Some key points to remember before getting started:
- Try on different types of front packs before purchasing. So far, I’ve already owned a couple. Some were just not supportive or comfortable for me or Arabella.
- Make sure you note what age range each front pack is made for. Most of them go from about 8lbs to 30lbs, but some can handle even heavier.
- Make sure your baby’s weight is distributed evenly on your body.
- Find a carrier that is easy to get on and off without waking the baby. This is key when they just happen to fall asleep while you are working out. It’s a win-win situation J.
- Make sure it has a sturdy headrest so it supports the baby’s head and neck (especially important while doing exercises).
- Make sure you do exercises with your front pack slow and controlled. It’s important to stay balanced and pay attention to your posture the whole time.
- Make sure to keep your back upright.
You can do the following exercises with just body weight (and obviously, your baby’s weight) or you can also incorporate dumbbells to make each exercise harder. With the upper body exercises that are listed, you have the option of using dumbbells or if you don’t have any you could use two full water bottles, two full cans of food, or whatever else is in the house.
1. Front Pack Reverse Lunges: Start standing upright then step back with one foot into a lunge bending both knees. Descend until your knee nearly touches the ground. Back foot should only have the ball of the foot in contact with the ground. Keep back up the whole time. After 15-20 switch and step back with the other foot. You can also do this alternating sides each time.
2. Front Pack Sumo Squats: In a wide stance with toes pointed outward, lower yourself down into a squat. Try to go lower than 90 degrees. Make sure to keep your knees from going past your toes. You should be able to wiggle your toes at the bottom of the squat. Do 20-25.
3. Front Pack Lateral Side Raises alternating Lateral Front Raises: Grab a dumbbell in each arm and stand up straight with your arms extended by your sides with a slight bend at the elbows. Lift the dumbbells out the side to about shoulder height and then lower them back down to your sides. From that position, lift weights with arms straight in front of you to should height and back down. Alternate between the two shoulder exercises. Do 20 on each exercise.
4. Front Pack Side Lunges with Narrow Squat: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a wide step to one side. When your outside foot contacts the ground, lower your body by pushing your hip back and bending the knee. Push off outside foot and come back to center. From there, step into a narrow stance (about 6 inches between feet) and squat, making sure your knees don’t go past your toes. Stand back tall and take a step to the opposite side. Repeat the alternating side lunges plus the narrow squat in between. Do 20 all together.
5. Front Pack Shoulder Press with Dumbbells: Grab weights in each hand and bring the weights to should height. Next lift weights straight up above head. Bring weights back down to just over shoulder height and repeat. Do 4 sets of 20 repetitions.
6. Front Pack Heel Raises: Stand tall with you hand near a wall for balance. Put one foot tucked behind the other and raise the heel of the foot that is on the floor. Squeeze your calf at the top of the movement and then lower your heel. Repeat movement with your other leg. Do 3 sets of 30 on each leg.
7. Front Pack Step Ups: Find steps in your house. You can also do this on your local parks stairs or benches. Place your entire foot on to the step. Press through your right heel as you step on to the step, bringing your other foot to meet your foot that is already on the step. You should be standing upright and both feet on the step. Return to the starting position by stepping down one foot at a time, so both feet are on the floor. Do 3 sets of 15 (on each side).
8. Front Pack Bulgarian Split Squats: With feet hip-width apart, place the instep of your rear foot on a bench. Your feet would be approximately three feet apart. Lower your hips toward the floor so that your rear knee comes close to the floor. Make sure to keep back upright. Put a sturdy chair or something you can use to help balance near you while you do this exercise. You can use couch or another chair to put your foot on while the other foot is flat on the floor. Repeat and do this 3 sets 10-15 (on each leg).