Created by myself, and with some help from a former professional ballerina and mom, Kat von Schonfeldt, this mode of movement creates such intense strength in and around the hips (plus the entire body). The strength in our lower body, including our glutes, is so very important for our functional tasks as moms. It is also crucial to support our skeletal structure of our low back and pelvis. Here are few to try on your own, OR better yet, find a Stroller Barre class in your community!
1. Hip Hinged Glute Squeeze - Using a mid-sized ball or rolled up towel, place item in your knee pit (for lack of a better description) and squeeze it. This isolated hamstring activation will be felt immediately. Tilt forward at the hips with a light touch on your stroller handle. From here, raise and lower your leg behind you by squeezing your glutes. Hold your abdominals tight and resist arching your back.
2. Low Rear Fly with Glute Squeeze - Using a resistance band (at FIT4MOM we love Xertubes from SPRI) or weights. Hip hinge forward and lift your back leg up as high as the hips, or to where you feel you can keep your balance. With palms facing the ground, lift and lower the arms as you lift and lower your leg. You will feel this in your triceps and back part of your shoulders (posterior deltoids), as well, as your glutes
3. Porte de Bras - This is a spin of an oblique crunch while pushing your stroller out and then pulling it back in. Stand with feet wider that your shoulder width, one hand is on the stroller handle, while the other is out to the opposite side. Sink down into a wide squat, or plie, as you laterally reach overhead towards the moving stroller. Pull the stroller back in while you laterally engage your obliques on the other side.
4. Posterior Attitude with Baby Toe Tickles - We love that this move has "attitude"! Taken from ballet positioning, this glute strengthener has you lifting your back leg and then externally rotating the knee and hip to get your outer glutes (gluteus medius) to engage. Keep your core tight and avoid arching your back.
As you can see, and FEEL, these exercises, plus so many more at Stroller Barre, provide such great strength gains in and around the hip. A place where moms need it! Keep your range of motion small and concentrated to truly maximize the results. A strong low back and pelvis help us to be more effective in our everyday tasks AND help us to avoid injury while doing them!