Running is a great form of exercise, especially when you add in a little resistance training by pushing a jogging stroller. However, there are many ways you can enhance your run while working out with baby. Doing so will improve your workout and help mix things up a bit to prevent boredom.
When it comes to exercising, I find that boredom is often one of my biggest discouragements.
To enhance your run, try turning it into a circuit style workout. After warming up, alternate between 5 minutes of cardio (running/walking while pushing the stroller) and 2-3 minutes of toning (using the stroller).
Check out some of these stroller exercises you can do with your baby!
Stroller Exercises For The Lower Body
Squats are hands down one of the best exercises for our lower bodies. I have to admit, as brutal as they seem sometimes while I’m doing them, I’m a huge fan of squats. Even if you only do a handful of them, you always feel the effects of it. There is never a doubt that you are working your lower half. It is incredibly easy to incorporate squats into your workout with a jogging stroller.
How To Do Basic Stroller Squats:
- Start with your feet about hip width apart and your hands on the handlebar of your stroller.
- Start to lower your body as if sitting in a chair, pushing your hips back and bending your knees.
- At the same time, push the stroller forward as far as you can.
- Your legs should be bent parallel to the floor but do not let your knees go over your toes.
- Hold it for a few seconds, then pull the stroller back towards you are you stand up.
- Repeat the process!
- Don't push too hard - you don't want to over-do your workout or cause any harm, if your calve muscles just cannot do too much - don't risk it by straining yourself!
Check out this video for some great stroller squat variations from the ladies at Stroller Strides below:
See more here: Stroller Squat Variations from Stroller Strides
Get Your Baby Involved With Your Stroller Squats:
You can do a variation of squats that get your baby involved too, keeping them happy as you work out!
- To do this, come to the side of your stroller and stand facing it. Step out to the side and come into a squat and play “peek-a-boo” with your little one.
- Return to standing position.
- Complete 10-12 reps and then repeat on opposite side.
The laughter of your little one as your play “peek-a-boo” will help propel you through your exercises.
- Remember, It will be much easier to workout with your baby if they are happy!
#2 Stroller Lunges
Parent tested Parent Approved has two great exercises you can integrate into your workout.
Like squats, lunges are another high impact exercise. If done properly, it will target your glutes in your hips and butt along with the hamstrings and quadriceps in your thighs.
How To Do Basic Stroller Lunges:
- Keeping your hands on the stroller
- Step forward with the left foot to form a split position keeping your rear heel lifted.
- Lower yourself into a 90 degree position. Pause here, stand up and switch taking a step forward with your right leg.
- Continue, and remember to alternate between legs.
- Don't forget to alternate your legs, and have a good rest in-between reps if you need it. Don't push too hard!
#3 Duck Walking
How To Do The Duck Walk:
Fair warning, this is not the most attractive looking exercise but is an effective toning one!
- Keeping your hands on your stroller, spread legs wide into a sumo stance with toes and knees slightly turned out.
- Squat as low as you can and start walking forward, maintaining the sumo stance.
- Continue walking like this for a set amount of reps or until the people in the park start giving you funny looks (just kidding!).
For more information on these exercises, see here: http://ptpa.com/turn-your-stroller-into-a-toning-machine/
#4 Lateral Leg Lifts
Using the handlebar for support again, you can do a simple lateral leg lift, see below on how to best perform this exercise:
How To Do Lateral Leg Lifts:
- Holding the bar with your right hand, lift your left leg to a 45-90 degree angle and hold for a few seconds.
- Lower your leg and continue doing a set of these lifts.
- Then switch sides to work the right side.
Be aware of your abdominal muscles as you complete these leg lifts, you want them to stay engaged to improve the efficiency of the exercise.
See more here: http://www.skinnymom.com/stroller-fitness-workout/
#5 Oblique Crunches Using A Stroller
I don’t know many women who wouldn’t want to tighten up their abdominal muscles, especially after having a baby, myself included. But the thought of lying down to do countless crunches can be daunting. Using the stroller for support, you can work on your abdominal muscles without ever getting down on the floor. Before you start, be sure to lock the wheels of your stroller for support.
How To Do Oblique Crunch With Your Stroller:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your right hand on the handlebar.
- Extend your left arm overhead and left leg to the side, toes pointed.
- Bring your left elbow down at the same time you raise your left knee, keeping it out to the side.
- After completing a set on the left, switch sides to work the right.
Upper Body Exercises Using A Jogging Stroller
#1 Single Arm Chest Presses
It may seem like the majority of exercises to do with your jogging stroller are focus on the lower half of your body but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the upper half involved too. Even though your arms are most likely getting an added workout carrying around the baby all day, it is important to engage your entire body while workout out. Active has a few suggestions on how to add in an upper body workout.
The first exercise is a single arm chest press and works best when pushing the stroller up a hill or sloped driveway.
How To Do Single Arm Chest Presses
- Put one hand on the handlebar with the arm bent and push the stroller up the hill, then return.
- After completing a set of 10-12 reps, switch sides.
#2 Stroller Row
The second exercise involves “rowing the stroller” and is done while on that same hill or driveway except this time, have the stroller facing down the hill.
How To Perform The Stroller Row Exercise
- Space your hands about shoulder width apart on the handlebar and let the stroller roll forward while you extend your arms.
- Then pull the stroller back towards you in a rowing motion.
Workout With Your Baby By Skipping!
Fit Pregnancy has another unique idea to incorporate into your run – skipping! As you workout with your baby, why not indulge in something most often done by children themselves. By changing your movement even slightly, your body will use different muscle groups enhancing the results of your workout.
How To Workout With Your Baby By Skipping:
- While holding the stroller with your right hand, move towards the left side with large skips.
- Bring your knee high up towards your chest and you swing your left arm up as your skip.
- Alternate between sides and continue this for up to 4 minutes.
Things To Keep In-mind When Performing These Exercises
When working out with your baby, safety should be your first priority.
Be sure your baby is properly secured in his or her seat and always attached the wrist tether if included with your stroller.
Even if an exercise doesn’t involve your baby directly, keep them included by singing songs or talking about the things you see as you go. Also, remember that these exercises are meant to be encouraging, a way for you to take your workout to the next level but don’t get discouraged if you can’t do some or even all of them right away.
- Start with 1-2 reps of an exercise and work your way up. You’ll be complete a total body circuit workout before you know it!