You don’t need a gym or a babysitter to get your pre-pregnancy body back. Fitness expert, Lisa Raleigh shows you how to burn fat fast with these exercise moves using your baby.
Tips to get you started
- Get the timing right: Timing is important when it comes to your baby’s mood. Exercising with your baby soon after she’s woken up and been fed guarantees she’s neither hungry nor tired.
- Breastfeed: Making sure your baby is fed before you exercise means less chance of plugging your milk ducts from strenuous moves.
- Dress the part: Avoid bulky or baggy clothing. You want to avoid any opportunity of tripping or snagging your clothing while carrying your little one.
- Come prepared: There are going to be days when your baby is sleeping or not up for a workout, so keep dumbbells on hand as a substitute. Baby carriers are also a great way to practise these exercises if your baby isn’t restless. This leaves your hands free for balancing, and helps to ensure you hold correct posture.
- Set the mood: Make the music appealing to both of you. For strength training, you’ll want something upbeat, but keep it light for your little one’s ears – no faster than 130 beats a minute.
- Make it fun: Engage with your baby in all activities. Kiss them, sing and talk to them.
Take your baby for a brisk walk or jog in her stroller if you can leave the house, or else, hold your baby in your arms and take a 10 minute walk around the house, including stairs where you can. Include simple exercises, like squats, travelling lunges, or rocking your baby from side-to-side, lifting each leg as you do.
Squat shoulder front lift
Hold your baby under her armpits facing you. Start with your feet shouder width apart, toes , knees, hips and shoulders facing forwards. Bend your knees to a 90° angle putting all the weight into the heel of your foot. As you raise yourself back up lift baby into the air as high as you can with straight arms. Keep your abs tight throughout this exercise.
*10-20 reps for 2–4 sets.
Rest your baby comfortably underneath or next to you and position yourself in push-up stance over her (or near her). Lower yourself into your push-up slowly, kissing your baby as your face travels closer to hers. Broaden your arms slightly to work your chest, and start with ladies’ push-ups on your knees rather than your toes. If your baby is next to you, make sure to connect with her when you come up from the push-up position.
*10-20 reps for 2–4 sets
Hold your baby at your chest with her facing outwards to enjoy the view. Stand with your legs wide apart, shoulders, hips and feet facing forward. Now bend both knees at the same time to 90° angles. At the bottom of the movement twist your torso to the opposite side of the leg that’s in front. The whole way through this movement, pull your abs in and keep your back straight.
*Perform 10-20 reps on the one leg and then change. Repeat this for 2–4 sets on each leg.
Standing baby twists
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your baby either cradled in your arms or held close to your body facing outwards. Keeping your abs tight and back straight rotate the body in a twisting motion from one side to the other making sure to keep the movement controlled. Try to twist around as far around as you can to really work the waist.
* 5–10 reps on each side and repeat 2-4 times.
Baby sit ups
Lie on your back with your baby sitting on your lower abs facing you. Come up into a sit- up position and exhale. Give your baby a kiss on the cheek and then return back down to the start position. Be sure to keep your abs pulled in towards the spine for the duration of the exercise. Keep your spine rounded throughout.
*10–20 reps for 2- 4 sets.
Rest your baby comfortably on her back and position yourself in a push-up stance over her. Lower yourself onto your elbows. Keep your back straight, legs straight and hips in line with your shoulders and hold for as long as you can. Remember to keep breathing steadily throughout this exercise and hold your abs in tightly towards your spine throughout.
*Try and aim for 20 seconds and work your way up to 60- 120 seconds. Repeat between 2-4 times.
This is a twist on the original squat. Widen your legs and turn your toes out slightly for a broader squat. Keeping your back straight and tummy tucked in, either hold onto your baby or hold her out in front of you as you squat. You may want to position yourself over a low couch or chair to help your balance. If you’re holding your baby at arm’s length, touch her toes to the floor as you squat.
* 2–4 sets of 10- 20 reps.
Stand normally with your knees soft, and your back and tummy muscles tight. Holding your baby to your chest, lean forward so your body is forming a right angle or lower if you have more flexible hamstrings, and then slowly return to the upright position giving your butt
a clench at the top.
* 2–4 sets of 10- 20 reps.
Baby roman twists
Seat yourself on the floor, with your baby in your lap and knees bent. With your upper and middle back lifted off the floor in sit up position, lift your baby and twist your body from left to right. Touch your baby’s toes on either side of you as you twist. The straighter your arms and lower down your back is to the ground, the harder the exercise.
*2–4 sets of 10- 20 reps.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.