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Babywearing exercises

Having a baby doesn’t mean you need to give up on your postpartum workout routine, it just means you may need to bring your baby along for the ride! 

I am now six months postpartum with baby number three and it has been one wild ride. 

I had this expectation that going from two kids to three was going to be an easier transition than one to two. 

At least this is what everyone with more than two kids told me. 

However, I must be the minority because the transition to three babies, under four years of age, has been a huge struggle. 

Lesson learned, lower your expectations in motherhood because all it does is set you up for failure! 

Okay, failure is a horrible word.

I have not failed, I have just struggled. 

The mental load of three kids has been much harder than the physical demands. 

There are very few moments in a day where I am “kid free”.

Which obviously means getting my workouts in can be challenging.

Being the hyperactive, can’t sit still type of person that I am, I quickly discovered that sometimes the best way to squeeze in a workout is with my little ones in tow. 

Are mommy and me workouts ideal or perfect? 

Not exactly.

But they get the job done when you have no other choice. 

On days I can’t get to the gym or geared up to do a more HIIT style workout, I do what I can with my kids. 

My motto is, “something is ALWAYS better than nothing!”

So grab your little ones and get ready to get sweaty. 

 

In this post, you will discover:

  • My top three benefits of babywearing exercises to get you more motivated than ever
  • Safety tips for wearing your baby during exercise
  • 22 of my favorite babywearing exercises 
  • Tips to create the perfect babywearing workout

All you need is a supportive baby carrier, and a pair of dumbbells and loop bands

If you aren’t ready to incorporate weights just yet, there a few options for bodyweight exercises with your baby. 

However, I find it challenging to work my upper body without dumbbells while babying wearing.

Disclaimer: The material on this blog and social media associated with this blog are provided for educational purposes only. While I have a Bachelors of Science Degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science and am a Certified Prenatal/Postnatal Exercises Specialist, this content should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or in place of therapy or medical care. You are responsible if you choose to try any of the workouts or advice given on this blog. 

 

Important Considerations Before You Start Babywearing Exercises

While babywearing exercises are one of my favorite ways to squeeze in a workout with my baby, please make sure you have received the green light from your health care provider to start exercising. 

Keep in mind that babywearing can be both beneficial and detrimental to your postpartum body if you aren’t careful. 

While some moms can wear their babies pain free, others may feel frustrated because babywearing doesn’t come without pain and discomfort. 

I highly recommend taking extra time to focus on strengthening your core, pelvic floor and back to help your body better support babywearing as well as prevent any further abdominal separation or pelvic floor dysfunction.

This is not to scare you but rather make you aware and remember to listen to your body. 

Babywearing is a workout in itself, regardless if your actual exercising or not! 

Having a strong core, pelvic floor, glutes and back can help you wear your baby more comfortably! 

 

Benefits of mommy and me workouts

The movement is relaxing to your little one

Newborns are used to movement in our bellies.

Exercising with your little one can help mimic the movements they are used to and even help calm them when they are fussy.

Role model for your little ones

I firmly believe that kids grow up learning more from what we do than what we say. 

Staying active with your kids not only helps you to be healthy and active but it also helps set them up for a very healthy and happy future by learning from your actions.

Babies add a functional weight to your workouts

As your baby grows, the more resistance they add to your workout. 

This added weight will help you progressively get stronger!

 

Safety tips for babywearing exercises 

Here are a few safety considerations before you get started: 

  1. Make sure your baby carrier fits your baby properly and that it supports their head if they do not have good head control yet. 
  2. You can keep a hand on your baby while exercising if this helps you feel more secure.
  3. Make sure the top of the carrier is well ventilated and the baby’s airways are clear
  4. Make sure you and your baby are dressed appropriately to avoid overheating. The summers where I live are as high as 110 degrees. Even exercising indoors can be hot. I would keep my baby in thin onesie or just a diaper. 
  5. Avoid abrupt movements that may jerk your babies head around too much.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Safe Babywearing Workouts 

 

22 At Home Babywearing Exercises To Work Your Entire Body

Before getting started with these exercise, I suggest paying extra attention to your core and pelvic floor strength. 

Wearing a baby in a carrier all day is a core workout in itself, trust me! 

Please make sure you pay close attention to keeping your core engaged during these exercises to prevent any hip or back discomforts.

I like to imagine “zipping up” my lower belly and bringing my pelvis to ribcage. 

Related: Postpartum Exercise: What You Need To Know Before Getting Started

 

1. Babywearing Wall Squat Pelvic Tilt

This exercise is great for teaching you to activate your core muscles to help provide support and stability while babywearing. 

  1. Begin in a wall squat with knees bent to comfort. As you get stronger, you may advance the exercise by sitting deeper against the wall 
  2. Make sure your head, shoulders and tailbone are against the wall
  3. Take note of the small curve in your low back where it may not naturally touch the wall
  4. To initiate the pelvic tilt, begin by exhaling and letting your belly relax.
  5. On in inhale, imagine “zipping up” your low belly from your pelvic floor.
  6. This movement will reduce the arch in your low back by activating your core muscles
  7. The movement is NOT sucking your stomach in. 
  8. Relax and repeat for 10 reps

I suggest practicing this often and be sure you are able to engage your core during any of the wall squat exercises!

