Regular workouts keep me in decent shape. But I’m always looking for ways to get faster, stronger, and more flexible. There are a myriad of options out there, which can be overwhelming for beginners and seasoned athletes alike. I’ll play the role of guinea pig and review some of the new and unusual exercise classes being offered around the region, with the hope you’ll find one that appeals to you and gets you moving. If you would like to suggest a workout for me to try, tweet me @apoztv.
I was halfway through a second set of squats when both my legs and arms began to burn from cradling a twenty-pound weight. Just when I felt like giving up…it giggled. This is perhaps the best thing about the Mommy Bootcamp class at the Sports Club LA…bouncing babies play the part of medicine balls.
The class is targeted at new moms with babies under a year old, looking to reclaim their pre-pregnancy bodies. It comes equipped with an extremely knowledgeable instructor who knows just what exercises these post-partum participants need to work on…and need to avoid.
Every mom’s body is unique and heals from the taxing processes of pregnancy and childbirth at different rates. The instructor gently examines the stomach muscles of all newcomers to determine whether they are fully healed, or on the road to recovery, and recommends modifications if necessary. Those given a green light are put through an array of abdominal exercises, as well as squats, push-ups, and bicep curls to get the body back into fighting shape. At certain points, babies join in on the fun. You can’t help but smile as they react to certain exercises by babbling or clapping…or even attempting to mirror what mom is doing. Cardio intervals are also interspersed throughout the workout, in order to help shed that excess body weight.
Exercise isn’t the only benefit of this class. Camaraderie between the new moms plays a big part, as well. They bond over a shared experience, readily swapping war stories about diapers, telling tales about teething, and other parenting anecdotes before and after class, and in some cases, between sets.
Mother-baby bonding is also another component that makes this class special. Sure, some of them admittedly look forward to putting their kids in the facility’s daycare in order to take a quick run on the treadmill followed by a hot shower…which in and of itself is a rarity that most savor, or so I’m told. But many make it a point to attend this class at least once a week in order to spend some quality time with their little ones in a fun, invigorating environment.
Was this the most strenuous workout I’ve ever done? No. But I’m also not a sleep-deprived new parent whose body is still recovering from pregnancy. The moms looked like they broke a sweat, and the babies got quite the workout themselves. One thing is for certain – everyone will sleep well at night.
Sports Club LA, Boston, www.thesportsclubla.com/clubs/boston/, Mommy Bootcamp: Wednesday and Friday, noon. Drop-in rate for a class: $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers.