7 Stroller Exercises for Working Out With Your Child
FIT4MOM x Sarah Holder
Monkey see, Monkey do.
Your little ones are always watching you—learning from your actions, words, and habits. We all want our kiddos to have healthy habits now and in the future, right? Well, it’s one thing to tell your kids to move more but it’s even better if you show them what that means. Seeing you exercise sends a powerful message to your little ones.
Show them the way by incorporating them into your fitness program. By seeing you move more, they will want to join in as well, helping them establish an active lifestyle for themselves. This is just one of the strong reasons to include your kids in your workouts, especially since this week is Exercise with Your Child Week!
FIT4MOM is more than just "a workout” for you and we value more than just movement for the kids. We want you and your little ones to build stronger bodies and minds.
What do you hold more dearly than hearing your kid’s first words or their first laugh? We hold our memories dear—especially those associated with our kids—so what if we told you that not only does exercising with your kids create special parent-child bonding moments, but it can improve your memory and build new ones for your littles?!
Studies have shown that exercise improves your memory by increasing the number of new synapses in your brain, specifically in the area that mediates learning and memory. According to research from BYU College of Life Sciences, exercise makes it easier for your brain to store new information, while also holding on to it for a longer period of time.
Now, imagine making your brain stronger while also providing learning lessons for your kid(s)! In typical FIT4MOM fashion (have you met Stroller Strides yet?), we want to show you how you can work out with your little ones who are still in a stroller! Try this full-body stroller workout that’ll make you feel great and create fun memories full of giggles and learning for your little(s)! You will be teaching them healthy habits, how fitness can be fun, and colors, counting, spelling, and more.
“Having my children with me while I exercise is educational for them and FUN for us all! Seeing their pure joy when I high five them, recite the ABCs, or sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes" is magical in its simplicity, ” shares Sarah Holder, a Stroller Strides instructor for FIT4MOM SE Fairfield County, CT . “I get special moments with them every time I work out and it provides a positive association for movement. They happily load into the stroller because they know it's going to be fun.”
Complete each movement for 16 repetitions. Repeat twice.
1. Mom: Jog forward & back / Kids: Nose & Toes
Start a few feet away from the front of your stroller. Jog forward and backward while alternating between asking them to point to their noes and toes.
This can be done with any of your favorite movements - skips, jogs, the pony—you name it, you can do it!
2. Mom: Reverse Lunge & Lat Pulldown / Kids: Animal Sounds
Face your stroller with your feet together and the band held over your head, slightly in front of your forehead. Find strong posture by pulling your pelvic floor together and upwards, zipping the ribcage together, and rolling your shoulders into your back pockets. Step backward with your right foot and bend both knees. Pull your right hand down towards the ground. Return the band to the top as you step your feet together. Make sure to release the core and pelvic floor contraction before re-engaging.
At any point of the movement, ask your kids to make animal noises to match the animal you call out
Don’t have a band? No big deal! Try this without the band!
3. Mom: Buttkickers / Kids: Peek-A-boo
Start a few feet away from the front of your stroller. You can choose to stay connected to the ground and alternate hamstring curls or turn those curls into butt kickers. Play peek-a-boo for 1 minute before moving to the next drill.
Just like with movement #1, this can be done with any of your favorite movements - skips, jogs, the pony - you name it, you can do it!
4. Mom: Single Leg Deadlift to Knee Lift / Kids: Tickles
Face your stroller with your feet together and band held over your head, slightly in front of your forehead. Find strong posture by pulling your pelvic floor together and upwards, zipping the ribcage together, and rolling your shoulders into your back pockets. Extend one leg behind you, with the toes staying connected to the floor. Tilt your upper body forward as your leg lifts - think of being a see-saw and even - and reach to give the kiddo a tickle. Return to standing by lowering the leg, but instead of touching the ground, bring the knee up in front of you.
With the knee lifted, can you find a moment of calmness with a strong pelvic floor and core contraction inward and upwards?
Struggling to balance? That’s ok. Leave your foot on the ground as you tilt forward!
5. Mom: Shuffle Side to Side / Kids: Colors
Start by facing the side of your stroller. Lower into a squat position, with your knees bent and hips lowered. Shuffle away from the stroller and as you come back, ask the kids what color you are holding up. For this example, Sarah is using colored scarves, but you can use any toy, card, rag, or items of your choice.
6. Mom: Plie Squat & Chest Press / Kids: Spell Their Name
Open your hips so you can set your feet to point towards the front corners of the “room”. Make sure your feet are wider than your hips for this plie squat. With the band wrapped around your back, hold your arms up at shoulder height with your palms facing the ground. Bend your knees to lower your hips, keeping an upright torso position. Press the band forward, saying 1 letter of your kid’s name, and return to elbows even with the body. Squeeze your heels together to help you stand back up as you zip your pelvic floor and core up to your color bones.
7. Mom: Plank & Hand Taps / Kids: ABCs
While on your hands and knees, face your stroller and be within reaching distance. Relax your back, core, and pelvic floor. Now, set your tailbone to shoot behind you, contract your pelvic floor and core muscles to find neutral spine, and push the floor away with your hands. Once you have found strong posture, straighten your legs into plank. Say the ABCs while you tap the stroller with your hands, alternating sides.
If this position if not for you, bend your legs so the tops of your knees are on the ground.
Want to try this with other moms just like you in your area?
Try one of our Stroller Strides classes nationwide!
Stroller Strides® is a 60-minute total-body workout with strength, cardio, and core training, all while engaging the little ones in a stroller! You’ll leave class feeling strong, empowered, connected, and energized—no matter your stage of motherhood.
“FIT4MOM is as much a community as it is a workout. Stroller Strides is a Village; It is my support network of other mamas. Even better, this support extends to my children and class enriches their lives and relationships, too. Not only are my children learning and having fun with me while they're at class, they also make friends, do playgroup activities, family events, outings, and so much more,” continues Sarah. “I am a mom of four children, two of whom have blossomed as classic extroverts because they have the opportunity to be around so many friends at Stroller Strides. My other two children are classic introverts and they have also blossomed at Stroller Strides because it is a safe, predictable, nurturing environment. Stroller Strides is a positive place for both mom and kids.”
Each Stroller Strides instructor is skilled to meet you where you are mentally and physically. You’ll leave class feeling connected, successful, and energized! This class is all about self-care in a supportive and encouraging environment. Plus, your kiddo will learn colors, numbers, letters, spelling, and so much more.
PS. Did Sarah look familiar to you? She was also featured in our blog “5 POWERHOUSE MOVES: LOW-IMPACT LOWER BODY WORKOUT” featuring Stroller Barre moves! She’s 32 weeks pregnant in those videos. 😱👏