Be All that You Can Be
With baby boot camp, you'll get exercise, laughs and support.
Start by walking for 15 minutes to a location where you feel comfortable exercising. For the first 5–7 minutes, walk at a steady pace to warm up. Stride comfortably, rolling from your heel through your arch and pushing off with the ball of your foot. Keep your torso erect, and don’t lean forward onto the stroller.
After you’ve warmed up, add 15 walking lunges, pushing the stroller as you lunge (see “Walking Lunges” at right). Stop and stretch your legs in a runner’s lunge (place one foot in front of the other, feet flat; press hips forward for about 30 seconds). Start walking again, this time on your toes to strengthen your calves, for one street block (see “Calf-Walk Raises” at right). Then stretch your legs in a runner’s lunge one more time.
Walk briskly for 5 minutes, or until you reach your destination.
Do the following 2 exercises as part of your first cardio walk:
- Walking Lunges: While walking, take a giant step forward with one foot. Bend both knees so front knee is over front ankle and back knee points toward ground. Straighten legs and repeat with the other leg. Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks and calves.
- Calf-walk Raises: As you walk, rise up onto the balls of your feet. Shorten your stride so you can still push the stroller even with your heels lifted. Strengthens calf muscles.
Do 2–3 sets of 12–15 reps for each exercise. Stretch while you rest between sets.
1. STRETCH AND SQUAT Stand behind your stroller with both hands on the handlebar, feet hip-width apart. Using your abdominals for support, bend your knees and push the stroller in front of you until your torso is parallel to the ground (A). Pull stroller back, returning to an upright position; sit back on your heels and squat (B). Do this in one fluid motion. Straighten legs and repeat. Strengthens legs, back, abdominals and shoulders.
2. BENCH STEP-UPS Park your stroller nearby so your baby can see you. Face a curb or sturdy park bench that is about calf height (no higher than your knees). Step onto the bench with your right foot (A), followed by your left (B). Step down with your right foot and then your left. As you step up, tighten your buttocks. Repeat, alternating lead legs with each set. Strengthens buttocks, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.
3. INCLINE PUSH-UPS Place your hands on the back of a park bench shoulder-width apart, arms straight, legs extended behind you. Press hips forward so your body forms a straight line (A). Contract your abs. Bend your elbows out to the sides, lowering chest toward the bench (B). Press up to starting position and repeat. Strengthens chest, front shoulders and triceps.
4. TRI-DIPS Sit on the edge of a bench with your hands on the edge, fingers facing forward, arms straight. Bend your knees, keeping feet flat. With your back straight, support your body on your hands and lift your buttocks off the bench. Bend elbows, lower body and repeat. Strengthens triceps.
5. LAT PULL Holding one end of a resistance band in each hand, stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent; extend arms above your head. Pull the band until your hands are just wider than shoulders (A). (You may need to wrap the band around your hands.) Contract your abs. Squeeze shoulder blades together; bend elbows toward your waist while lifting chest up toward band (B). Slowly straighten arms and repeat. Strengthens back and shoulders.
6. BICEPS CURLS Holding one end of a resistance band in each hand, stand on the band, feet hip-width apart, arms hanging by your sides, palms facing forward. Bend your arms, curling the band up toward your shoulders, keeping elbows stationary and wrists straight. Lower and repeat. Strengthens biceps.
Walk home at a brisk pace for 10 minutes; walk slowly for 5 minutes. Then stretch your legs, calves and back. Finish at home with some ab crunches.