Shana Verstegen by Shana Verstegen
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With all of the time, energy and sleepless nights that go into caring for a new baby, workouts often fall by the wayside. Rather than looking at exercise as precious time spent away from baby and family, you can include your baby in your workouts.

The following exercises are performed while you “wear” your baby. The benefits of baby-wearing are well-documented, and include better posture for parents carrying babies and a reduced risk for postpartum depression. Additionally, many of the exercises include the TRX Suspension Trainer, which is the ideal tool for baby-wearing workouts. Not only does it unload some of the weight being carried, it also helps engage and strengthen the core, which is something women typically need after pregnancy and childbirth. As you get stronger, your baby will also be growing, which is a natural form of progressive overload. 

Begin by finding a carrier that works for you and baby, and make sure you are wearing it properly. For more information on proper baby-wearing, visit the Baby-wearing International website.

Bouncing Baby Core Brace

Bouncing Baby Core Brace

A strong and stable core is important for everybody, especially women who have recently incubated a little one for nine months. Deceptively simple, this exercise is actually get quite challenging, especially as your baby grows bigger.

Begin by lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Exhale and brace your core as if somebody might punch you in the stomach. Maintain that brace (but keeping a natural breathing pattern) and hold the baby under the armpits. Allow the baby to stand, bounce, sit, giggle or even practice tummy time on your belly. Begin with a 30-second session of bracing and gradually increase by 10-second increments. If you cannot maintain your core brace, put the baby down and take a short break.

Modification: If you have recently given birth, don’t hold your baby during this exercise. Practicing the core brace alone is enough of a challenge at this time.

TRX Baby Squat

TRX Baby Squat

With the additional weight of the baby on the front or back of your body, it is nice to have some assistance, which the TRX Suspension Trainer provides. Holding onto the straps also ensures you have proper posture throughout the entire range of motion.

Adjust the straps to mid-length and stand facing the anchor point. If the baby is being worn in front, a slightly wider stance may be needed to avoid bumping into baby’s legs. Keep the shoulder blades down and back and your eyes on the anchor point as you sink your hips down toward the floor. Engage your glutes, using the suspension trainer as much or as little as needed. Stand back up to return to the starting position.

Modification: Use the upper body for assistance and/or only do a partial squat.

TRX Baby Low Row

TRX Baby Low Row

Carrying the car seat, rocking the baby and breastfeeding wreak havoc on a mom’s posture. Help counter the “hunch” with this simple exercise.

Fully shorten the suspension trainer and stand facing the anchor point. Select an angle that is comfortable for you and baby (the steeper the angle, the harder the exercise). Begin with your hands at your ribcage, with your shoulder blades engaged behind your back. Slowly lower down, maintaining a perfect plank. Keep your shoulders down and back and pull yourself back to the starting position. 

Modification: Begin standing farther away from the anchor point to reduce the intensity of this exercise.

TRX Baby-assisted Lunge

TRX Baby-assisted Lunge

Again, the suspension trainer helps you maintain proper posture and provides assistance through a safe range of motion.

Begin with the straps at mid-length and stand facing the anchor point. With feet in a split stance, bend both knees to 90 degrees, almost touching the back knee to the floor. Return to a standing position while engaging through the glutes.

Progression: Try a TRX Balance Lunge by hovering the back leg off of the floor while lowering in to the lunge.

TRX Baby Biceps

TRX Baby Biceps

Although carrying your baby around can be challenging, this exercise offers additional core and posture benefits. 

Adjust the suspension trainer to mid-length and stand facing the anchor point. Begin with your elbows up high (a 90-degree angle in your armpits) and your pinkie fingers at your temples. While keeping the elbows high and the body in a tight plank, extend your arms straight and then return to your starting position. 

Modification: Begin standing farther away from the anchor point to reduce the intensity of this exercise.

Baby Torso Twist

Baby Torso Twist

Your baby will love to bounce side to side while you stabilize your core and practice resisting rotation.

Begin by sitting at about a 45-degree angle with heels pressed into the floor. Have your baby face you and hold him or her under the armpits. Without rotating your spine, slowly lower baby to one side of your body and then to the other, making faces and smiling the entire time.

Modification: If you have a fairly heavy baby and/or a somewhat weak core, us a dumbbell or light medicine ball instead of your baby.

Overall, safety and fun are key to these workouts. Ensure your body is ready and that your baby is in the right mood to exercise. It’s never too early to begin setting a great exercise example for your little one—and the smiles and coos will make these workouts something the entire family will look forward to.

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