Ever heard of Upside Motion? It’s the pioneering company that introduced the first barre programme to Singapore in 2012. With Xtend Barre, you can achieve the strength and poise of a ballerina, while looking fashionable without sweat dripping down your face. A combination of ballet and Pilates, Xtend Barre is made up of fast-paced cardio routines that target small muscle groups, leading to a stronger, leaner, more toned you. The best part is, the routines are can be tailored for post-natal mummies as well. Upside Motion even has a special ‘Babies on Board’ class, where new mummies can workout with their newborns.
We sit down with Beh Hwee Sze, the founder of Upside Motion to find out more about this class that combines exercise with mama-baby bonding time! :
Can you share more on the ‘Babies on Board’ class?
Babies on Board is a six-week Xtend Barre programme developed specifically to provide new mummies with the opportunity to get moving again without leaving their babies behind. Each session runs for 45 minutes, with a maximum of 10 mummies per class. However, mummies require a clearance from the doctor in the form of a medical certificate before attending this class.
What is the most ideal age and weight for a baby to attend the class with mummy?
Babies can attend the class with mummy if they are aged between three and nine months, as long as the baby has adequate neck control and is able to sit up in the baby sling. This programme is not suitable for babies over 10kg.
When can C-section mums start classes?
We would suggest three to four months after giving birth. This also gives enough time for the baby to sit up and gain neck control as well. It is also important to get your gynaecologist’s go ahead to exercise before working out.
My baby has never been in a carrier or sling, how do we get baby adjusted or comfortable? (Are carriers or slings provided or do attendees bring their own?)
Mummies on board are required to bring their own sling or carrier that your babies are already comfortable in.
Which specific areas will be worked on during the class? Why is it important to tone those areas?
Exercises are designed for the post-natal body to:
1. Correct the muscle imbalance left behind by pregnancy.
2. Strengthen the neck, arms and back that are often strained from nursing.
3. Restore core strength to the post-natal body so you will be able to carry the additional weight of the baby.
What else do we need to bring for class?
Babies get their own cushy mat to hang out on when you’re doing your post-natal core work towards the end of class. We recommend you bring a blanket and any toy or your baby’s favourite items.
What happens if my baby starts crying during class?
Most babies dig this class! However, if your little one isn’t in heaven, baby comes first, so stopping your workout to tend to your baby is acceptable. The flow of the course would not be interrupted and you will have a sympathetic audience. If you would like some privacy, we also have lots of space outside the classroom. Just step out and rejoin the class whenever you and your baby feel ready again.
Four workout tips to try at home:
1. Back Press
Placing your feet hip-width apart, lean forward and place forearms at the barre. For home exercise, substitute the barre with a solid surface such as a sturdy table. Kicking one leg back, bend your knee with the sole of your foot facing the ceiling. Gently soften the knee of the supporting leg. While keeping your hips stable, slowly raise the lifted leg towards the ceiling. (Repeat 16 reps)
Great for: glutes, hamstring and core
2. Glutes Press Up
Lie on the floor in a supine position, place both feet on top of a high surface, like a sturdy, stationary chair for instance as a substitute for the barre. Keeping your shoulders stable, round your spine and lift one leg off the surface. Keeping your legs apart, raise your back off the ground and down again for 10 reps. Rest for 20 seconds and switch legs. Repeat.
Great for: spine mobility, obliques, leg strength and balance
3. All Fours
On all fours, place both hands on the ground parallel to your shoulders and bend your knees, hip-width apart. Extend your opposite arm and leg, stretching them parallel to the ground. If balancing in this position in a challenge, hold a ball on the back of your lifted knee and focus just on extending your arm. Repeat five times and switch sides.
Great for: arms, legs and core
4. Full Body Stretch
Standing with your legs parallel, lift your arms above your head and bend forward till you reach the ground, articulating the movement through your spine. If you experience difficulty touching the floor, use a ball to support your arms. Hold the pose for three breaths. Repeat five reps.
Great for: opening up the spine, spinal mobility, de-stressing the body and stretching the legs.