Summer is right around the corner which means it’s time to, deep breath now, start living in your swimsuit. Oh the dread! If you’re like me, getting the bottom half of your body is top priority right now, so, Breezy Mama enlisted the help of Certified Trainer Katie Kohn to get us into shape. Even better, she shows how you can use your baby/toddler to help! Because as Katie says,“Don’t forget those itty bitty shorts are all the rage this summer.”
* Safety note–Make sure you have doctor’s clearance to exercise if you are a new mother. Please DO NOT do these exercises with young babies who don’t have perfect head control. If you’re using your baby for weight, please make sure they are over four months old. Perform all exercises slowly as to not shake baby around—you don’t want to jiggle or bounce them. If your baby is under four months, put them in their swing, bouncy chair, or stroller and do these in front of them–they will get a kick out of watching you! –Katie Kohn
Before you start the exercises below, make sure to turn on some fun, upbeat music for you and baby!
Squats: Hold your child on your right hip. Stand with your legs hip width apart. As you slowly count to four lower your rear end down until it is at the same height as your knees. Count to four and come back up being careful to never lock your knees. Don’t let your bottom go below your knees as this will put too much strain on your knee joint. Think of sitting in an imaginary chair rather than letting your knees go forward. NEVER allow your knees to go in front of your toes. Repeat this 15 times and then shake out your legs (slowly, don’t jiggle baby) and place baby on your left hip. Repeat 15 times. Remember to go slowly–the slower you go the more it works as you are using less momentum and more strength. Do two sets of 15 on each side.
Lunges: These are the best exercise for the under-butt area (where the upper hamstring meets the glutes). Hold your child on your hip or hold them in a hug on your chest. Step your right leg forward in a wide stance. Make sure as you lunge down your front knee NEVER goes in front of your toe; this will put too much pressure on the knee. Keeping your feet in the lunge position, go two counts down and two counts up. Do 20 on the right and then repeat on the left. If you are holding your child on your hip, hold them on the hip of the front leg.
Calf Raises: Holding your child in your arms however is most comfortable for you both, stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Keep your legs very straight and rise up on your toes. Try to rise up for four seconds and down for four seconds. Do 20 repetitions and then rest for 30 seconds. Then do 20 more.
Roundhouse kicks: This exercise should be started with baby in the stroller. Only when you are very advanced, strong and balanced should you try this with baby on your hip. While your child is in the stroller, place your left hand on the hand bar of the stroller. Turn your left foot toward the stroller at a 45 degree angle. Lift your right leg up with a bent knee. Try to keep your knee up and even with your hip. Point your toe and kick your foot 50 times. Do the same on the other side remembering to keep your supporting leg bent and your supporting toes turned towards the stroller (this prevents any twisting of the knee). Do each side two times- 100 total kicks on each side. The kicks are fast paced, each one should take one second.
If you want to burn extra calories and keep your heart rate up, do 40 jumping jacks in between each exercise (running in place and jumping rope are other options).
Remember, you can’t spot reduce (shrink a certain problem area with exercise alone). To achieve the results you want you should combine proper diet with cardiovascular and resistance training. Fad diets don’t work. If they do, it’s usually water loss or temporary. Try to eat a healthy diet and shop around the external aisles of the supermarket—the inner aisles house all the junk! If you walk around the edge of most markets you will find all you need–grains, fruits and veggies, dairy, and proteins such as eggs, meat and fish.
Ready to blast your belly, too? Click here for abs!
Breezy Mama Tip: If you are wanting to excercise, but are short on motivation, or don’t know how to do it with the kids, check out a class that you can bring them to, such as Baby Boot Camp or Stroller Strides. These are both nationally franchised, but there are private ones as well. Check out your city’s Parks and Recreation Department or your local parenting magazine (usually found free in grocery stores, toy stores, etc) for more information.
Written by Katie Kohn of Kohn Fitness.
Katie is a certified personal trainer and aerobic instructor. She currently trains clients and instructs for Baby Boot Camp in San Clemente, CA and Dana Point, CA. For information about personal training or Baby Boot Camp you can email Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.babybootcamp.com
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