 

2. Babywearing Wall Squat Arm Raises

Once you have mastered the Wall Squat Pelvic Tilt, you are ready to start moving your arms to really focus on that core strength!

  1. Begin in a wall squat with knees bent to comfort. As you get stronger, you may advance the exercise by sitting deeper against the wall.
  2. Perform the wall squat pelvic tilt above.
  3. On the exhale, zip your belly up and hold at the top
  4. Slowly bring your arms out in front of you and begin raising them above your head
  5. You may notice that it is challenging to keep your core engaged as you lift your arms. THAT’S OK!
  6. Bring them only as far up as you can without losing connection in your core.
  7. Slowly bring them back to your starting position and repeat by first zipping up your core and then slowly lifting your arms.

NOTE: Proper core engagement is very important when performing any overhead exercises! You want to avoid excessively arching your low back by keeping your core engaged. 

 

3. Babywearing Wall Squat Shoulder Press

Now that you have mastered the wall squat pelvic tilt and the wall squat arm raises, you can move onto more fun and exciting exercises like this wall squat shoulder press!

My favorite part about these exercises against the wall is they work your entire body making them more effective in helping your burn more calories and build strength. 

  1. Start in the same position as the first two exercises above. 
  2. Once you have good core connection, grab a pair of dumbbells and bring them to your shoulders to begin the exercise.
  3. Slowly press the weights above your head. 
  4. You should feel your shoulders, core, legs and booty working!

 

4. Babywearing Wall Squat Bicep Curl

  1. Start in the same position as the first two exercises above
  2. Once you have good core connection, grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them down at your sides
  3. Slowly perform a basic bicep curl keeping the back of your arms against the wall as you lift the weight
  4. Slowly lower the weight to the starting position
  5. You should feel your biceps, core, legs and booty working!

 

5. Babywearing Wall Squat Adductor Pulses

This exercise is great for activating and strengthening your booty!

  1. Start in the same position as the first two exercises above
  2. Carefully place a loop band around your knees
  3. Holding the squat, move your knees in and out 
  4. Try to hold for 30-45 seconds with pulses

 

6. Babywearing Curtsy Lunge With Bicep Curl Press

  1. Perform a curtsy lunge by bringing your left leg back and behind your front leg
  2. Drive through your front heel to activate your glutes and return to center
  3. Once both things are together, perform a bicep curl then press the weights up above your head
  4. Slowly lower and return the dumbbells to your sides. 
  5. Repeat on the right side
  6. Alternate back and forth for 30-45 seconds or 12 reps

 

7. Babywearing Front Raise Tricep Extension

  1. Hold a dumbbell by holding each end with your hands and begin with the weight at your hips
  2. Engage your core
  3. With your arms straight, slowly lift the weight up
  4. Once the weight is above your head, pause and bend your elbows to bring the weight toward the back of your head
  5. Using the back of your arms, press the weight back up above your head and slowly lower the weight to the starting position
  6. Repeat for 30-45 seconds or 12 reps 

 

8. Babywearing squat lunge combo

  1. Begin with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your hands on your baby.
  2. Perform a basic squat with focus on keeping your core engaged
  3. Stand and while keeping your feet in position, shift your body to the right into a standing lunge position.
  4. Slowly lower to perform a standing lunge
  5. Stand and return to your front squat position 
  6. Perform a squat and repeat on the opposite side
  7. Continue moving back and forth for 30-45 seconds or 12 reps

 

9. Babywearing Reverse Lunge Lateral Raise

  1. Start with your feet together while holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides
  2. Perform a reverse lunge by bringing your left leg behind you
  3. Keeping your weight in your front leg as you bend down to create a 90 degree angel in your front leg. 
  4. To stand, drive through your front foot to bring your body back to the starting position
  5. Once standing with your feet together, slowly raise the dumbbells out to the sides only up to about ear level 
  6. Slowly lower and repeat on the opposite leg
  7. Continue for 30-45 seconds or 12 reps 

 

10. Babywearing Knee To Elbow (standing crunch!)

While traditional crunches should be avoided postpartum, this is a great alternative that works your core, legs and glutes! 

  1. Begin with your right arm up and left foot behind you in a lunge position
  2. Press through your front foot to bring your left knee up in front of you while also bringing your right elbow down
  3. Bring your knee and elbow together. They may not touch but thats okay!
  4. It is important to really focus on keeping your core engaged
  5. You may keep your opposite hand on your baby’s back for more support
  6. As you step back with your left foot, slowly raise your right arm back up
  7. Repeat for 30-45 seconds or 12 reps each leg

 

11. Babywearing Weight To Knee

This is the same movement as exercise number 10 above however you simply add a dumbbell to make the exercise a little more challenging! 

