“Chasing after my toddler all day is my exercise!”
Isn’t that the truth? Those little rascals are always on the move and they’re quick! And Jack is no exception. He is on the move constantly, never content to just sit in one place for too long. He’s always doing laps around our apartment, one item in each hand, never coming back with the same two things he was holding before. Let’s just say I stopped putting stuff away during the day. 🙂
While keeping an eye on him and preventing him from getting into imminent danger is exercise indeed, I can’t help but reflect during my gym workouts how much of what I do directly applies to the physical activity that I do everyday with him.
By now you know that I LOVE lifting weights. It is one of my favorite forms of movement. It’s my therapy and I love the way that it makes me feel. Being strong on the outside helps me feel strong on the inside. And this is something that we see with a lot of our mama clients as well.
The way that we program for our mamas is intentional and specific. We want them to have fit and healthy pregnancies and strong and successful postpartum recoveries. One of the ways that we do this is with strength training and doing exercises that will help you be active, strong and have as little discomfort in your body as possible. (Side note: we just expanded our class schedule to include evening classes! Check out our class schedule here.)
Here are three exercises that you can do right now that directly apply to #momlife:
- The Deadlift.
Have you ever picked something up off of the ground? Okay. I’ll wait for you stop laughing. #momlife can feel an awful lot like being the person with the shovel behind a horse in a parade, amirite? If your answer is yes, which it most likely is, then you deadlift everyday!
The deadlift, when performed correctly, is actually a full body exercise. It engages the glutes, hips, hamstrings, back, core and even your forearms and grip. I like to think of this as the powerhouse of all exercises. Not only is it something that we do everyday, it’s a fundamental total body exercise that builds strength, power and a beautiful booty. And of course, it’ll give you super pick-up-everything-that-your-baby-throws-everywhere power.
There are many variations of the deadlift, but the kettlebell deadlift seems to be a good place for most people to start.
How to do it:
Stand tall directly over the kettlebell, with feet about hip width apart. Breaking at the hips, push your butt back and slightly bend your knees. With both hands on the kettlebell, pretend to “break” the handle in half (this is to set the shoulders in a good position). Pick up the kettlebell with both hands and stand tall, squeezing your butt in the top position.
Trainer tip: If you’re not sure how much or how little to bend your knees, try this dowel hip hinge drill.
- The farmer’s carry.
We have a term around here for the developing strength you get from carrying a child around all of the time. We call it working on your “biceps of love.” I’ve been absolutely floored by how much I can carry at one time (see: baby in a car seat, diaper bag, purse, water bottle, and sometimes more). Luckily, there’s an exercise that can help me do this efficiently without compensating with other muscles or my posture. Enter: the farmer’s carry.
How to do it:
Stand with your feet about hip width apart with one kettlebell in each hand. Maintaining a neutral spine, brace with your core and walk 10 steps forward and 10 steps backward.
Trainer tip: Don’t let the weight make your body lean to one side more than that other. If that’s happening, start with lighter weights.
- The off-loaded squat.
Squats are another natural movement that we’ve been doing since we were babies. Squats improve strength, mobility and stability all at the same time. Not to mention that they’re another way to get a great booty.
I chose the off-loaded squat because how often do we squat down while we’re also holding onto our children? I can’t be the only one right??
How to do it:
Stand with your feet about hip width apart with a kettlebell in one hand in the rack position (as seen in video). Push your butt back and pull your knees apart as you squat down with control and push through the heels to come back up, squeezing your butt at the top.
Trainer tip: If you’re feeling unstable, practice the exercise without the weight first. When you’re feeling ready for a challenge, add the weight back in.
PLEASE NOTE: These are all exercises that we give our mama clients in our Fit Mom Foundations program and our in-person training sessions, but we don’t necessarily start here. During and after pregnancy, your body goes through A TON of changes, and those changes need to be respected by practicing good alignment as well as core and pelvic floor restoration exercises. The changes that we experience don’t just go away with time. It improves with intentional and specific training.
Want more guidance with your workouts? Well, that’s what we do! We offer a variety of services including one-on-one training, small group training, nutrition coaching, online group training and more. You can check out the full list of services here.
If you’re interested in trying out a class, the first week is on us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started or contact us here.
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