Ready to get started? We’ve included a sample workout for you to try. Feel free to get creative and modify it for your enjoyment.
Warm Up – Stand in front of your baby and roll your head from shoulder to shoulder. Always do head “rolls” in the front, never the back. After a few of those, do some shoulder rolls. Roll out any kinks and tension you might have in your body. Walk gently for 5 minutes or so to get the blood flowing. Stop for a quick stretch (a longer stretch should be done after you workout).
Get Moving – The walk is where you will get your cardiovascular workout. Always walk with good posture. Your shoulders should be dropped, your arms relaxed and your wrists in neutral position as you push the stroller. Your abdominal muscles should be pulled in at all times. Make sure you’re not holding your breath though. Your stride should be nice and long. Use your glutes and your thighs in every step. Try to vary your intensity by changing your stride and your speed.
Resistance – To give you a total body workout, we want to start reshaping those muscles. You can stop during your walk every 5 minutes or so for a body toning “station”. Following are some sample strength training exercises:
Squat – Begin in a standing position – either behind your stroller with hands on your the handlebars or in front of your stroller facing your baby (picture shown) . Feet are about hips width apart, feet and knees are facing forward. Sit down as if reaching for a seat and then squeeze your glutes and thighs to bring yourself back to the starting standing position. Be careful not to go so low as to put stress on your knees. You can push the stroller out as you sit and pull it back in as you come up (optional)
Lunge – Stand behind your stroller with hands on handlebars. Step forward with your right leg in a huge stride. The stroller will move forward as you move forward. Bend your right knee to a 90 degree angle, so that your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Aim to get you left knee close to the ground. Keep your torso upright, with your hips and shoulders facing forward. Walk forward with these exaggerated strides alternating legs. (picture shown)
Side Squat Walk – This time have your right side facing the stroller. With the right hand on the stroller, take a large step to the right. Squat down as we did before. This time, you’re working more inner thighs. As you come up, pull the left leg in to meet the right. Each squat down is another side step. After about 10 repetitions, do the other side.
Ab Pull – Again, have your right side facing the stroller. Standing still, use the right hand to push the stroller away, while reaching overhead with the left arm. Use your abs on the left side to pull the stroller back. Focus on pulling the ribs to hips. After 10 repetitions, do the other side.
Push Ups – Find a bench or use the railing of the seawall to do your modified push up. Your hands should be about shoulder width apart. Your torso should stay straight as you lower your chest down and push back up. Do not lock your elbows in the up position. To up the intensitly on this exercise, bring your hands in close together.
Dips – Have a seat at a park table or bench. Put your hands on either side of you with your fingers coming off the bench. Bring your body off the bench with your legs at about a right angle on the ground. Lower your body down by bending your arms, without letting your shoulders rise to your ears. The work should be felt in your triceps (the upper part of the back of your arm). Push back up. This is one rep.
These are just a few of the many exercises that can be done with your stroller and with your baby. For more ideas, go to www.strollerstrides.com.
by Zoe Bertoia, for Stroller Strides Canada