12. Babywearing Lateral Lunge Shoulder Press

 

13. Babywearing Row Tricep Extension Combo

  1. Start with your left leg forward and a dumbbell in your right hand. Support your baby’s head with your opposite hand.
  2. Keeping your core engaged, hinge your upper body forward with your weight in your front leg.
  3. Bring your elbow back to perform a single arm row
  4. At the top of the row, extend your arm straight
  5. Bring back to your starting position and repeat
  6. Repeat for 30-45 seconds or 12 reps

 

14. Babywearing Squat Pulses

  1. Begin with your feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart
  2. Holding your baby, slowly lower your body into a squat position
  3. At the bottom of the squat, add a small pulse before returning to stand 
  4. Return to your starting position 
  5. Repeat for 30-45 seconds or 12 reps

 

15. Babywearing Squat Side Crunch 

  1. Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart
  2. Place your right hand on your baby for support 
  3. Raise your left arm as you squat down 
  4. As you stand, bring your left elbow to your left knee to perform a side crunch
  5. Return to standing
  6. Repeat for 30-45 seconds or 12 reps each side

 

16. Babywearing Tricep Extension

  1. Start with feet shoulder width apart
  2. Holding a the ends of a dumbbell, bring your arms above your head
  3. Keeping your upper arms straight, bend your elbows to bring the weight back behind your head
  4. Press the weight back up until your arms are straight
  5. Focus on keeping your core engaged to prevent excessive arching in your low back. Think zipping up your belly bringing your pelvis to ribcage and holding that position during the exercise.

 

17. Babywearing Walking Lunge Curl Press

  1. Start with your feet together holding two dumbbells at your sides
  2. Take a step forward with your right foot and lower your body into a lunge position
  3. Press through your front food and bring your back foot forward to bring your feet together
  4. Bring the weights up into a bicep curl
  5. At the top of the bicep curl, engage your core and press the weight above your head
  6. Slowly lower the weights back down and return to the starting position
  7. Continue on the other side.
  8. Repeat for 12 reps or 30-45 seconds 

 

18. Babywearing Lateral Band Walks

  1. Carefully place a loop band around your knees
  2. You may place your hands on the back of your baby for support or place them on your hips
  3. Keeping your core engaged, sink your hips into a comfortable squat position. The lower your body, the more challenging the exercise
  4. Initiate the movement by pressing off your back foot to move your body laterally
  5. You should feel the exercise in glutes

 

19. Babywearing Walking Lunge-Reverse Lunge Combo

  1. Start with your feet together with your arms supporting your baby. You may also use dumbbells for more resistance
  2. Take a large step forward with your right foot
  3. Lower your body into a lunge position
  4. Press through your right foot and bring your left knee up in front of you
  5. Return the left leg back behind your to perform a reverse lunge
  6. Then bring your left leg through to take a large step forward
  7. Repeat on the opposite side
  8. Continue for 30-45 seconds or 12 reps 

 

20. Babywearing Reverse Plank

This exercise may not be accessible for everyone while babywearing and thats okay!

If you are unable to do it while babywearing, try it without your baby.

This is one of my favorite postpartum friendly core and glute exercises.

  1. Start by sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Place your palms on the floor slightly behind and outside your hips with your finger tips facing forward
  3. Press into the palms of your hands and lift your hips and torso toward the ceiling
  4. Look up to the ceiling, point your toes, and keep your arms and legs straight
  5. Form a straight line from your head to your heels
  6. Squeeze your core as your “zip up your belly button to your rib cage”. Also squeeze your glutes to provide more stability
  7. To advance the exercise, try alternating marching by bringing your knees to your chest.
  8. If your hips begin to sag or drop, lower yourself back to the floor, rest and repeat.
  9. Try to work up to three sets of 30-45 second holds

 

21. Babywearing Tricep Bench Dips

  1. If you do not have a bench available, you could try using a stable chair but please make sure the chair has good support!
  2. Start by sitting on the bench or chair with your hands next to you
  3. Grip the bench and slowly extend your legs out in front of you
  4. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows
  5. Once your elbows are at about 90 degrees, press through your palms to lift yourself back up
  6. Only go as low as you feel comfortable! 
  7. Note: Make sure you keep your back straight and do not allow your shoulders to crunch up to your ears
    1. The further your legs are in front of you, the more challenging the exercise. 

 

22. Babywearing Pulse Lunge

  1. Stand with your right leg forward and your left leg back in a lunge position
  2. Lower your body so your back knee descends toward the floor
  3. Press through your front foot and return to the standing position
  4. Repeat for 12 reps or 30-45 seconds each side

 

How To Create The Perfect Babywearing Postpartum Workout Routine

If your baby allows, warm up with core and pelvic floor focused exercises.

Grab an interval time and pick 5 or 6 of the exercises above per workout. I suggest downloading a free gym boss timer from your App Store on your phone to set up your intervals. 

Set your timer according to your fitness level as suggested below:

Level 1: 30 seconds work: 45 seconds rest 

Level 2: 30 seconds work: 30 seconds rest

Level 3: 30 seconds work: 15 seconds rest

Alternate exercises each workout and enjoy some baby bonding time and squeezing in a little “mommy time”! 

What questions do you have for me about babywearing workouts?

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