5 POWERHOUSE MOVES: LOW-IMPACT LOWER BODY WORKOUT
Originally posted on the Fit4Mom blog
Written by: Sarah Holder
For years, we have been told:
- exercise for at least 60-minutes every day,
- exercise has to be completed in spandex, in a gym, and you MUST be dripping sweat,
- oh yea, and it's gotta hurt... pain is beauty, right?
Good news, mama-- that’s not life anymore!
As a mom, you move all the time, right? You are constantly bending, squatting, shuffling and stretching to take care of your little (and not so little) ones. Movement happens all day long, creating endorphins - handy little tools to make you feel happier - and helping you conquer your day. There is no limitation to how or when movement can happen; in other words, even small moments of movement can make you feel better.
Supporting you through all of your #momlife activities is your lower body! Your lower half is the powerhouse of your body. It is the foundation that supports your torso, where all of your super important organs live. And your lower body does double duty when it is supporting your growing pregnant belly.
At FIT4MOM, we believe in training your entire lower body - from hips and glutes to calves. During our workouts, you will incorporate multiple large exercises (like squats and lunges) with smaller directional movements to ensure we are strengthening your entire body.
For this low-impact lower body workout, we've teamed up with F4M Instructor Sarah Holder. Sarah began her FIT4MOM journey as a new mom who was searching for community. Having experience as a fitness instructor before becoming a mom, she fast-tracked into her role as an instructor at FIT4MOM SE Fairfield County, CT by teaching Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre. Over time, she has added Body Boost, Body Well, Strides 360, FIT4BABY, and Body Ignite to her teaching lineup. “I love being able to teach such a variety of FIT4MOM classes because it keeps me connected to the amazing community of moms in each of these programs and gives me an appreciation of every stage of motherhood,” Sarah says.
Sarah shares, “In Stroller Barre classes, you find a combination of large and small movements merged together into one exercise. I love to train this way because it helps mom to make connections between the opposing power of the big muscles and the precision of the small muscles. The opposites complement one another so well and there is the added benefit of incorporating balance work into your workout.”
Right now, we want you feeling empowered, happy, and fulfilled. We created a workout for you to do that is high on the happiness factor and low on the impact. Feel free to do this workout anywhere and anytime - no matter your age and stage of motherhood.
The best part? You can literally do this in all ages and stages of motherhood. In the video examples below, you will see Sarah, who is 32-weeks pregnant, and Jessica, who is 9-years postpartum! Let's get after it, mamas!
Complete each movement for 16 repetitions. Repeat through twice.
1. PLIE SQUAT & ADDUCTION
Find external rotation by turning your hips, knees, and feet out to the front corners of the “room”. Now, step out wide and bend both knees to lower your hips straight down. Squeeze your heels towards each other as you stand up, putting all of your weight in the left leg and extending the right to the side. Squeeze your inner thighs together, pulling up from your pelvic floor, as you cross the right leg over the left. Extend the right leg to the side and repeat to alternate sides.
2. SQUAT & PARALLEL PASSE
Start with your feet hips distance apart. Sit down and back with your hips. As you stand up, pull your foot to your knee and balance on one leg. Lower the foot down to repeat through the squat and alternate sides.
Now, play with your arms: would you rather close into a circle when you are squatting or balancing?
3. LUNGE & ROTATION
Start with your legs separated in a long stance with your right leg back. Roll your shoulders into your back pockets so you have a proud chest, over your ribs, which are over your hips. Now reach your hands in front of you. Bend both knees. Reach back with your left arm as you rotate your torso towards your front leg. Return the hand to the front, and press through the front heel to return to standing.
On your second round, make sure to do the other side.
4. SWIVEL LUNGE & HIP EXTENSION
With your feet starting together, find strong posture by aligning your hips over heels and ribs over hips. Step the right leg back & bend both knees into a lunge. Pivot your right foot to open your lower body into a plie squat. Pivot your right foot back into the lunge position. Now, press through your front heel to stand up as you lift your right leg off the ground. Remember to squeeze your booty as you lift the leg, keeping the toes down towards the ground.
On your second round, make sure to do the other side.
5. LATERAL LUNGE & ABDUCTION
Start with your feet together with strong posture. Step out to the side with your right leg, bending on the right knee. In this lunged position, make sure your core is engaged and your tailbone is sticking out behind you. Press through the right heel to send you back to standing. With your strong posture, lift the left leg out to the side by squeezing through your hip and glute. Lower it back down to repeat.
Keep in mind, this leg lift is controlled and not a kick. On your second round, make sure to do the other side.
Want to try this with other moms just like you in your area? Try one of our Stroller Barre classes!
Stroller Barre® is a 60-minute cardio and strength interval class designed to improve posture, stability, and mobility. The workout combines moves inspired by barre, ballet, Pilates, ﬁtness, and yoga to help you regain your posture and alignment and strengthen your body from the inside out! Stroller Barre will help you reconnect with your body, increase flexibility and develop the core strength needed for motherhood. Plus, each class is full of fellow moms full of friendship, support, and camaraderie.
“Of all the classes under FIT4MOM’s umbrella, Stroller Barre is my favorite. I love the emphasis on posture and vertical core training, gaining strength through small, controlled movements, and feeling intentional about the way my body moves. After a Stroller Barre class, the body feels energized and aligned. This has been particularly helpful to me during pregnancy and the newly postpartum period. A mom’s day goes so fast; Stroller Barre promises moms the much-needed time to body scan so they can be better aware of how their body moves as it changes during these pre- and postnatal periods,” Sarah shares.
Each Stroller Barre instructor is skilled to meet you where you are mentally and physically. You’ll leave class feeling connected, successful, and energized! This class is all about self-care in a supportive and encouraging environment.