Since having Starfish, I’ve yoyo-ed some serious weight (damn hormones and convenient drive-thru Maccas!). While I’ve signed up to play Netball on the weekends, I’ve been less than motivated to exercise throughout the week – deciding to focus my time and efforts on my blogging business instead. Even walking to the local shops is a massive struggle (especially since it is mostly uphill, and I’m super unfit).So when I was approached and asked to give Kangatraining a go for the blog, I looked at my pudgy belly and thunder thighs and thought “why not? I better give this exercise thing a go…” But did I know what Kangatraining was? Well, not really… So I did what everyone does when they’re unsure of something. I googled it. I found their website and looked at the pictures, and I’ll be honest… I was unsure. I was unsure of what to expect, unsure of how much “exercise” I’d actually be doing, and unsure of how silly I might look doing it.
So when I was approached and asked to give Kangatraining a go for the blog, I looked at my pudgy belly and thunder thighs and thought “why not? I better give this exercise thing a go…” But did I know what Kangatraining was? Well, not really… So I did what everyone does when they’re unsure of something. I googled it. I found their website and looked at the pictures, and I’ll be honest… I was unsure. I was unsure of what to expect, unsure of how much “exercise” I’d actually be doing, and unsure of how silly I might look doing it.
Preparing to Kanga!
One thing I was (pleasantly) surprised with before even commencing the class was the amount of information they collect about your health. There are several pre-screening forms to fill out covering all areas of your physical health – especially since giving birth – as the Kangatrainers want to make sure that you don’t overexert yourself in the exercise. They cover areas such as what type of birth you had, potential breastfeeding issues you’ve experienced, and abdominal separation, as well as general health issues or concerns that you may have.
Finally, the day of my first class arrived. I didn’t know anyone there (cue anxiety), but the lovely Kangatrainer Mel was very friendly and eager to get the class started. She went through the paperwork and asked a couple of follow up questions, and she also had Veronika from Bubba’s Foot on hand to fit our baby carriers, as a qualified Babywearing Consultant. I borrowed a Manduca Baby Carrier for the class – as they are exclusively working with Kangatraining – and it changed my world (which you can read about in my review shortly). With Starfish packed on tightly, we were ready to go.
The structure of the class
With no idea of what to expect, I was again pleasantly surprised to find the Kangatraining class very similar to any other exercise class (no fluff!). We started a warm-up (with carriers off), lifting our babies up and down in the air in time with the music. With my gorgeous, CHUBBY Starfish, this was a massive arm workout. We then did some solid leg work and re-strengthening core on the floor, including scissor kicks (with baby sitting on our stomachs), planks (without baby) and “Welcome Baby” (lifting baby and twisting from side to side while sitting on the floor).
After the warm up, it was time to strap Starfish into the carrier and start working out! By this stage I was super pumped for the class, as I was totally in love with the Manduca carrier and keen to see what exercise we’d get up to next.
The main portion of the Kangatraining class is what I have described to many friends as a “light Zumba”. Prior to Starfish, I was in love with Zumba. I used it as the main method of losing weight prior to getting married 4 years ago (back in my uni days, when I had lots of holidays over Summer break, I would do a 2 hour walk and 2x 40 minute home sessions of Zumba A DAY). Unfortunately, I couldn’t commit to going out at night to actual Zumba classes, so it fell by the way side.
The Kangatraining class includes several choreographed dances – side steps, knee lifts, “Broadway arms”, shimmies. There is hardcore arm workouts (which are actually the death of me!), and Spice Girls (they are my Jam!). There is pelvic floor exercises. There are squats, with Whip-it and nay-nays. All while wearing your bub. The extra weight of baby is not uncomfortable, but definitely intensifies the workout. Plus there is plenty of opportunity to take the class at your own pace, and do as much exercise as you are able to do. The completion of the class includes a warm down with plenty of stretching in the arms and legs.
The Love of Kanga and the Stamp of Approval
After complaining to hubby for months about my need to exercise (which, like the meme, was 25% desire to exercise and 75% desire to eat chocolate and binge watch Netflix), Kangatraining has been the perfect solution for me. I get to spend time with my son, as well as my mother’s group friends having a laugh (because it is a lot of fun), and most importantly doing great exercise as well. I love that it is in a relaxed environment, and that most importantly I can do it mid week and it INVOLVES my son (rather than some classes that are baby-friendly, but the baby just sits there while you exercise). The classes are also very affordable (in comparison to other exercise classes) which is important for us new mums. The class does generally go for 1.5 hours, allowing time for fitting baby carriers and getting everyone sorted, however, the BIGGEST bonus possibly of them all, is generally almost EVERY baby fall asleep during the class (unless you’re like my little man who just loves to chat throughout…)
If you’re looking for a fun way to exercise after having your bub, in a relaxed environment with plenty of laughs, Kangatraining is the perfect class for you. It is even more fun when you invite your friends along and you can all spur each other on!
Kangatraining definitely gets my Stamp of Approval! There are many classes around Australia (and even the world!), so check out their website HERE for class locations – and don’t forget to visit their Facebook and Instagram too (these are the Cronulla and Surrounds links). I’ve already signed up for the full term for Kangatraining!
What is your favourite Kanga dance?