By Jessica H. Maurer & FIT4MOM
Becoming a parent comes with an overwhelming amount of rewards—from morning snuggles to first giggles, motherhood is full of moments to celebrate. And then there are the days when you find dirty clothes in your dishwasher, forget to bring extra diapers, or worst of all… can’t find your coffee!
While it may not seem the obvious solution, incorporating movement into your day can make you a calmer and happier parent. That’s why FIT4MOM designed Stroller Strides—a full-body workout to give you a boost of happiness and energy while your little one(s) are strapped in their stroller and distracted by bubbles, snacks, and songs.
Chrystal Ziebart started her FIT4MOM journey as a mama taking Stroller Strides classes. She loved the movement and community so much, that she began instructing. She loves using the stroller to encourage more movement in mamas’ daily lives. “Using your stroller to exercise is so easy. You’re already probably going for walks with your little one(s), so it’s a really easy next step to incorporate a little extra to make those walks fun for your little one and beneficial for you too,” Chrystal says.
At FIT4MOM, we believe in training to be better movers and stronger in our #momlife, so our fitness classes move the way you move. Strength training by body weight and resistance bands offers a wide variety of health and fitness benefits including increased muscle strength and endurance, which helps decrease pain and injuries. Being able to push (moving objects away from you) and pull (moving objects towards you) properly assists in everything from getting out of bed, putting away groceries, and carrying a child.
“Leading moms in strength exercises is so rewarding. You get to meet all types of moms—the newborn mamas, the social mamas, the ones who love to exercise, and the moms who may have never exercised before. And no matter what type of mom comes to class, they always walk away feeling so strong, empowered, and confident in themselves. It’s amazing watching them realize exercise doesn’t have to be hard or boring to make positive impacts in their life,” Chrystal shares.
To give you a taste of what Stroller Strides is all about, try this 20-minute total body stroller workout designed for mamas with their little ones in tow. As you will see, this workout moves like a box around your stroller. You will start facing the front, move to one side, then the back, around to the other side, and then back to facing your kids in the stroller. This workout is a blend of moves to boost your heart rate and ones focused on strengthening your body with a resistance band through pushing and pulling exercises. We have even included some fun activities to help you entertain the kiddos while you are doing the movements. Grab your stroller and let’s get rolling, Mama!
HOW IT WORKS
Make sure to do the warm-up below first before diving in! Then, the workout should build a box around your stroller. Complete all 5 exercises in the workout in order for 1 minute each. Once you complete one box around your stroller, do all 5 exercises again for a total of 2 rounds.
- Walk 3-5 Minutes: Get some fresh air and get walking around the block for 3-5 minutes to get warmed up! If you are unable to walk around your neighborhood, do a cardio warm-up from your garage or backyard like walking in place or walking in circles with your stroller.
- Same Arm & Knee Lift: Start standing behind your stroller with your left hip and hand towards the handles. Find strong posture by standing with your feet under your hips, rib cage laced together, shoulder blades in your back pockets, and proud chest. While holding on to your stroller with your left hand, lift your right knee and arm with your shoulders rolled back and chin lifted, thinking about being tall. Repeat this knee lift 8 times then switch your sides.
- Moving Lunges: While behind your stroller, find a strong posture as discussed above. Step forward with your right foot, and bend both knees towards the ground. Press through your right heel to return to standing. Repeat with the left leg stepping forward. Continue for 8 times on each side.
- Standing Cat: Hold on to your stroller with both bands with your feet and hips distance apart. As you exhale, bend your knees, press your pelvic bones forward, your spine away from the stroller and drop your chin to your chest. As you inhale, rebuild yourself tall starting with your pelvic bones, then realign your rib cage, followed by your shoulders and then your head.
- FRONT OF THE STROLLER: HOPSCOTCH & FAST FEET
Start a few feet away from your stroller, facing your kiddo, with your feet hips distance apart. Squat down by bending both knees and sitting your hips down. As you stand up, lift one heel towards your hips as a “butt kicker”. When that foot comes down, step slightly forward and repeat the squat action. Once you are close to your kid, give them a tickle, and then run your feet back quickly to where you started. Repeat for an entire minute.
Increase the intensity by turning the squat and butt kicker into a Hopscotch movement by jumping through the squat and into the butt kicker—as if you are playing hopscotch when you were a kid yourself.
