Confession: I’d dismissed stroller workouts as cardio-enhanced kaffeklatches for moms, where actual toning took a backseat to talking toilet training. Boy, was I wrong.
Especially in the case of Baby Body Boot Camp, a tough one-hour class that’s leading the charge of a bad-ass generation of mommy-and-me workouts. It’s a sea change from Strollercize, the first workout of its kind created in 1995 by New Yorker Elizabeth Trindade where babies ran the show.
Baby Body Boot Camp, the creation of trainer Pam Keefer, a ripped spark plug and mom of three, takes the training wheels off stroller workouts. In fact, her students don’t even use the stroller as a prop, and time-outs and potty breaks are only permitted for the kiddies.
Fat-burning squat jumps and targeted hip strengthening moves are typical, as are sprints. “Just because you’re exercising with your kid, doesn’t mean you have to have a pansy workout,” jokes Keefer, a former dancer and gymnast, who draws on her Renaissance fitness resume for the program—elite trainer at Equinox, Capoeira instructor, physician assistant, and certifications in pre- and post-natal fitness training.
Keefer, and trainers like her, are doing a serious public service. A new study in Pediatrics concluded that moms get far less exercise than their babyless peers. It isn’t that new moms don’t want to exercise, it’s that they don’t have the necessary childcare.
So who watches the kids? At Baby Body Boot Camp, the children (from 3 months to three years) played together, while the moms broke a serious sweat nearby. When it came time for Fartlek training, Keefer kept an eye on the kids. “Pam entertains the kids so you can get an extra sprint,” says Amy Van Buskirk, who’s been attending for a year.
During the abs section, my three-month-old daughter started to get antsy. So instead of crunches and planks, I cradled her. Herein lies the drawback of bring-your-baby classes: your pint-sized workout buddy can torpedo part of your sweat session. But even with breaks for pacifier-replacements, Keefer’s program was still a kick-ass workout, one that raises the bar for this booming generation of fit NYC moms. —Alexia Brue
Next-gen mommy-and-me workouts
Baby Body Boot Camp, North Battery Park City, Monday and Thursday at 9:30, Saturday at 9:00. (Offered four times a week in September). $30 per class.
Mind Over Matter Stroller Boot Camp, Battery Park City. $30 per class.
Movin’ Mamas. Central Park. It has a Pilates-based stroller class and a boot camp. Package availability only.
Have you tried a mommy-and-me boot camp? If so, please share your experience in the Comment section below!