Baby Weights was designed to kick start moms into exercising recently after having kids and realizing that their whole lives and bodies have changed. But, as a newborn baby will grow, learn, practice, and improve every skill in their lives daily, so have you moms with these mom-adapted beginner tips. You’re now a pro at Baby Weights’ basic moves and routines (as well as multitasking, masking the smell of your unshowered bodies, and manipulating your words to make demands and directions toward your kids seem like amazingly fun ideas that they came up with completely on their own (“You are so smart to pretend your toys are basketballs and the toy chest is the net! What a great idea! I wonder which one of you will get the most baskets?!”)). But, as a general rule of nature, as soon as we’ve adapted to something, it changes again. Especially when it comes to children: They move from “non-mobility” to “across the room and into the Tupperware in three seconds”, from adorable babbling and giggling to persistent demands of non-satisfaction and defiance, and from needing you for everything without question to needing you for everything but insisting they can do it by themselves.
We evolve just as our children, including in our fitness abilities. Toning with Toddlers will be a way for you to continue getting exercise in at home with your and your kids’ changing needs in mind. We all need exercise. Almost as much as we need wine and the occasional meme of Chris Hemsworth with his shirt off. If you haven’t found a way to fit regular workouts into the day yet, Toning with Toddlers will be a good tool in the belt.
So, to begin our next level mom-adapted series, we’re going to target the abs and obliques (side abs). You remember those things, right? You watched them disappear in a slow, week-by-week process as your womb tenant grew from a watermelon seed to a kumquat (I can’t help but whisper a faint “that’s what she said” every time I say that word- will I ever mature?) to full newborn size, robbing your midsection of any tone, tightness, or dignity. Sigh, oh yeah. Those. The good news is, they are still there! They are just hiding. Think of these exercises as a way to “seek” them. Ready or not, here they come!
The Elephant Walk
By now, your kids are getting heavier and are able to follow gross motor directions. Use them as your weights in this exercise. You probably do this exercise every day without realizing that you are working your abs. When you are in the middle of a task that requires you to walk from place to place, the kids seem to have radar that inevitably draws them to sit on your feet and wrap themselves around your legs. Walking with these weights strapped to your legs is an adaptation of a great lower ab exercise!
Have a child sit on your foot and wrap his legs and arms around your leg. Keeping your leg straight by locking your knee and tightening your quadraceps (your thigh), swing your leg forward to begin walking, sucking in your belly and tightening your butt cheeks (think “Continuous Bathing Suit” from Baby Weights). You will have to twist your upper body a bit to keep your balance. That will actually hit the obliques as well. Just remember to protect your lower back by keeping your belly and butt tight.
Walk as far as you can in one direction, then have the child sit on the other foot and repeat. If you have two children, have one sit on each foot and repeat the same movements. If you have three children, you can hold the lightest child in one of three ways:
The “Diaper Blow-out” Hold
Hold baby under armpits and away from your body like you’re hugging a beach ball. You’ve practiced this move when your babies have somehow gotten poop from their heels to the back of their heads and you’ve just put on clean, non-mom uniform clothes for the first time in a month. This move is a good compliment to the Elephant Walk that will hit your shoulders and arms.
The Piggy Back
Giving your child a piggy back while Elephant Walking is a basic and stable way to add weight to the exercise and get your heart rate up faster.
This move will also hit your shoulders and arms. If your child is of an appropriate weight for your abilities, not a squirmer, and you can do so safely, have her lay in your hands like you are going to fly her like an airplane (palms of hands on her belly, thumbs facing out). Push her up over your head and hold her there while you Elephant Walk. If she is light and still enough, you can try to press her up and down for an even more advanced move.
This one move has so many adaptations to fit multiple fitness levels. If your children are too light for you to feel like you are working, let one at a time sit on a foot while you stand and hold on to something stable on the opposite side of the leg you will be working. Utilizing good form (tightened belly, butt, quad, and straight leg), swing the leg as high as you can straight up in front of you as many times as you can. Then switch sides. You can do side leg lifts as well to hit obliques, “muffin tops”, and side butt!
This move is great because of its versatility and the ease of which it incorporates your kids. They think you are playing with them, and you are able to get in exercise while still getting from one end of your original task to the other. Walking from the table to the sink to clear the dishes? Cleaning, quality time, playtime, and exercise all in one! Multitasking at its best! Looked at the clock to realize another day has gone by without exercise? Elephant Walk to the wine glasses, over to the wine fridge, then finally to the couch. You time, them time, WINE TIME all in one! #winwinwin