Today marks the beginning of a new session of Mommies-in-Motion™, a class I conceptualized for moms and their babies and toddlers between 6-30 months of age where water aerobic activities and swim skills are combined for mutual fun and benefit.
Mommies-in-Motion™ (or MiM) is a fairly new idea, but I had an attendance of 12 mommies and their babies, technically overbooking as I had aimed for only 10 sets. I chalk it up to the JCC having the warmest (90 degrees) and cleanest cutting-edge pool north of San Francisco. And the instructor isn’t that bad either.
There is nothing like the joys of taking a swim class with your little one, no matter the age, no matter the style of class. Read about the joys International Mom is having by being involved in a group swim lesson. She linked my previous post about whether or not you should dunk a child to her weblog.
Since I have big plans for this class, it makes sense to create an “evergreen” post where I can constantly refer parents to learn the basics about Mommies-in-Motion™. So I’ll shoot from the hip using my teaching and water exercise knowledge.
What is Mommies-in-Motion™?
A totally new concept that I haven’t heard being done anywhere else. I know Baby Boot Camp exists. And there are plenty of group swim classes. But combining water aerobics with teaching your baby how to swim … it’s a first for me.
What Can We Expect the Classes to Be Like?
In the teaching arena, you’ll learn what I call water exploration skills. Mom will learn different baby holds that promote horizontal positioning, as bodies need to be gliding lengthwise across the water for swimming. You’ll learn how to conduct a submersion. You’ll learn about bubbles, cuing, mirroring, floating, scooping, kicking, and hopefully gliding from one person to another, which is sort of my “you’ve graduated” move.
When it comes to water aerobics, I’ll teach you how to get a moderate workout on your lower “core” — a word lots of health clubs like to use that refers to the muscles in the torso, as well as those little up the torso and a little down the torso. I’m talking about quads (front upper leg), hamstrings (back upper leg), stomach (abdominals, intercostals, obliques), and some pectorals (chest), deltoids (upper back shoulder). Any water exercise engages 85% of your lower body, and since we are touching the bottom of the pool, throw in the calves, too.
To do this, I play great playlists off my iTunes, and we march, walk, sidestep, jog, kick, tread, cross country, jump some jacks, and modify those moves in more ways than you can think of. We even do some sit-ups and push-ups. We’ll play some songs with a high bpm (beat per minute) and do sets together, as in 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1! Again! And we’ll play some baby songs or sing songs, too. It is multi-tasking at its finest.
Do We Need to Have Any Water Experience?
Not at all. I have newcomers all the time. Just remember this isn’t a slow-mode class; it’s for active-like moms. You’ll make friends and have a blast. I got toys if someone is having a bad day.
What Kind of Results Can We Expect?
I’ve had moms tell me their baby takes a nice long nap after class. That’s always a plus. For me as an instructor, the best thing I am giving your child is the chance to go underwater at an age before they can develop an opinion they don’t want to do that.
For mom, I’ve had a lot of surprised looks at the next class, telling me they didn’t realize they would feel it like they did! That’s the great thing about water workouts — you work hard but you don’t think you are. Water is 12 times the resistance on land, 820 times thicker than air. You are getting very natural 3-D weight lifting workout designed specifically for what you are able to do.
What Should I Bring to Class?
Just yourselves, swim suits — and double-up with a swim diaper and some kind of cover over that. We can’t have any accidents in the pool, and it happens all the time — that’s why we can’t have them.
How well you both can perform any the activities I’ve described depends upon how much you practice and how comfortable you both are doing them.
There is so much more to learn about water exercise, working the core in the water, water play, submersion, I guess I will have to dedicate a whole blog to talking about it. Oh yeah, I’m already doing that.
Have you got another question about Mommies-in-Motion™? I want to hear it! Leave a comment for me and I’ll get back to you!