Upper Body Stroller Workout

Seventy percent of moms are unsatisfied with their bodies even nine months after giving birth. Even those lucky few who take off their pregnancy weight don't necessarily regain their same body composition. Most new moms who take off the weight lose muscle, so they have more fat, less muscle, and less tone then they desire. In order to put on the muscle, you need to put on the workout--the strength workout that is!

That's why Stroller Strides offers moms across the country a total body workout, incorporating strength, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise. If you don't have a Stroller Strides class near you, try this upper-body workout on your own. It can be done in just 30 minutes and combines intervals of power walking and body toning stations using your stroller. So, grab your baby and your stroller, and let's get started.

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Warm Up (3 minutes) - Start with an easy walk, gradually warming up your body and your muscles. The most common postural dysfunction when pushing a stroller is to hunch forward. Make sure to keep shoulders down and back throughout your walk.

Single Arm Chest Press (2 minutes) - This exercise is best done pushing up hill. A sloped driveway will work fine. Start with stroller just in front of you, with one hand on the handlebar and arm bent. Use that arm to push stroller up hill, with upper body slightly opening through range of motion. Focus on chest muscles for the push. Return and repeat about 12 times. Switch and repeat on other side.

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Power Walk (3 minutes) - Get back on your walk. Use full, powerful strides. Feet and knees face forward and body stands tall.  Many moms experience carpal tunnel syndrome during or after pregnancy due to swelling in the wrist. Pushing a stroller incorrectly can exacerbate this problem so be sure to keep wrists in neutral alignment on handlebars.

Stroller Row (2 minutes) - Walk back to your driveway or another small hill. This time you will have the stroller face down hill. Legs are about hips width apart, hands spaced about shoulder width apart. Let stroller roll forward so that arms are extended and then use upper back muscles to pull stroller back in to you. Focus on a strong back to pull stroller in towards your body.

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Power Walk (3 minutes) - By now you should really be working. Walk at an intensity that you are a little out of breath, but not so much that you can't sing to your baby.

Isometric Bicep Lift  (1 minute) - Find flat ground for this station. With arms shoulder width apart, have palms facing up as you hold your handlebars. Very carefully lift back wheels of stroller an inch or two above the ground. Front wheel stays on the ground. Use your biceps to "hover" the stroller. Safety is first. If you feel your stroller cannot be lifted safely, please omit this exercise.

Power Walk (3 minutes) - Change your stride for this walking stretch. Instead of long, powerful strides, try short, fast strides. Really squeeze your bottom with each stride.

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Bent Over Shoulder Press (3 minutes) - Ideally you will use an incline for this station but it will still work if you only have level ground. Bend forward at hips, keeping spine in neutral alignment. Keep abs and back strong. Grip handles with arms shoulder width apart. Start with arms bent and stroller close to your body, and push stroller forward (or up hill) until arms are extended. Focus on your shoulders to create this movement. Repeat for time of station.

About the Author

Lisa Druxman, M.A., the creator of Stroller Strides, is a nationally recognized speaker, author and highly regarded expert in the field of pre and postnatal fitness. Stroller Strides is a total fitness program for new moms that they can do with their babies. It includes power walking and intervals of body toning, using exercise tubing and the stroller. Taught by trained instructors, it's a great workout for any level of fitness.

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