work out.
Babywearing exercises are a great way to keep your little one close and comfy, whilst you also get your exercise fix. Plus, it means you don’t really need any extra weights as your little workout buddy will act as weights. To get you inspired we have compiled some of our favourite at home babywearing exercises, we promise they’re pretty easy and great for beginners.
Make sure you are safe to exercise. If you have only recently had your baby, you need to choose exercises that are appropriate for the postnatal body. Your body has gone through a lot and is currently healing, so any exercise you do needs to be mindful of your healing process. In the UK you should wait for your postnatal check and the all clear from the doctor before returning to exercise. This normally happens at 6 weeks following a natural birth and 10-12 weeks following a c-section. If for any reason you are still under medical supervision beyond this time you should check with your doctor about when you can restart your exercise routine.
Once you have your baby carrier that meets all the TICKS guidelines and that properly fits you both, you are ready to go! Simple secure your little one in the baby carrier in the safe position so their airways are open and the head is resting on your chest close enough to kiss, with their legs positioned in a frog like position. Now you’re ready to get fit!
Lunges are a great multi-joint exercise to help you strengthen and tone your core, bum and legs, as well as improving your balance. Plus, they can be done anywhere! Waiting for the kettle to boil? Get a few lunges in.
How to - Holding a chair or wall for balance, step forward with the right foot and dip the left knee down toward the floor, taking care to keep your right in line with your ankle. Return to start position and repeat on the left side.
Squatting is a great exercise that can offer you a variety of benefits. It will help with your pelvic floor muscles, build muscle and tone. They are known most for helping to build bum muscles, but they can also improve flexibility, and joint strength.
How to – Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Sit back and down, as if you are sitting on an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body lowers. Don’t let your back bend, keep your spine straight. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels. Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.
Moving onto to the upper body strength now, this move is great for shoulders and arms. Using your own weight and the babies weight makes this a really effective exercise that you will feel the burn immediately.
You can either do this from the floor or using a sturdy object to push up and down from, we like to use the sofa for example.
How to- (On the ground) Sit on the ground and place your palms directly under your shoulders, feet planted parallel to your palms. Lift your hips off the ground with your hands directly under your shoulders, sort of like a bridge. Next, bend your elbows and press towards the back as you execute a tricep dip. Extend your elbows and continue the tricep dips.
How to – (Using a higher object) Make sure the object you are using is stable and can hold your weight. Place the palm of your hands on the edge of the chair and hold yourself there. Then slowly lower yourself down until your elbows are bent and hold. Slowly push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat.
Standing Oblique Crunches
Standing oblique crunches are great for improving your core strength, balance and get you on your way to seeing some abs. Standing ab exercises actually work more muscles than crunches and put no strain on your neck.
How to - Keeping your hands at the back of the head, stand with a straight torso in a shoulder-width stance. Initiate the movement by balancing your weight on the right foot, while lifting the left leg out to your side. Bend to the left side so that you lower your elbow and lift the left knee until they both make contact. Do the exercise under control with slow movement to engage your obliques more.Straighten your back to go back to the initial position and then repeat. Switch to the right side and then follow the same movement pattern.
Marching on the spot, or even fast walking around your house is a great cardio boost to help bring your fitness levels up. Bringing those knees high and pumping the arms as you lift your legs will get your whole body moving.
How to – this one doesn’t really need much explanation. Simply stand with your legs shoulder width apart and lift your legs up and down to march on the spot. Your little one will add that extra little weight to make you really feel the benefits of this.
The squat twist is a brilliant all body workout as it helps sculpt your core, bum and thighs at the same time, with a little arm work thrown in too.
How to - Stand with your feet wide and your knees and toes facing out. Extend your arms straight out to the side and lower into a squat. At the bottom of your squat, twist from your core to one side and then the other side. Then return to centre and rise up from your squat.
So, there you have it, some of our favourite exercises you can do whilst babywearing. We encourage you to experiment with multiple exercises and most importantly, want you to have fun! There are infinite possibilities, so you can do some research, play around and find what works best for you and baby.