Get your body back while bonding with your baby in this energizing barre-inspired workout, designed to induce calorie burn—and the giggles.
By Andrea Rogers • Modeled with Baby Laine
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, nothing could be more true with how Xtend Barre Babies on Board came to be.
As a new mom who couldn’t wait to get back to my workout but also found it hard to leave my baby in those early months, I started doing my Xtend Barre work, a fusion of Pilates and dance, at home: I would perform a quick plié series while playing peek-a-boo by the side of my daughter’s crib, do arm and leg work with my daughter in the baby carrier, and do abs in the playroom with my two girls. When I heard that Rockell, Xtend’s director of international business, did the same thing with her little boys in tow—and that other Xtend owners and instructors were piecing together their workouts on maternity leave or before heading to the studio—I knew that other new moms would benefit from an Xtend mommy-and-me workout.
We all wanted an exercise routine that would actually help us get back into shape, but at the same time, allow us to bond with our babies. And so Xtend Barre Babies on Board was born, designed to take care of the special physiology of a new mom’s body, while keeping tots entertained, no less. All you need is a sturdy baby carrier, a mat and optional light hand weights—and, of course, baby!—and you can work out just about anywhere.
Once you get the clean bill of health from your doctor, try the following metabolism-revving moves for a mega-dose of energy. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to do them all in one session; you can break them up into mini-workouts throughout the day. Because a happy mama means a happy baby!
Purpose: develops trunk stabilization; sculpts the chest and shoulders
Setup: Place baby supine on the mat, and get into a modified push-up position over him/her, with your
knees shoulder-width apart, and hands slightly wider than your shoulders and slightly turned inward (natural rotation). Shift your weight forward over your hands, and lift your feet up, touching your toes together.
1. Inhale, bending your elbows open to your sides as you lower your body toward the mat, giving baby a kiss.
2. Exhale, lifting your body back up. Do 4 slow reps, then 8 fast ones. Do 2 sets.
Tips: Do not arch your back—use your abdominals to protect and strengthen your lower back. Focus on control and connection for the first set of reps, and on fluid movement for the second.
Modification: Perform only 1 set and gradually increase the reps.
Advanced: Perform the exercise in full Plank position.
This story was printed in the May/June edition of Pilates Style. Get instant access to the magazine on your tablet or mobile device—packed with more great features—by purchasing our app edition!