Motherhood is a Sport

Functional Exercise for the Sport of Motherhood

Here’s a great question: Do you think that motherhood could be considered a sport? Seriously, have you ever considered all the athletic maneuvers that mothers do starting from the day they get pregnant until potentially becoming grandparents, but especially in the first 18 years of their child’s life? 

If you ask my husband, the physical education teacher/coach/competitive athlete, he would say that it probably doesn’t count since there is no score or game. I would argue that mother’s can get pretty competitive and try to keep score but that’s not the topic I’m going to touch on today. My point is that if we want to feel and perform our best as mothers, we need to train our bodies in a way that makes us better able to do all the positions and movements that are required each day in whatever stage our children are at. This is what we call Functional Exercise.

 If we can call motherhood a sport, we may be more likely to consider ourselves as athletes who exercise everyday to get better at our sport. This benefits not only ourselves, but our family as well.  After all, motherhood is a TEAM sport:) 

I did a quick brainstorm of the common movements and positions for mothers from the moment the baby is born. Here are a few that come to mind, but there are certainly more that you and I both do each and every day outside of this list. Let’s not forget about grandparents and childcare providers who are also athletes since they are doing all of these as well. 

Athletic Movements and Positions for the Sport of Motherhood

Nursing a child
Using a breast pump
Picking up a child
Holding a child
Carrying a child
Multitasking while holding a child
Carrying an infant car seat 
Chasing a child
Playing with a child
Playing like a child
Watching a child do activities (prolonged seated position on uncomfortable chairs/bleachers) 
Practicing sports and other physical activities with a child
Carrying unbalanced loads of big and/or heavy stuff 

Fitness Components That Should be Addressed

Corrective Exercise
Cardiovascular Endurance 
Muscular Endurance
Hand/Eye Coordination

Hopefully these lists have you curious to learn more about how you might be able to train each of these areas effectively given the time and energy you have available. 

This is what gets me so excited!

 I love helping people learn exercises that are functional for whatever they need most given their life circumstances. I get it though- we don’t typically have two or more hours available every day to train for our sport. That’s why I am eager to teach you how to be efficient in your workouts and be creative with integrating what you learned into your movements, positions and mentality throughout the day. 

Let’s keep it simple yet impactful for starters. For each of the functional fitness components we need to train, I will provide an example or two of how it is applicable to life as a mom/childcare provider and one exercise that will help improve the component. 

Example: Carrying a child more often on one side than the other and spending a lot of time in a slouched posture on uncomfortable bleachers or chairs while watching a child practice or compete. 
Exercise: Mindful Standing Alignment Check In

Corrective Exercise
Example: Rehabbing from diastasis recti or pelvic floor weakness/dysfunction as a result of pregnancy
Exercise: Basketball Breathing (aka 360 degree breathing)

Cardiovascular Endurance
Example: Doing enjoyable recreational activities as a family such as riding bike, hiking, and swimming 
Exercise: Jumping Rope (with or without a jump rope)

Example: Lifting children to and from a variety of positions multiple times per day.
Exercise: Squat, Curl, Press (one, 10+ pound dumbbell or object/child needed) 

Muscular Endurance
Example: Holding a child for extended periods of time while trying to maintain a balanced posture
Exercise: Plank with distractions

Example:  Lifting an infant carrier into its base in the car and taking it out
Exercise: Weighted Swings (one, 10+ pound dumbbell or kettlebell needed) 

Example: Chasing after a loose toddler or pet dog:) 
Exercise: Football Stompers

Example: Briskly walking around your house where there is debri all over the floor and  quickly slowing down and changing directions, without falling, stepping on something or knocking something or someone over. 
Exercise: Side Leap and Hold

Example: Being able to have body awareness and graceful reaction to forces from all directions applied to our body helps you to be more confident to explore and do adventurous activities with your kids 
Exercise: Leaning Tree Pose

Example: Putting your body into a variety of positions to engage with your kids.
Exercise: Deep Squater’s Pose

Hand/Eye Coordination
Example: Doing fun, athletic activities such as playing catch with your child 
Exercise: Copy Cat 1 to 10 (Partner and ball needed)

Are you ready to give these exercises a try and see how they feel? Join me in the video below where I have created a workout that incorporates all of these functional exercises for the sport of motherhood! 

Here Are Some Ways That Fit Mom Connection Is Here To Help You Train for the Sport of Motherhood !

Virtual Exercise Class Membership.   Hang out with me and other mothers live or onDemand  to benefit from some fun exercise routines that are functional for the body of mothers. The first month is free so really there is no reason not to do it. There is something in it for all abilities, ages, stages, and interests. 

30 Day Self-Care Challenge Want some support in making daily self-care a habit? This program will give you the daily motivation and tools to help you discover how life with self-care is not a luxury, but a necessity. 

Work with me 1:1 You are a beautiful, unique individual, and I would be honored to help you tap into your strengths so that you can use exercise as a vehicle, along with a S.M.A.R.T. plan for turning your intentions into actions with the results you want and deserve. Whether it’s starting with a three month wellness coaching relationship or working with me for 1:1 Personal training, I am ready to chat about your needs and desires. 

Sign up for one of my free resources which are pictured to the right or below this post. 

Subscribe to my youTube channel where I deliver weekly fit mom moments and 15+ minute workouts. Check out my featured workout below.