I have come together with Dignity Health to inspire more parents to get active and improve their health and wellness, while also building a stronger bond with their child. The New Year is the perfect time to get moving and build some great healthy habits. As parents another way to set habits for our kids is by setting the example for our kids and also build our relationship with them at the same time!
All the exercises chosen either engage a baby with eye contact and physical touch, or involve a child in the activity. Dignity Health knows how the power of these small moments of connection can help strengthen your bond with your child, while also strengthening your body.
Finding time to workout after having a baby or if you have young children at home can be hard for moms and dads. We don’t have time to go to a gym, but at the same time we want to take care of ourselves and teach our kids the importance of being active and healthy. These exercises are great for mom and dad as well!
I want to challenge you to try out this workout. Enlist your newborns to five years old kids and your spouse and lets strengthen your body and your relationship with your child.
Newborn – 12 Months
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your toes turned out into a 45
Hold your baby out in front of you facing forward, snuggled against you or the child can be placed
on the floor in front of you for eye contact.
Bend your knees and lower your torso as low as you can while keeping your back straight and
abs tight. Your knees move slightly to the sides in a plie squat rather than the front as they do in a regular squat
As you return to the top of the squat squeeze your glutes.
Instead of just dropping down and standing back up, focus on feeling your glutes throughout the entire bodyweight squat. As you lower, feel them stretch. As you stand, forcefully contract them.
Repeat to complete 4 sets of 15.
Note: Deep squats translate to better jumping and everyday movement. You want to go as deep as possible,
while maintaining good form in the bodyweight squat.
Lay on your side with your feet stacked on top of each other and forearm resting on the ground next to you.
Place your baby on their back, parallel to you.
Engage and tighten your core and lift your hips toward the sky until your body is in a straight line from head to toe. For a modification, place your top foot on the floor in front of you with
the knee bent(see picture below).
Hold the position and don’t let your hips drop.
Hold the position for 30 seconds for 4 sets.
After having a baby, the rectus abdominals (six pack muscles) are still healing and weak. Doing a side plank can help strengthen your core without causing unneeded intra-abdominal pressure on your core too soon postpartum.
Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
Hold the baby seated on your chest or up in the air above you. (This helps with strengthening
their neck and abdominals too!)
Pull your core in and engage your inner core muscles.
Lift your hips off the ground and slightly rotate your pelvis bone while keeping your shoulders
on the ground. Do not over extend your back towards the sky.
Make sure at the top of the bridge you squeeze your glutes.
Lower your hips back down to the ground.
Repeat to complete 4 sets of 20.
This is a very effective exercise for healing postpartum for moms. It helps strengthen your transverse
abdominals and pelvic floor, which helps with healing!
1-2 YEARS OLD
Start standing with your feet shoulder width apart.
Place your child on your shoulders.
Slowly bring your right knee down into a kneeling position followed by your left knee.
Repeat the motion to stand back, but make sure you drive your weight through your leg while
keeping your back straight and core tight.
Repeat to complete 4 sets of 10.
Do not allow the weight of the child make you fold forward in the standing up motion. Try to think about
making your hamstring, glutes and quadriceps do all the work. Practice this move first without a child to
make sure you get the form right.
0-12 Months Old
1-2 Years Old
3-5 Years Old
the move can be done with any age as gallery shows!
Lie face down on the floor with your hands at the side of your chest, shoulder width apart and
your feet together.
Have your kid climb on your back and wrap their body around you, piggy back style – be sure
they hold on tight!
Keep your core as tight as possible by pulling your belly button in towards your spine.
Lower yourself down until your elbows are about at a 90 degree angle.
Press through your palms and push yourself back up. Make sure you go to full extension and
Repeat to complete 4 sets of 10.
Try the push-ups on your knees first to feel the difference in the added weight and ensure proper form.
Push ups are also a move thats good with any age!
Have child stand in front of you.
Place hands under child’s armpits.
While holding child, go down into the squat position, while at the same time tucking child in close.
You might have them place their hands on your forearms.
After reaching the lowest point of the squat, explode up, while at the same time, lifting the child in
front of you.
Repeat to complete 4 sets of 5-10 depending on your abilities and weight of the child.
It should be one fluid motion from the bottom of the squat to the launch.
3-5 YEARS OLD
Make this a game with your kid, ask them to join you and count down the reps together!
Start in a plank position with arms and legs fully extended. Beginning in a solid plank is the key to
proper form and good results in the Mountain Climber. Keep your core tight and squeeze your
glutes to start.
Pull your right knee into your chest. As the knee draws to the chest, pull your abs in even tighter
to be sure your body doesn’t sag or come out of its plank position.
Quickly switch legs, placing your right foot back down into a plank position and lifting your left
Continue to switch knees. Pull the knees in right, left, right, left—always switching simultaneously
so that you are using a “running” motion.
Repeat to complete 4 sets of 15 counting your right and left knee as one rep.
As you begin to move more quickly, be in constant awareness of your body position and be sure to keep
a straight line in your spine and don’t let your head droop. Core body stability is crucial.
Have your kid join you – monkey see, monkey do!
Bend over or squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you, just outside of your
Jump both feet back (or step back) so that you’re now in plank position.
Jump the feet back in toward the hands.
Explosively jump into the air, reaching your arms straight overhead.
Repeat to complete 4 sets of 10.
Pick a move
Have them copy you
Gather kids and adults and designate someone to be the leader (aka Simon).
Simon gives commands that the listeners need to follow.
Together with the child, perform various exercises as fast as you can. Vary the speed at which
Exercises could include: jumping Jacks, squats, mountain climbers, push-ups, running in place,
crab walks, frog hops, etc.