High intensity interval training is one of the most effective ways to increase you fitness and change your body shape. (To read more about HIIT and its benefits click here.)
HIIT is perfect for women returning to exercise after having a baby as it is time efficient and requires minimal space and equipment. It can be completed in the comfort and privacy of you own home and now 'HIIT with a BITT' gives you workouts you can complete with your baby!
Finding time to exercise with a baby at home can be difficult. You can try to exercise when your baby is asleep, but in my own experience, I find I always want to use nap times to complete lots of other things that I can't do quickly or easily while they are awake.
By working out with your baby you are not only doing something great for yourself but you are also bonding with your baby at the same time. It's a win, win situation!
What is HIIT with a BITT?
It is an 8-week series with a new workout every week.
I have organised the workouts so that they get progressively harder every week. The workouts start with easier foundation moves and the intensity builds up every week. It is important to slowly overload you workouts to keep challenging your body as this is the best way to get results.
The idea is that we are starting with a lower base of fitness after having our babies and we will build up our strength and fitness over 8 weeks.
When can I start HITT with a BITT?
- When your Doctor gives you clearance to commence exercise.
- When you have commenced walking and are able to complete intervals of fast walking or slow jogging or are including hills in your walk.
- When you have good pelvic floor control. This is particularly important, in fact it is essential, especially as plyometric (jumping) exercises are incorporated into the workouts.
How do I work out with my baby?
The workouts require you to use a baby carrier. This allows you to keep the baby secured closely to you while you workout.
You will workout with your baby in three ways
1. By completing exercises while wearing the baby carrier.
2. By completing exercises that require you to use your baby as the resistance. It is important to keep your baby in the carrier while you complete these exercises as you will be holding the carrier rather than under your baby's armpits. This gives you much greater control and grip and makes it more comfortable for your baby.
3. Exercises that you will complete with your baby on the floor
Is it safe to workout with my baby?
Your baby will need adequate head control to maintain their posture in the carrier while you move. Most babies will be ready around 3-4 months of age. (JJ is 6 months old in these photos).
Always try the exercises out before starting the workout to ensure you are comfortable and familiar with the moves. If you are uncertain about any of the moves you can use weights instead of your baby or you can substitute the exercise with a different move that uses the same muscle groups.
Do I have to use my baby?
Absolutely not, there may be times you would prefer to exercise without your baby (or you may not have a baby!) You can use dumbbells, medicine balls, sandbags, weight vest etc to provide the resistance.
When is the best time to workout?
I find the best time to workout is during my bub's 'playtime' This means that he is fed and well rested and is happy to play along.
But play around with different times to find what suits you and your baby. Some babies will prefer it when workouts are scheduled in times when they are unsettled as they get to hang out with you!
If you think you have a limited window of time, start with the exercises where your baby is on the ground and finish with the exercises when you are holding/carrying your bub.
What equipment will I need:
- A good fitting baby carrier. The Ergobaby Performance Collection Charcoal Grey Carrier was recently voted the best baby carrier in Baby Centre's '2014 Mom's picks'.
- A timer - I use a Gymboss HIIT Timer but you can also use an app on your phone.
- A step
- ...and that's it!
How long do workouts take to complete?
Each workout consists of 3 rounds of 6-8 exercises.
You will set your timer to work for 50 seconds and rest for 10 seconds, with 1-2 minutes rest between rounds.
That means each workout will be completed in under 30 minutes!
How do I get the workouts?
I will post a new 'HIIT with a BITT' workout every Sunday.
Each week the post will include:
- A new workout with a new set of exercises.
- Photos of every exercise.
- Form points for every exercise to help you perform every exercise with correct technique.
- Modification ideas to help you personalise your workout to suit your level of fitness.
- Links to a logbook so you can record your progress and track your workouts.
Sign up to my newsletter so you never miss a workout!
I'm excited to start my own journey back to a fitter and healthier me and I hope you can join me!
Come back on Sunday to get your first workout so you are ready to kick start the week with your first session on Monday.
Please note: I have designed these exercises based on my own personal experience. I am a PE teacher and have previously worked as a registered physiotherapist. In that time I worked as qualified group exercise instructor leading exercise classes for antenatal and post- natal women. However I am not a qualified health care professional or personal trainer so please seek medical advice if you have any concerns.
Linking up with 'Healthy Habits' at Katie Did What.