New year, same me. While I have been making it to my fitness classes with some sort of regularity (truth-be-told the $20 late-cancellation policy really motivates me to get out the door, regardless of how clingy the kids might be that morning), I do like being able to incorporate a workout in my everyday activities. I caught up with Roxy Jimenez from FIT4MOM Los Angeles* to get tips for making the most out the walks I’ve been taking with my toddlers. This stroller workout amps up a neighborhood stroll to the next level, working your entire body.
Note: Always make sure your stroller is stable, and don’t ever hang on it.
(3 to 5 MINUTES) Start with an easy walk, gradually warming up your body and your muscles. The most common postural dysfunction when pushing a stroller is hunching forward, so be sure to keep your shoulders down and back straight throughout your walk.
(2 MINUTES) The squat is one of the best exercises for the lower body. Stand behind your stroller with the brake off, hands about shoulder width apart on the handlebars. Your feet and knees should face forward with your legs about hip-width apart. Sit your bottom way back, and put your weight in your heels. Push your stroller out in front of you as you squat down, and pull it back in as you pull yourself up to a standing position. When squatting back, keep your spine long and strong, with your upper body only slightly tilted forward. A common mistake during this exercise is to bend too much from the upper body, when it should be the lower body that is reaching back.
(3 MINUTES) Time for some interval training. Walk for 30 seconds as hard and fast as you can, then recover by slowing your pace for 30 seconds. Repeat this sequence until your time is up.
Single Arm Chest Press:
(2 MINUTES) This exercise is best done pushing uphill. (A sloped driveway will work fine.) Start with the stroller just in front of you, with one hand on the handlebar and your arm bent. Use that arm to push the stroller uphill, and focus on your chest muscles as you push. Return and repeat about 12 times, then switch arms.
(2 MINUTES) The lunge is by far one of the most effective exercises for toning and strengthening your lower body. It’s a compound exercise, which basically means it works a lot of muscles in just one move! A good lunge will effectively work your quadriceps (front of your thighs), hamstrings (back of your thighs) and gluteus maximus (your bottom). This exercise will be part of your walk. Lunge walk by taking really long strides and lowering your upper body down until your front thigh is almost parallel to the ground. Your front knee should not go farther forward than your toes. Lower your body slowly and squeeze your thighs and glutes as you come back up.
(3 MINUTES) Resume your walk using full, powerful strides. Keep your feet and knees facing forward and your body standing tall.
(2 MINUTES) Walk back to your driveway or another small hill. This time face the stroller downhill. Your feet should be set about as wide as your hips, hands about shoulder-width apart on the stroller. Let the stroller roll forward so your arms are extended, then use your upper back muscles to pull the stroller back in to you. Focus on a strong back to pull the stroller in towards your body.
Stroller Reverse Curl:
(2 MINUTES) Put your break on and lay a blanket in front of your stroller. Lay down directly in front of your stroller with your head at the butt of the front wheel (or wheels). Hold on to the wheel behind you. Pick your legs up at a right angle with feet off the ground. Engage abs and draw belly button in to your spine. Contract abs to slightly tilt pelvis in a reverse curl.
(5 MINUTES) “Take time to stretch all the body parts we worked today,” says Jimenez. “You’ve now finished a workout comprised of strength, cardiovascular and flexibility exercises, and you’ve gotten to do it while spending quality time with your baby!”
*FIT4MOM provides classes and support for moms in every stage of motherhood, through prenatal fitness and beyond. Los Angeles mommas are extended a special offer of 50% off enrollment fee if you mention Mommy Brain. You can also find the FIT4MOM class nearest you at fit4mom.com. The free class is offered nationwide.
Ravelle Worthington is a wife, momma of three, and the founder of Mommy Bin. Follow her on Instagram here.
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*Photos provided by author.
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