Breaking A Sweat With Bub

Dust off your sneaks and get fit.

It’s post-CNY (and post-pregnancy)- but if the thought of stepping on those scales and facing up to the copious amounts of pineapple tarts you’ve been consuming over the festive season has you shaking in your cobweb-covered sneaks, fear not!

We’ve got some exercise tips for the newly minted mum, courtesy of Physiotherapist and Certified Master Pilates instructor, Tan Chiu Yen of Zenergy Wellness Centre in Kuala Lumpur, to help you get from fat to fit. And best of all – the bub gets to come along for the ride too! 

Here are some simple moves that you can try out at home with your little one: 

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Half Back Roll

Sit, with your spine kept straightened, on the mat, with your legs bent
and your knees at a hip distance apart. Hold your baby right in front of your chest.

Exhale, curling your tailbone under and engaging your abdominal muscles
to roll back to a half way position. Inhale as you return to the starting position.

Continue for ten repetitions. 

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Hip Bridge

Lie on your back with your baby sitting on your pelvis. 

Exhale, and engage your gluts, lifting your pelvis away from the mat.
Keeping your pelvis levelled is essential.

Continue for ten repetitions. 

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Reverse Abdominal Crunch

Lie on your back with your knees bent.
Support your baby, lying facedown, on top of your shins. 

Exhale, lifting your head and shoulders away from the mat,
and engaging your abs to bring your knees towards your chest.

Continue for ten repetitions.

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Bicep Curls

Sit in a half roll back position.
Support your baby in your forearms, keeping your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle.

Exhale to engage your biceps, bringing your baby towards your chest.
Inhale to return to the starting position.

Continue for ten repetitions.

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The Mermaid 

Sit with your left leg fully stretched out, and with your right knee bent.
Hug your baby with your left hand, and position your baby on top of your bent right leg.

Exhale whilst stretching your right hand towards your left foot until you feel a sense of lengthening at the right side of your trunk. Hold in position for ten seconds. 

Continue for ten repetitions, before changing direction and
repeating the movements on your other side.

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The Plank 

Align your wrists with your shoulders, keeping your feet at a hip distance apart.
Engage your core to protect your lower back.

Hold in position for ten seconds, making sure not to collapse your lower back.

Repeat for five sets.

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Teaser Prep 

Stand upright with your legs a hip distance apart and hold your baby in front of your chest.

Exhale, whilst lifting your left knee and twisting your right shoulder towards your
left knee in an abdominal crunch. Inhale and return to the starting position. 

Continue for ten repetitions, before changing direction and repeating
the movements on your other side.

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Standing Oblique Side Crunch

Lie on your back with your knees bent.
Support your baby, lying facedown, on top of your shins. 

Exhale, lifting your head and shoulders away from the mat,
and engaging your abs to bring your knees towards your chest.

Continue for ten repetitions.

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Before commencing your workout session, keep these tips in mind:

Check first with your doctor about the appropriate time to begin your post-pregnancy exercise regime. Remember that your body first needs time to recover after delivery- particularly so, if you’ve recently undergone a Caesarean section.

Many of these positions work best for younger babies (up to six or seven months old). The older these little ones get, the more active (and less compliant) they’ll be! Ideally, these moves should be attempted once your baby’s neck and head control have suitably strengthened.

Get into the zone by first warming up both you and the bub beforehand with some simple moves: a spot of baby dancing (to a slow to mid tempo tune), or doing preparatory plies or lunges whilst holding your baby in front of you would help to loosen those stiff muscles.

When exercising with your baby, do ensure that they have had their meal at least one to two  hours ahead of the workout, given the vigorous movements that may be involved. 

And lastly, don’t forget to take these exercises as a great opportunity to bond with your little one. Keep things fun, and help them to feel involved with encouraging words, regular eye contact…and congratulatory cuddles! 

In addition to prenatal and postnatal Pilates classes, Zenergy Wellness Centre also conducts infant massage classes for babies aged 0-12 months to help soothe common ailments such as colic, baby torticollis, constipation, and teething discomfort.

From courtroom trials to the trials of first time parenthood, Kimberly Lee is a former litigation lawyer turned full time employee of her boss baby. She writes about life, loss, love and everything in between as she explores her greatest adventure yet – motherhood.

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