One of my favorite ways to bond with my boys when they were babies was through baby wearing. Not only did we get tons of cuddle time, but I was also able to accomplish things hand free while singing to, talking with, and just plain loving on my boys while getting an organic workout.
Recently while doing research for my “Workouts for Busy Moms” series, I came across baby wearing workouts. So now while bonding with your little one, you can also get a workout in. My problem is that my boys are now way too big and too active for my Ergo, so I did the next best thing…I tapped into my resources of new mommies!
I couldn’t have picked a better workout partner than my friend Melina, who is a new mom to adorable three month old baby girl, AND is the general manager of a corporate fitness center. We searched the Internet together looking for a great baby wearing workout, but didn’t find one that fit our needs entirely—so we made one up ourselves.
Disclaimer: Before doing any type of exercise, especially one that includes baby wearing, be sure to get clearance from your doctor, acknowledge your limitations (growing a beautiful baby does take a toll on your body), and only do movements that you are comfortable with.
Amanda & Melina’s Baby Wearing Workout
-24 lunges, alternating sides
-15 plié squats
-15 chest squeezes (using Pilates ring/fitness circle)
-15 calf raises
-15 regular squats
-15 pull a parts (using Pilates ring/fitness circle)
-15 wall pushups (with yoga blocks)
*Complete the workout x2 (beginners) or x4 (intermediate/advanced)*
Because I wanted to do the exercises along with my friend, I borrowed her adorable little dog to be my baby. Clearly, she loved it. And Melina’s sweet girl loved it too, for she was asleep five minutes into our workout, even with Mommy and her crazy friend laughing and gossiping the whole time.
For now I am on maternity leave and next week I return to work and my sweet girl goes to daycare. Since life with a newborn is unpredictable, I try to squeeze in a workout any time the baby sleeps. Thankfully I have a supportive husband and friends who have helped to give me breaks so that I can have some “me time.” And since physical fitness is so important to me, I try to go out on a run every other day or so…it makes such a difference.
Melina modeling “pull aparts”
The reason why I was so excited to try a baby wearing exercise was so I could gain more experience using the carrier (along with an experienced friend for help with troubleshooting) and build some physical activity into my day, whether my baby girl is awake or asleep.
Overall, I would say that the baby wearing workout that Amanda and I created together is a great gradual workout to complete once you get cleared for physical activity from your doctor. I was definitely feeling “the burn” based on all of the quadriceps work, but definitely in a good way. As someone who teaches about two fitness classes a week and serves as a personal trainer between 2 and 3 hours a day, this simple workout was a great way to slowly increase intensity and my physical progress other than simply running so that I can slowly get back to my pre-baby shape.
Wall push ups (use blocks to keep baby’s head safe away from wall)
Most of what I liked about the workout was its simplicity. All I needed was the baby (or dog in Amanda’s case), baby carrier, and a few fitness related things such as yoga blocks, Pilates ring, or workout band. And if you don’t have the yoga blocks, you can simply use rolled up towels or get creative thinking about objects you and push together and pull apart.
Overall the baby wearing workout was quick (only took about 15 minutes), easy to do (as long as I didn’t do such deep squats), and the price was right because I already had everything I needed. I highly recommend this workout to any new mom who is slowly starting to get her body back post baby. And don’t feel bad if you are a little sweaty afterwards—the same thing happened to me!
Chest squeezes using Pilates ring
One Final Note
I just want to thank my wonderful friend and her girls (both doggy and human) for their help with this workout research. It was such a fun way to get our heart rates up and our booties in tip top shape for summer…or in Melina’s case, for the Boston Marathon this April!
Fitness Tips from the Blogosphere
Now that my hubby and I are rededicated ourselves to fitness, it means there is a ton more laundry to do. I love this post from Gym, Craft, Laundry about how to clean stinky workout gear!
I am always on the lookout for healthy meal options, and The Budget Girl has a great roundup of ideas on her site.
And if you are a runner like my friend Melina, you have to check out The Good Mama’s picks for Cold Weather Running Gear.
Looking for other exercises? Check out my other workout reviews!