5 Things To Do with a Stroller to Get / Stay Fit

Written by: Erin Gaikowski
Posted: February 16, 2021
Before we get started, let me first say that most exercise should wait until you are 6-weeks postpartum and have been cleared by your doctor. Until then, relax, heal, bond, survive, love on your brand new bundle of wonderful, and maybe try to get out of the house, when you’re ready, to save your sanity. At some point after those 6 weeks, any point really, exercise can be an awesome tool for you to get back to you and do some self-care. Strength will help you deal with the many physical challenges of motherhood. Just the act of exercising elevates your mood. That body has done amazing things, mama. Love it, and take care of it.

Finding time to exercise when you’ve got little ones can be a challenge, but involving them in your workout, in the stroller, can get you that time. Here are 5 exercises you can do with stroller-age littles in tow.

1- Go for a walk. This one may seem too simple to list, but seriously, it’s low impact, it’s approved for very early after birth - basically, as soon as you feel up to it, it’s very customizable, and it’s got great physical and mental benefits. Bundle that baby up as needed and get outside! Just do a loop, or pick a place to go, maybe a friend’s house or the library. Admittedly, my favorite walking destination is the bakery, which may not seem strictly compatible with fitness, but I’ll argue the occasional treat is good for the soul. Going for a walk gets you out of the house and gives you visual space not limited by walls. It gets both you and baby some fresh air and vitamin D. It lets you socialize with people you don’t live with, at a safe distance, and super well ventilated. And walking is a great cardio exercise that you can make harder or easier by adjusting the pace, distance, and terrain (think hills).

2- Walking Lunges - Take a big step forward, then drop the back knee straight down to tap the ground. The posture you’re going for is that of a Disney prince proposing. Your chest stays up, your shoulders stay stacked over your hip, which is in line over the back knee. The front leg makes a right angle at your hip and knee and the knee stays over the ankle, not shooting out in front of your toes. Then stand up, step through with the back leg, and repeat. If tapping your knee to the ground is too much, channel the same image, but don’t drop as low. Lunges are great for core strength, most especially your glutes, and will give you a good cardio workout. Lunge walk that fussy movement-craving baby around the living room, with or without the stroller. Or add a few walking lunges to amp up that walk we talked about earlier.

3- Squats - Standing behind the stroller, hand on the handlebar, stroller wheels locked. Set your feet shoulder-width apart, and sit back into your heels, like there’s a chair behind you, knees track out over your toes and your chest stays upright. When you stand back up, give a squeeze of your glutes and abs, before you sit back down. The stroller gives you that cue to keep your chest up and can help as a counterbalance when you sit back into the squat letting you stay on your heels. If the stroller occupants get restless, you can go around the front for your squats. You won’t get the benefits of having the stroller handle, but you can toe-tickle and play “gotcha” or “peek-a-boo”.

4- Leg Extensions and Abductions - Start standing behind the stroller, with your hand resting on the handle, stroller breaks on. You’re using the stroller as a barre substitute for these, to help cue your posture and provide a balance assist. Keeping your chest up, and your core tight, lift one leg straight back. You won’t get a huge amount of lift here. Stay tall, don’t hinge forward at your hip, extend the leg straight back, lifting with your glutes. For the hip abductions, the idea is much the same. Stand tall, hand resting on the stroller handle, either in front of you or turned to the side, and lift your straight leg up to the side as high as it will comfortably go. Your upper body stays upright with your core engaged. Avoid leaning away as you lift the leg.

Both these exercises are great for your hips, glutes, and core. Both also provide a nice balance challenge, with the safety of the handlebar to help you stay steady if you start to totter. And balance, physical balance, in this case, is so very useful in motherhood.

5- Stroller Bird Dog - This is another fabulous single-leg stance, balance, and core exercise that you can use your stroller to assist in. Stand behind the stroller, two hands on the handle, brakes off this time. Lift one leg straight back, while you hinge at the hip, lean forward, and push the stroller out in front of you. The goal is to maintain as much of a straight line as possible between your shoulder and the heel of your extending leg. The image that always occurs in my head when doing these is that drinking desk bird, that tips into and out of the water glass. If that’s helpful, great! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, no worries. Reach out, pushing the stroller forward, until you are about parallel with the ground, or you reach the point where you’re comfortable, pause there for a breath, then pull the stroller back in as you return to standing. Here the stroller is not only acting as friendly balance help, it is also providing resistance as you push it out and pull it back in.

Bonus 6 - Come to a Stroller Strides or Stroller Barre class! Not only will you get a great workout with fun for your little ones built-in, but you will also make mom friends. You will work out with mamas who maybe got as much sleep as you did last night, or whose baby hates the car seat too. Mamas who have been where you are. Mamas who are there now. Come get your workout and find your village. #motherhoodsisterhood

You can find out more about Erin and her offerings on the Be Her Village website here!

Category: Lifestyle
Tags: postpartum fitness , motherhood , empowering mothers , fit pregnancy , postpartum body , postpartum , postpartum support , postpartum recovery , wellness