Amy Slater carrying and walking with her children

ViPR is the perfect tool to help prepare your body for the demands of caring for toddlers. You never know when you might need to turn into a pack mule …

My journey to caring for toddlers began during my pregnancy and training your body for the demands of delivery is important. You can also train for the super-active and physically demanding daily job of caring for a toddler!

My first set of twins were three years old when I was pregnant with my second set of twins. Here are a couple of key ViPR patterns that I used during my second twin pregnancy to maintain pelvic floor integration and strong glutes.

This pattern mirrors the demands of picking up toys, car seats and babies from a low position.

This pattern focuses on using breath, along with the loading and lengthening of the pelvic floor. ViPR adds a unique load that allows you to create resilient hips and core. Your body will also remember the patterns you take it through during pregnancy, using ViPR.

These two patterns load the spiral and lateral lines of the body. This aids in creating a more resilient core.

Why train during pregnancy for the physical demands placed on you when your child is one to two years old?

During the first two to three years postpartum, you carry your baby a lot. Consider the loading on the pelvic floor and the intra-abdominal pressure that is created while moving your baby around.

Early on, when baby is light, the load may not seem significant. But, as time goes on and baby grows, that load increases significantly! Now tack on extra fatigue, continued joint laxity – and did I mention fatigue?! – and you have a very difficult situation for mummy. Here you can realize the benefit of training during pregnancy. Your body will remember those patterns and you can easily bring them back out during the postpartum period for a restorative workout.

Consider some key demands on mum

Here are some pictures of me, a real-life mum with a real-life functional diastasis, moving one of my girls, Annabelle. She weighs about 30lb and, on this particular day, was not very wriggly.

On all of these patterns, remember to exhale on the lift and inhale on the lowering. No breath holding.

Amy Slater lifting and lowering a child from a shopping cart

Above: Lifting a wriggly toddler into a shopping cart. You could also see the same pattern occurring when you have to lift them into a crib, their bed, a booster seat or simply lifting them up.

This pattern is by far one of the most useful when it comes to picking up babies and toddlers and transferring them to another spot.

Moving toddlers into their car seats gets easier with time when they are able to climb into the seats on their own. But, early on, you need good motion through your ribcage and hips. So, think about it as a loaded rotation.

Amy Slater carrying a child up and down stairs

Now let's talk about carrying toddlers up and down the stairs. It is important to have good leg strength, hip mobility and core stability.

These two patterns have a huge benefit to mobilizing the hips by loading with resistance. You can then use this new mobility with a simple lunge pattern to load the adductors and lengthen the hip flexors in the frontal plane.

You will spend so much time in the forward-reaching position – it is key to making sure that your hamstrings and glutes have the mobility necessary to accommodate these demands. From bathing your toddler and kneeling at the tub to picking up toys and pushing a pushchair, you will spend lots of time reaching forwards and down.

Moving ViPR along various angulations while lunging and squatting creates resilience through your hips and mimics life’s loads on your pelvic floor.

Using ViPR during pregnancy and into the postpartum period gives you a huge advantage when it comes to optimizing your function. The greatest gift you can give yourself is the gift of movement!

Give these movements a go in your next session.

Amy Slater, ViPR Global Ambassador

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