Kanga is a complete fitness programme for new mums, designed to train cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and strength. What’s really cool is that instead of using weights, you carry your baby in a sling.
Kangatraining is specifically tailored to the needs of women who have recently given birth. It targets specific problem zones and muscle groups such as the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles and women are able to exercise in a gentle manner with their baby essentially replacing the dumbbell. Because children get heavier and heavier, the training benefits for the mother steadily increase. “It’s quite a feat to train with a child weighing 10 kilogrammes,” says Silvia Hengartner, Kangatrainer in Zurich.
Three training levels
There are three training levels: one for mothers who’ve given birth recently, one for those who’ve been training for a while, and one for those who’ve been doing Kangatraining for a long time and are in good shape.
The ideal time to start Kanga is six to eight weeks after a normal birth (or twelve weeks after a caesarean). To get optimum results quickly you’re recommended to do three sessions a week: one session with an instructor, and twice at home with the DVD. Training starts with floor exercises, and after 10 or 15 minutes continues with your child in a sling. The simple, gentle movements are a lot like being in the womb, so almost all children fall asleep after a while.
Suitable for children up to around two years old
Kanga is ideal exercise until your child is around two years old. “But you can actually keep doing Kanga for as long as your child is having fun and is happy to take part,” says Hengartner. Some of the mothers training with her have two kids. In this case the bigger child does the same as mum, with a doll in its sling.
Anyone looking to take their Kanga training to the next level might be interested in Kanga burn. It’s a continuation of Kanga without children that emphasises endurance, and is designed to help you burn off 800 calories per session.