move well | 3 moves that feel like play

Inspired by your yoga and Pilates practice, we've upped the fun by including your cuddly little buddy. For those days when there's just no mama time, these three simple moves will work the entire body. These are a great addition after a run or to mix up playtime. Repeat each until fatigued. As always, move mindfully, alignment and breath are key. Kisses are a bonus.

3 moves that feel like play | Swell Mama

GODDESS SQUATS |  Inspired by Utkata Konasana (goddess pose) these squats will heat up and tone up your thighs and glutes. We recommend playing a little Queen B. to up your Goddess energy. wink. wink.

1 | SET UP. Hold baby in a comfortable position, close to your body. Take a wide ballerina, second position; knees and toes rotated out. Stand tall, abs pulled in.

2 | INHALE + PLIE. Bend knees into a nice deep squat, hips just above knee-level. Heels should be directly under knees. Keep the spine long and knees pointed in the direction of your feet.

3 | EXHALE + LIFT. Engage inner thighs and lift from the pelvic floor. Move slowly, resisting against gravity and baby's weight. 

>>>For more of a challenge, add several small pulses at the bottom before lifting to stand. For weak hips and inner thighs, those who have recently given birth, and those nearing child birth, keep your stance more narrow and your Plie smaller.

 

AIRPLANE ABS | Inspired by Pilate's double leg stretch and pelvic tilt, these will target your deep transverse abdominals and have baby giggling. Airplane noises are optional.

1 | SET UP. Lie on your back with your entire spine in contact with the ground. Use your abs to lift bent legs off the ground. Baby's tummy rests on shins parallel to the ground. Hold baby's hands or below the shoulders for younger infants. Legs press together.

2 | INHALE + EXTEND. Slowly, glide legs out away from the body. Legs may extend a bit, but only as far as the spine can stay in contact with the ground and abs stay pulled in.  

3 | EXHALE + SCOOP. Bring knees into the chest by "scooping" abs into the body. Tilt the tailbone up slightly, pressing the low back more into the ground. Focus on the IN and SCOOP.

>>>For more of a challenge, extend legs a little farther. For back injuries or weak abs, keep legs closer to the the body. 

DOWNWARD DOG TO PLANK | Inspired by a surya namaskar (sun salutation), this simplified version will work the shoulders, upper back, and abs while releasing the chest and hamstrings. These take the strength and flexibility of the entire body and are perfect for a game of Peek-a-boo.

1 | SET UP. Lie baby on their back. Place your hands on the ground in line with baby's head, fingers spread. Walk feet back and pull shoulders away from ears. 

2 | INHALE + PLANK. Line up shoulders with wrists and create a straight line from head to heels. Tuck the tailbone under slightly and pull the belly button in. Imagine a canopy pulling the ribs and waist up up up.

3 | EXHALE + DOWNWARD DOG. Lift hips until your body creates an A shape, straight from wrists to tail, knees soft. Knees can bend as much as they need to in order to get straight through the spine. Look back between legs. 

>>>For more of a challenge, hold plank several seconds and lift one leg several inches off the ground.  For weak shoulders, rest knees on the ground in plank; for weak abs, lift the hips slightly and round the spine like a cat.