4 Free Exercises for You and Your Baby

4 Free Exercises for You and Your Baby

As a new mom, it's easy to let your fitness fall by the wayside.

(Also as a veteran mom, an employee or a person in general.)

But there's a new solution for new moms: Get strong and fit with your baby, whenever you have a spare ten minutes and without spending an extra dollar.

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It's not our idea—it's the work of Sara Haley, an international fitness expert with over 20 years of fitness and dance training and creator of "Expecting More," a DVD workout program for expectant mothers. Haley, who specializes in functional training, prenatal exercise and dance methodology, is also the mother of 13-month-old Landon.

"After Landon was born, I felt like I was in a foreign body," Haley says. "I felt really guilty going to the gym, and it was my job! There were plenty of days in the beginning where I just wanted to be with him all day long, and I knew that there were other people out there like me."

So Sara created a series of simple moves that can be done without even leaving the nursery, much less changing into workout gear and blocking off an hour of your life. "They're great for the days when you know you’ll be caught up around the house. You don’t even have to do them all at once—just do a couple a few times each day, which mixes it up for you and for your kid."

She knew they were a success long before she posted them online and got an outpouring of support from parents and trainers with mom clients because the harshest judge enjoyed them: her son.

P.S. You don't need to have a new baby on board to do these exercises. Any free weight, or moderately heavy object will do, and we're sure you'll love how quick and easy the moves are, regardless of how old your kid is.

We've included some of her favorite moves below, to try at your leisure.

Mama Squats

Begin with your feet shoulder width apart. Holding Baby against your chest, sit back into your heels (just like a regular squat). Your knees should never go over your toes in this position. Keep your chest lifted and squeeze your shoulder blades together. You should feel like you are about to fall back into a chair. Come all the way back up and stand tall. Repeat 20 times.

So Big!

Repeat your Mama Squat, but this time hold your baby underneath his arms. As you sit back into your squat, you can give him a big kiss. As you stand up tall, extend your arms straight up and reach your baby to the sky. This should bring a big smile to his face (and to yours).

Mama Reverse Lunges

Just like the Mama Squat, hold Baby against your chest, step back with one leg into a deep lunge (back heel stays lifted). Push off both feet to bring feet together. This will probably be more of a balance challenge than anything else (which means you have to use your core!). Keep your shoulders lined up with your hips throughout. If you find this to be easy, challenge your core even more by picking up one leg when you come back in. Repeat 12 times on each side.

'I Love You' Plank

The "I Love You" Plank works the core, which is often an area of concern for new moms. First, try the exercise apart from your baby, then include him when you feel confident. Keep your shoulders over your hands and your hips over your knees, or your legs extended straight out behind you. Squeeze your muscles and be sure not to sink in your back. You can measure how strong you're getting by how many times you can speak to your baby during the exercise.

Image Credit: sarahaley.com

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