Stroller fitness is great in rain or shine, and makes use of interval training to burn maximal calories and help you improve your endurance without devoting hours to running and walking… all while you focus on the muscles of the abs, butt, thighs and calves. Here are some tips from Belly Bootcamp, Toronto’s top stroller fitness, and a DIY stroller fitness workout to get your heart pumping and blast off that little layer of winter “padding.”
All you need is a pair of well-fitting sneakers, some water, and a stroller with a handle height you find comfortable (a jogging stroller is great but not required). If your little person is past the strolling stage or you get an hour to yourself, you can also do this workout without the stroller.
• Younger babies in bassinet-style strollers should not be put through bumpy, rigorous strolls. Instead, speed walk the jogging portions and/or move baby to a more supportive car seat attachment or jogging stroller, when age appropriate (jogging stroller manufacturers recommend 6 months).
• Keep both hands on the stroller at all times to avoid imbalanced gait and possible injury to the back and shoulders.
• Stay upright with your bum tucked under and your arms bent at all times while pushing your stroller; contract your abs inward and lift your head off your chest. If you find yourself leaning forward and pushing the stroller with straight arms, eyes down, take a brief rest and resume pushing with upright posture and a strong core.
Water? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Motivation? Check. Here you go…
Warm up: 5-10 minutes
Begin by strolling and gradually building speed to a speed walk or light jog. Keep your bum tucked under and abs contracted, and stay close to your stroller. Think of pushing the stroller with the momentum from your legs, not from your upper body.
Work out: 20 minutes
Alternate 1 minute of each exercise with 1 minute of walking or jogging until all exercises have been completed twice through (for a total 2 sets of each exercise and 10 walk/jog intervals)…
Stroller Lunge (thighs, butt): Facing stroller, both hands on handle, take a large step with left foot; drop right knee toward ground in a lunge position until left thigh is parallel to ground. Keep chest & eyes up, looking over stroller handle. Press up through left heel to rise and alternate legs as you lunge forward for 1 minute; follow with 1 minute walking/jogging.
Stroller Crab Walk (thighs, butt): Stand sideways, right hip next to stroller and right hand on stroller handle (push stroller with one hand, or pull beside you with left hand if more comfortable). As you push stroller, take a large step out with right leg into a wide/sumo squat position, squat, then step left foot into right. Continue stepping with right leg for 30 seconds; switch sides. Follow with 1 minute walking/jogging.
Stroller Butt Kick (butt, calves, thighs): Jog forward on balls of feet, kicking heels to tap bum on every step for 1 minute; follow with 1 minute walking/jogging.
Stroller Duck Walk (inner thighs, butt): Squat facing stroller, both hands on handle, in a wide/sumo squat position with knees and toes pointing out. Push bum back and down and stay in squat as you take small forward steps in the squat position for 1 minute; follow with 1 minute walking/jogging.
Stroller Side Kick (abs, butt): Stand sideways; right hip next to stroller and right hand on stroller handle. Leaning as little as possible on stroller and using it only for balance, tilt slightly to right side and lift left leg up to kick to side/slightly behind you, squeezing butt as you kick. Tap foot to inside of right leg between kicks, without touching ground, for 30 seconds; switch sides. Follow with 1 minute walking/jogging.
Cool down: 5 minutes
Walk and gradually slow down speed until heart rate is low and you can breathe comfortably and deeply through your nose at a normal pace. Follow by stretching the muscles of your legs and chest.
As you get fitter, increase the intensity of your walk/jog intervals to increase the overall caloric burn and cardio challenge.
Guest blogger, Dara Bergeron is a women’s fitness expert and founder of Belly Bootcamp fitness for modern mommies. Visit www.bellybootcamp.ca for fitness news, recipes & workouts especially for mommies and mommies-to-be.
Happy strolling! What's your favourite way to stay active outside this spring?