While I’m enjoying a visit with my inlaws, Darcy from Fit Foodie Mom is sharing another guest post with us! This mommy, fitness instructor, and Marine Corps veteran blogs all about food, exercise, and motherhood. Today, she’s contributing to Growing Up Fort Collins and providing us all with a few exercises to do with the little ones. Enjoy!
I know how it is. You want to get rid of that baby fat, but there are so many things that pull you away from it:
1) You always have your baby with you.
2) Your baby is too young to go into the child care at the gym.
3) Your child doesn’t like the child care at the gym.
4) Your child gets bored too quickly when you workout with him/her.
5) You work and want to ensure the time you have with your little one is focused on quality, so you feel guilty working out when you could be spending time with him or her.
Here’s a solution — workout WITH your child AND keep them entertained. But how?
I constructed a few workout ideas that you can do with a baby or toddler in tow. My toddler wandered around in the area or copied me and my infant slept. If you don’t have a small child, you can still use these workout ideas to get a great workout.
This workout is designed for all fitness levels. I will give ranges or adaptations to the exercises in order to meet your own fitness goals.
I went to Arapahoe Park at Harmony Rd and Strauss Cabin Road close to Harmony and the I-25 Freeway, but you can head anywhere there is a grassy area, a bench, and a place to run.
1) Run 1/4 mile to 1 mile to a bench.
2) Bench exercises:
a) Step up with knee up: Step up on the bench seat with your right foot, bringing your left knee up. Slowly step down.
Advanced option: Hold your baby, toddler, or a weight!
b) Incline Pushup: Put your hands on the bench seat and do a push up. Focus on keeping a straight back, glutes tucked in
Intermediate option: Place your hands in a diamond shape, wider than shoulder width apart, or bring your elbows right next to your sides to pinpoint your triceps.
Advanced option: Place your feet on the bench and your hands on the ground. Tighten your back, abs, and glutes as to keep your body in a straight plank position. Lower yourself into a push-up position and push back up. As you can see, even toddlers can perform this exercise!
c) Plyometric Jumps: Start on the ground either on the side or front of the bench. Squat down and jump with both feet off of the ground, landing as softly as possible with both feet flat on the bench. Be careful not to let your heels hang off of the end of the bench. Step back down to the ground.
d) Bench Tricep Dips: Sit on the bench with your hands on either side of your hips. Slowly move your glutes in front of the bench and extend your legs in front trying to keep a straight back, glutes and abs pulled in tight. Your hands should be nearly directly below your shoulders. Bend your elbows as low as you can go and push back up.
Beginners Option: Keep your knees bent at a 90• angle and keep your glutes close to the bench. Your elbows will still bend to a 90• angle.
Advanced Option: Straighten your legs like in the picture. To stress only your triceps, be in a seated position hovering above the ground (glutes closer to the bench than in the picture). Another option: to stress your abs and back, bring your hips up as depicted.
3) Run 1/4 to 1 mile to a grassy area (could be back at your starting point)
4) Exercises with Baby, Weights, or a Resistance Band:
If you have an infant, use him or her as weight! Depending on the exercise, you will definitely want to stay below a certain weight limit (appx. below 20lbs for arms/shoulders, almost any size for standing leg exercise like lunges and squats, and appx. 16lbs for shoulders and chest). If your baby is larger, bring weights or resistance bands instead.
a) Chest Press: Lay in a sit-up position and hold your baby directly above your chest, arms fully extended. Talk to baby or make silly noises to him or her as you slowly lower him or her down. Before baby reaches your chest, begin pushing him or her back up.
b) Squat: Stand with your feet shoulder (or a little wider) apart. Hold your baby close to your chest. I let him face outward, because my little one is very curious! Lower yourself into a squat as if you are sitting back into a chair. Ensure your knees stay behind your toes. Slowly stand back up.
c) Crunches: Do a simple abdominal crunch up and down with baby on your lower stomach/lap. Make noises to him or her as you go up and down. Remember to keep a space between your chin and your chest.
Intermediate option: Add in pulses. You can lift up, pulse, pulse, down, up, pulse, pulse, down, etc. Your abs should not release contraction until you go “down”, and even then, they should only release for a split second.
d) Quarter Moons: Hold your baby out in front of you. Pull him into your chest and then push him straight up in the air.
Advanced option: Skip step 2 of pulling baby into your chest. Instead, do what the picture simulates: extend baby out in front of you and lift him directly up above you. Lower him back down to step one in the same manner without resting. You might even get a hug for all of your hard work!
The key is to enjoy this time outdoors (or indoors if weather doesn’t permit) with your little ones. You CAN get a great workout while your kiddos have fun!