Exercising With Your Child, Part 3: Abs

Squeezing an exercise routine into your day when you’ve got kids to constantly chase after can be hard. That’s why we created a series of exercise segments that can help you work out using your children as the weights.

In Part 1 and Part 2, we went over lower body and upper body exercises. In this blog, we’ll focus on your abs.

Exercise 1: Planks

What They Do: Planks work your transverse abdominals, the rectus abdominals, external oblique muscles and the glutes.

Involving Your Child: If you have a small child, lay him/her down beneath you. If you have an older child, let them lie on your back, holding onto your shoulders.

  • Get down on all fours, with either your child between your arms or on your back.
  • Move up to a straight-body position: Straighten your arms so they’re palms-down and directly in line with your shoulders. Only your tip-toes should be touching the floor.
  • Make sure your body is straight: Don’t let your backside stick up in the air or sag down.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds, and then lower back down.
  • Rest for a few seconds, and then go back into plank position for another 30 seconds.
  • Do a few times, slowly increasing your time in plank position the more you do it.

Exercise 2: Standing Core Twist

What They Do: These work your oblique muscles.

Involving Your Child: Hold your child out in front of you, about waist height.

  • Stand straight with your legs a little wider than shoulder width.
  • Hold your child straight out in front of you.
  • Slowly twist your mid-section to the left, back to the middle, then to the right.
  • Note: Your arms aren’t doing the twisting; they (and the baby) are just coming along for the ride.
  • Twist back to the middle and start again.
  • Do 2-3 sets of 15 in each direction.

Exercise 3: Reverse Crunch

What They Do: These target the muscles in the lower abdominal region, which are sometimes the hardest to work.

Involving Your Child: While lying down, place your baby on your chest.

  • Lie down on your back. Put your baby on your chest.
  • Lift your legs up so your thighs are at a 90-degree angle from the ground. Bend your knees.
  • Slowly push your knees out so your legs are straight and within inches of the floor.
  • Note: Be sure to suck your stomach in to tighten it every time you lift up.
  • Slowly pull your legs back up to a 90-degree angle.
  • Do 2-3 sets of 15.

These might not sound like much, but your abs will be feeling them in no time!

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