Can warm-ups be too long? Is there an upper limit? Sarah Walls discusses some limits and special considerations for great warm-ups.
I’ve always heard a lot about how hard it is for a new mom to find time to exercise. But, I’m now living it and I’m here to tell you it’s a bunch of hooey. Regardless of time, here are my top 5 best exercises that ALL new moms are already doing in some form or fashion. So why not make them an actual workout?… you’re doing them anyway!
My Top 5 Exercises for New Moms
- Baby Goblet Squat (Ass to Grass) - I can’t even begin to guess the number of deep squats I’ve done over the last 12 months. This is a legit exercise that allows mom to work on ankle, hip, and thoracic mobility along with quad, hamstring, glute, CORE musculature, and upper back strengthening. Start with just a couple sets of 3-5 reps and work up 10, 15, or even more reps.
- Stairs – This one’s easy and obvious. That sweet little baby wants to be held all the time and mom wants to finish losing those last few LB’s, so why not take advantage of the situation and do a little low impact cardio on your household’s stair case?
- Baby Clean and Press – This one is fun for mom and baby and, as is common for all these exercises, occurs naturally. Hold the baby about mid-torso level and hoist her up overhead. This will work on a touch of posterior chain power development and get mom some much needed upper body strength and stability! Stick with just a handful of reps (3-6) for multiple sets.
- Baby Gate Hip Mobility – If the Ass to Grass Baby Goblet Squats aren’t getting it done for the hip mobility, then inevitably mom will have the benefit of crossing over a baby gate about 3 zillion times a day. I started enjoying improved hip mobility around 7 months when Arabella began crawling and suffered two cracked toenails to prove my hip mobility could, in fact, use improvement. You can’t do to many of these, just try to keep good form (chest up, lift you knee, no hip drop) and enjoy the benefits!
- Baby Carrier Household Chores – Talk about great for improving general physical preparedness (GPP)! Last summer Arabella and I spent many hours together with her strapped on my chest in the baby carrier while I did everything from dishes to laundry to vacuuming. You quickly learn if your core is strong or not. This one crushes the lower and upper back, in particular, but is excellent for rebuilding stabilization strength in mom’s midsection.
Here are a few more advanced exercises you can give a try if you’re feeling “froggy.” I should note that my baby is not old enough to reliably stay on my back for the plank or push-ups, maybe in a few more months!
- 1-Arm Baby Cradle Carry + Full Laundry Basket Carry – An advanced technique for the busy mom. Grab baby in one arm and full laundry basket in the opposite arm. This exercise is very similar to some of the Mis-loaded bracing/farmer’s walk variations we do at SAPT. Great for improving core strength and stability!
- Baby Plank – Use baby’s body weight to increase the difficulty of a standard prone plank.
- Baby Pushups – Again, using baby’s body weight to increase the difficulty of a push-up. Although we haven’t tried these yet, I’m pretty sure she’ll be having a pretty good time sitting on my back while “the ride” takes her up and down!
I’ll admit when I got the idea for this post it was designed to be “tongue in cheek,” but as I got to thinking about all the ways having a baby challenges new moms physically, I realized that these are some pretty darn good exercises. Not only are they fun, but they are also very productive if you just focus on doing a few things correctly and accumulating a bit of volume.
So to sum up, today is Arabella’s first birthday and I find myself exceptionally happy. I’m completely in love with my daughter and have found that my husband and I truly work well together. I’ve managed to lose all my “baby weight” and even a few more pounds to boot. And the icing on the cake? I’m working less and earning more.
If you know any new moms who might find this post motivational or inspirational, please forward it to them and don’t forget we offer comprehensive distance coaching to help moms all over the country lose those last few baby LB’s!
MB Push + StartWhat is it? A great warm-up tool for getting the CNS firing and reminding the body how to produce a lot of force against the ground. The movement approximates the start for a sprint event. You can’t get as low as you do in the blocks, but it helps teach and reinforce how to produce great amounts of force as you are falling forward.
Why use it? See above, plus it’s fun!
Who should use it? Any athlete that is concerned about a “quick first step.”
If I were to coach myself based on my demonstration in the video, I clearly need to work on allowing myself to fall a fraction of a second longer and spend another fraction of a second extending through and taking advantage of the triple extension moment.
Overall, not too bad for a woman who had a baby exactly one-year ago tomorrow!