Kids may keep you on the move, but it still can be hard to find time to get in a run. With a jogging stroller, you can turn quality time into a quality workout. There are a variety of exercises you can do with a jogging stroller.
With the help of Mary Lauff and Alexa Sabo, who are Health Fitness Specialists of Corporate Fitness Works at the DICK’s Sporting Goods Customer Support Center Health Club, Pro Tips breaks down three of the top jogging stroller exercises and their variations with this workout plan.
JOGGING WITH A STROLLER
It may be obvious, but one of the most effective exercises you can do with a jogging stroller is, well, a jog. When running or jogging with a stroller, you should move at the same speed as a normal run. Maintain a strong grip on the handlebar while jogging.
Lauff and Sabo note that a strong core and a good breathing technique are key to pushing the stroller as you jog. For training, they recommend one of two methods, each of which you can customize to your fitness level.
- Ratio style: This method involves alternating between walking and jogging at a pre-determined interval. For jogging newbies, Sabo says a 3-to-1 ratio is a good place to start. Here you would walk for three minutes followed by a one-minute jog. As you progress, you can move to a ratio of 2-to-2.
- Tabata style: Tabata training is a form of high intensity interval training, also known as HIIT. This style consists of completing exercises for 20 seconds at a time followed by a 10-second pause.
UPPER BODY TIP: To add an upper body component, you can find a slight hill to jog up. This will engage your arms more as you push the stroller.
JOGGING STROLLER LUNGES
A lunge is a unilateral lower body exercise. These single-leg movements engage your lower body. Lauff says lunges help strengthen muscles like your quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes.
It’s also important to engage your core. There are a variety of ways to modify lunges to perform them with a jogging stroller.
Some variations will have you walking, while others are stationary. Walking lunges will involve you alternating legs and moving forward continuously. With stationary lunges, you’ll stay in one place and complete sets one leg at a time.
- Walking lunge: With your hands on the stroller handlebar, take a controlled step forward with your right leg. Bend your right knee so that it’s parallel to your ankle. Your right foot should be flat. Lower your body so that your left knee almost touches the ground and push off with your toes. Repeat with the other leg while stepping forward.
- Lunge with kickback: To complete this motion, you’ll start by performing a traditional walking lunge. Rather than immediately stepping forward, straighten your front leg. At the same time, you’ll extend your rear leg directly behind you. Lauff says this movement will help engage your glutes even more.
- Lunge with knee lift: In this variation you’ll again start with a basic walking lunge. Push off with your front leg and raise your rear knee off the ground in front of you at a 90-degree angle. Continue forward with your other leg.
- Side lunges: Keeping your hands on the handlebar, start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step laterally with your right foot and bend your knee so that it’s parallel to your ankle. Your left leg should remain straight. Push back off with your right leg and return to your starting position.
- Curtsy lunges: A curtsy lunge will help target your inner thighs. Begin by standing straight with your hands on the bar. Step your left leg behind and slightly to your right so that your thighs cross. Bend both knees, keeping your right knee aligned with your ankle. Return to standing.
- Curtsy lunge with sidekick: Perform a curtsy lunge. As you stand, raise your rear leg out to the side before returning to the starting position. Holding onto the stroller handlebar will help you maintain balance.
UPPER BODY TIP: Tick tock lunges are a variation where you alternate forward and reverse lunges in one continuous movement. While lunging, pull and push the stroller in line with your movement.
Lauff and Sabo recommend performing 10 reps per side for each movement. Alternatively, you could use the Tabata method.
SQUATTING WITH A JOGGING STROLLER
Squats are a popular lower body movement that target your quads. They also help strengthen your hamstrings and glutes.
Place your hands on the stroller handlebar. Begin a traditional squat with your feet shoulder-width apart. While keeping your back straight, move your hips back and bend your knees. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground. Push through your feet and return to your starting position.
As with lunges, there are squat variations that you can also perform with a jogging stroller. These include:
- Squats with side leg lift: In this squat variation you’ll perform a classic squat. As you return to your starting position, lift your left leg out to the side. Bring your leg down and squat again. This time, raise your right leg as you return to your starting position.
- Squat to calf raise: With this movement you’ll perform a squat followed by a calf raise. In this exercise you’ll continue to rise up onto your toes after completing your squat. Hold the raised position. Sabo recommends holding for a minimum of two seconds. If you want to feel more of a burn, you can stay raised for up to 10 seconds. Lower your feet and repeat.
- Monster walks: Unlike the previous moves, monster walks are not stationary and will allow you to push the stroller forward. To begin, bend at the knees. With your knees aligned over your ankles, take a diagonal step forward and outward. Repeat with the other foot.
UPPER BODY TIP: Adding a row to your squats can help strengthen your back muscles. When you’re in the squat position with your hands on the bar, extend your arms until they’re straight. Keep your elbows to your side and pull the stroller back toward you until it reaches your chest.
As with lunges, Lauff and Sabo recommend either the Tabata method or 10 reps for each set. When performing a unilateral move, aim for 10 reps per side.
Working out with kids can be tough, but with this stroller fitness guide you can add them to your routine. If you’re still pressed for time, check out these tips for finding the motivation to work out at home.