- LEFT SIDE: SWIVEL LUNGE & CHEST PRESS
Starting on the left side of the stroller, wrap the resistance band around your back and under your armpits, hold the handles and the tube, and bring your elbows up even with your shoulders. Think about lacing your rib cage together to activate your core. Now, step forward with your left leg, bending both of your knees. Then, open your body and legs towards the stroller and into a pile squat. While in the plie squat, push your hands forward. Now, slowly return the band back to the starting position as you rotate back into your lunge. Step together, re-adjust your posture, tighten your core, and repeat again for 1 full minute.
FUN4BABY? Of course it is, if you sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!
- BACK OF THE STROLLER: SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT & KNEE LIFT
Begin behind your stroller with your feet under your hips and fingertips on the handles. Take a moment to find strong posture – hips over heels, rib cage laced together, shoulders back and down, and strong chest. Push the stroller forward as you lift your right left behind you and tilt your torso and face down – nose over toes. Take a moment to find your full extension with your arms and leg stretched long. As you return to standing, gently pull the stroller back in and lift the right knee towards the handlebar. Test your balance by letting go of the handles. Now, lower the foot and return to find your strong posture before repeating on the other side. Alternate for 1 minute.
- RIGHT SIDE: SWIVEL LUNGE & REAR DELT FLY
Starting on the right side of the stroller, hold your resistance band’s handles and tube to where the band is tight in your hands at shoulder height. Think about lacing your rib cage together to activate your core. Now, step forward with your right leg, bending both of your knees. Then, open your body and legs towards the stroller and into a pile squat. While in the plie squat, pull your hands apart, with your pinkies coming to the midline of your body and the band almost touching the bottom of your sports bra. Now, slowly return the band back to the starting position as you rotate back into your lunge. Step together, re-adjust your posture, tighten your core, and repeat again for 1 full minute.
FUN4BABY? Of course it is, if you sing Twinkle Twinkle Dinosaur! Here are the lyrics: Twinkle twinkle dinosaur, letting out a great big ROAR, When he walks he STOMP STOMP STOMPS, when he eats he CHOMP CHOMP CHOMPS. Twinkle twinkle dinosaur, letting out a great big ROAR.
- FRONT OF STROLLER: 4 LOW JACKS W/ PEEK-A-BOO & 4 TAP BACKS WITH HIGH FIVES
Start a few feet away from your stroller, facing your kiddo, with your feet hips distance apart. Squat down by bending both knees and sitting your hips down and cover your face with your hands. Tap one foot out wide as you peek-a-boo your hands. Repeat for a total of 4 taps. Now, tap your foot behind you 4 alternating times as you give your kiddos high-fives. Repeat for 1 minute.
Want more? Add a bit of intensity by turning the taps to the side into low jumping jacks.
Do you want to experience these movements with other local moms and their kids!? FIT4MOM is launching our signature Stroller Strides classes in Canada at the canfitpro Global Conference & Trade Show on August 10-14th. Please join FIT4MOM’s Senior Director of Instructor Development, Jessica Maurer for her live workshops “Movements for Moms” and “Prenatal Truths & Myths” to learn more about FIT4MOM programming such as Stroller Strides.
You can also choose to jump right into Stroller Strides. Register for FIT4MOM’s presale to reserve your instructor license at a discounted rate here. All of FIT4MOM’s offerings go live June 15th.
Stroller Strides is a functional, total-body conditioning workout designed for moms with kids in tow. Each 60-minute workout is comprised of strength training, cardio, and core restoration, all while entertaining little ones with songs, activities, and fun! More importantly, each class is full of fellow moms full of friendship, support, and camaraderie.
Chrystal shared with us that Stroller Strides is her favorite program to teach. “You get to have so much fun as an instructor being as silly as you want with the kiddos, but you also can see the moms in class having fun too. You see the evolution of moms—when they start off as new, sleep-deprived, unsure mamas—and how they slowly start to feel stronger, more sure about themselves, more connected to other mothers. Eventually, they’re the ones welcoming other new moms telling them to just keep showing up for themselves because it’s worth it. It really is a beautiful thing watching this community grow through movement, community, and friendship.”
Our Stroller Strides education will teach you the skills to meet all of the moms where they are mentally and physically. Our licensing program offers you foundational pre/postnatal fitness training combined with a deep dive into the Stroller Strides class format. We also include an extensive video-based exercise library, FUN4BABY library, monthly sample classes, and so much more.
Start your village, Mama. Find out more here.