The Front Pack Workout

A must-have for every new mom is a front pack carrier. These handy holders let mom carry baby around and keep her arms free. Baby loves the motion and being close to mom and mom loves the freedom. What moms might not realize is that that same carrier can also be a great workout. Because baby's weight is evenly distributed, it adds a functional weight to the workout. Here's how to turn that baby weight into a weight loss workout.

Posture, Posture

Before we begin your workout, let's talk posture. The only downside we can find with a front pack carrier is that it can wreak havoc on your posture. New moms already suffer from posture problems aggravated by feeding, picking up baby, car seats and more.

The best way to use a baby carrier is to focus on stretching the chest area and strengthening the upper back. When wearing the carrier, regularly contract your shoulder blades, bringing them together as if you were squeezing a pencil. Keep shoulders down and back, and neck long and relaxed.

Plie Squat

A plie squat is a gym favorite for shaping thighs and lifting derrieres. This exercise works the quads, hamstrings, inner thighs and glutes. Normally, you hold a dumbbell or barbell in this exercise to add to the intensity. Here, you add the weight of your baby.

With baby in carrier, stand with feet wide, toes turned out at a comfortable angle. Pull abdominal muscles in flat to support your back and the baby. Slowly lower down until your thighs are near parallel to the floor, keeping knees and toes in alignment. Slowly squeeze thighs and glutes until you're back to start position.

Repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 12 to 16 repetitions, with a 20 to 30 second rest between sets. The heavier the baby, the harder the workout. To add variety and intensity, hold your squat in the lowered position and do some controlled pulses. Baby will love the light bounce and your bottom will love the results.

Lunge

A lunge is also one of the most popular gym exercises because it does so much at once. In just this one exercise, you work the glutes, hamstrings, quads and inner thighs.

Stand in a long staggered lunge stance. Bend knees and descend to form a 90-degree angle with upper and lower position of each leg. The kneecap of front leg should be approximately over the last shoelace.   Keep front heel down and weight distributed evenly through front foot. The heel of back leg is up off floor and ball of foot is in contact with floor. Keep head over hips and eyes focused directly forward. Keep chest expanded and shoulder blades squeezed together while holding baby upright. Return to start position and repeat for 1 to 3 sets on each leg, about 12 to 16 repetitions.

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