Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Mommy-Baby Core Workout

Shoulder press with baby :)

My Favorite Mommy-Baby Core Workout 
More exercises to correct the anterior pelvic tilt and weakened hips and core strength that occurs during pregnancy. See last blog on pelvic floor syndrome, The Ultimate Core.

*warm-up - grab a kid-friendly playlist and dance/sing with your baby, you can throw in some shoulder presses with baby to increase your heart rate and work shoulders while dancing (Violet LOVES those) 

*pelvic tilts - not as much movement involved for baby, but talk to baby or sing while baby is held in a seated position on your abdomen while you are lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, rock your pelvis to flatten out your back and push it into the floor. Hold 10 seconds, set of 10.

bridges with baby :)
*advanced pelvic tilts – if the other ones seem to easy, add these to your repertoire- after rocking your pelvis and pushing your lower back into the floor, lift one foot off the ground, lifting the knee toward the chest (thigh vertical). Return and repeat on the other side. x10.

*bridges - again with baby held in seated position on abdomen, lift butt/pelvis off floor; if with baby, hold 2 counts, lower, repeat, for set of 10. Without baby, hold 10 seconds, set of 10.

*modified bridge – do them without baby, build up to holding for 10 seconds, set of 10. You can also do them against a wall if you need more modification.

Figure 1.
Photo credit:
*advanced bridge – without baby (bouncer or gym for him or her while you do these), bridge up, then while keeping pelvis level, lift one leg and straighten it out, holding it even with other thigh, hold for 10 seconds, set of 10 on each leg. Alternatively, you can hold the leg bent as in figure 1. An even more advanced exercise is to bridge up with one leg, but be sure to build up to this and use the correct muscles, so as not to strain the back or hamstrings.

*floor press - to give baby something a little more interactive, throw in some floor push-ups. Start by holding baby on your tummy in a seated position while you are lying on your back with knees flexed. Do a pelvic tilt to make sure you engage your core muscles. Then bring baby overhead with your arms straight up in the air, next bring baby down toward you, keeping your elbows in to recruit triceps and chest muscles, push baby back up toward the ceiling in a press. Violet also loves this one.
floor press with baby

*"bird dog" pose - this is core, this is balance, and it has many variations for even more fun! On all four's with baby beneath you, lift your opposite arm and leg parallel to the floor (see figure). If too difficult, do just one arm or just one leg. If not difficult enough, do the unilateral arm and leg. If still not difficult enough (What are you, Superwoman?), do this while closing eyes (not so recommended if doing with baby, but makes exercise more difficult). Hold 10 seconds, set of 10 on each side.
Figure 2. Bird Dog Exercise.
Photo credit:

*"kissing" push-ups – with baby on the floor - do a push-up over your baby and smile and count. When I go down, I give Violet a kiss on the forehead or cheek, and then when I push back up, I smile and count the number of the push-up. She pretty much thinks this is the best game ever, and she is basically learning all her numbers at the age of 5 months as well as the importance of exercise and strength training. She is going to be such a prodigy. ;)
I love that Violet loves these push-ups so much.
She could probably do them all day...Mommy, however,
cannot, at this point, anyway! ;)

*make more core - make any standing arm exercise or lift with your baby into a core exercise by re-training your body to use your lower abdominal muscles (and Kegel while you're doing it, too, if you can neuromuscularly multitask that much). Give yourself a gentle bend to your knees, tilt your pelvis backward slightly and contract your lower abdominal muscles- then do your lift.

*cool-down/dance more with baby :)

Remember, happy and healthy mommy = happy and healthy baby!