By Kate Horney
When it comes to pushing your stroller, proper posture and alignment is key.
Before beginning to exercise with your baby and stroller, it’s important to learn the basics of how to properly push your baby without adding pressure to your core.
When it comes to impact on your pelvic floor, core and back, if not done properly, pushing a heavy object, like a stroller, is no different than lifting a heavy object.
Just as you would do when lifting any heavy object, be sure to keep your core engaged and avoid lower back injury and strain by bending at your hips rather than your back when you’re lifting your stroller in and out of vehicles.
When walking, keep the stroller centered to your body and focus on posture and alignment.
It’s common to see moms pushing a stroller with the elbows locked, hunching over the stroller, and straining wrists to grip the handle. This causes strain on the pelvic floor and entire posterior chain, and can keep your diastasis recti from healing properly.
Instead, here’s what proper posture and alignment while pushing a stroller looks like.
Proper Posture + Alignment:
- Head, chin and chest up
- Shoulders back and down
- Ears above your shoulders
- Walking closely to the stroller
- Arms slightly bent but not locked
- Wrists straight
- Core is engaged
Note to moms: I love to use my stroller for leisurely walks (great for lowering stress hormones) as well as sprints!
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How to Choose a Stroller for Exercise:
A traditional stroller is not safe for exercising with a baby. Most traditional strollers lack the features necessary to reduce the jarring shocks that a baby could be subjected to from moving quickly over uneven surfaces.
If you plan to use your jogging stroller for exercise, here are 3 features to look for:
- Locking front wheel – Exercising with a traditional stroller may cause the wheels to start wobbling. For safety for you and your baby, exercise strollers offer a locking front wheel feature that allows you to secure the front wheel in a straight position when needed.
- Larger tires – strollers that are suitable for exercise should have tires that are 16″ or larger diameter wheels in the rear, and 12″ or larger in the front. While ordinary strollers may have plastic wheels, exercise strollers have tires that are filled with air so that they reduce the shock to your baby and roll over bumps easier.
- Suspension – Exercise strollers almost always include suspension in order to absorb shock and prevent injury to your baby.
At first glance, the number of jogging/exercise strollers can be intimidating. Before rushing out and buying a stroller, take a few for a test “run” (walk around the store) to ensure the proper fit.
The key: Look for a stroller that fits your height and promotes a comfortable stride with proper posture and alignment (see above). If necessary, consider buying an extender for your stroller handle to increase the height and ensure proper posture.
Jogging Stroller 101 – Other factors to consider:
- Terrain – You want your stroller to roll easily over all terrain, so consider when and where you will be using your stroller.
- Weight – Some strollers can be extremely heavy. If you’ll be lifting your stroller in and out of vehicles, it’s important to look for a stroller that is lightweight and manageable.
- Safety strap – Consider a stroller with a safety strap where one end attaches to the stroller and the other end has a loop to wear around your wrist if you plan to run with your stroller at any time.
- Peek-a-boo window – Many strollers offer this window on the canopy to keep an eye on your baby while on the move.
- Handlebar Adjustment – An adjustable handle bar is a great feature to look for to ensure proper posture and alignment
Highest Rated Exercise Strollers:
- Baby Trend Expedition Jogger ($)
- Mountain Buggy Terrain Jogging Stroller ($$)
- Thule Urban Glide 1 Sport Stroller ($$$)
- BOB Revolution SE Single Stroller ($$$)
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