If you are a mom, you will lift weight: Carrying a sleeping child from the car to her bed; giving piggy back rides; hoisting a slippery child out of the tub. No doubt about it, motherhood requires some heavy lifting. The best way to prevent injury and stay ahead of the curve is to be able to lift as much as your heaviest child.
The Training for Motherhood workout is intended to make you one strong mother. You can do the workout anywhere, with or without your children, all in just 10 minutes (because we know you don’t have more time). It’s easy to do and easy to remember:
10 dead lifts
Do as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. Keep your abdominal muscles tight for all of these moves:
Push-ups: Work the muscles you need to carry a clingy child for hours. Begin with knees up then move to knees on floor when needed. Once you work up the strength have a little one climb aboard for a ride.
Squats: Work the muscles you need to lower down to kid level then raise back up (with same kid in arms). Keep feet a little wider than hip’s distance; go as low as you can without rounding your back. Hold your weight (bag of flour, car seat, toddler, etc.) close to your chest. Power back up with your butt and hips, not your low back.
Dead lifts: Work the muscles you use to pick up children out of cribs and bath tubs and those ridiculously heavy car seats. With feet about hip’s distance, bend to grab your designated weight (bag of flour, car seat, toddler, etc.), knees slightly bent. Keep your back straight and braced, core tight. Engage your gluteus muscles and press down into the floor. Lift with your hips until your knees are straight.
Modify as necessary in the beginning and gradually add weight until you can lift the weight of your heaviest child (because, duh, this is what you do in real life). When you use your child as the weight in the workout, you will become as exciting as her favorite amusement park ride. You can see what we mean in this video of Kara doing the Training for Motherhood workout with her kids at home. That’s what we call quality family time.
About Guest Bloggers Laurie Kocanda and Kara Thom:
Kara Douglass Thom was a runner and triathlete long before she became a mom and finds her multisport training skills apply to mothering her four young children, 8-year-old twin girls, a 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. She is the author of two other books, “Becoming an Ironman: First Encounters with the Ultimate Endurance Event,” and the children’s book, “See Mom Run.” She writes about health, fitness and parenting for numerous publications and blogs about finding fitness in the chaos of motherhood at Mama Sweat.
A veteran endurance athlete, Laurie Lethert Kocanda has completed over 40 marathons, two Ironman triathlons, and four ultramarathons… so far. Motherhood has made her tougher—she’s conquered more miles and covered them faster as a mom than she did before. Laurie is an ACE certified group fitness instructor and has been revving up group cycling classes for over 10 years. As the former editor of two regional sports magazines and a freelance writer for local and national publications, Laurie’s writing focuses on fitness, family, women’s issues, and pregnancy. She has two daughters, who are 9 and 5.
Both Laurie and Kara blog at Hot Sweaty Mamas.