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Mommy Workouts: The best baby-friendly fitness classes

fitnessSure, keeping up with the kids, juggling superhuman schedules and simply maintaining sanity are pulse-raising workouts in and of themselves. But now that spring (and shorts and tank top season) is in the air, we're itching to carve out some time for serious exercise. The problem?

Factor in babysitting, a gym membership and the emotional cost of donning spandex for the first time in months and we may never get our butts out the door. Luckily, with a little research and tips from RT readers, we've found a slew of local classes where babies are welcome and fellow moms add to the accepting atmosphere. Below, a few of our favorite family-friendly spring training options.

  • Baby Boot Camp
    Locations: Capitol Hill, First Hill, Redmond, Sammamish
    Info.: 206.858.8892,
    The Scoop: Strap Little One into the BabyBjorn or stroller and join eight to 10 moms for serious core strengthening and resistance band workouts. Instructor Jacqueline Morris brought this national franchise to Seattle because her daughter hated being left at the nursery in her local gym. Biweekly mid-morning classes are held outdoors (as often as possible); moms must be at least six weeks postpartum and are encouraged to bring infants and toddlers up to age two.
    Cost: $16/class; $90/unlimited monthly pass
    Bonus: The class is approved by Swedish Medical Center.
  • Mommy & Me Classes at 8 Limbs Yoga
    Locations: Capitol Hill, Wedgwood,West Seattle
    Info.: 206.325.8221,
    The Scoop: Expect more than mellow restorative poses at this brisk Hatha class for moms (and dads) looking to get back into shape after pregnancy. The down-to-earth studio welcomes babies under a year old, who rest on blankets during the 1.5-hour session while grown ups sweat in downward dog and warrior pose. Gleaming hardwood floors, high ceilings and a no-pressure atmosphere add to your feeling of Zen.
    Cost: $15/class; $99/two-month trial membership
    Bonus: Teachers won't blink an eye at nursing or changing and they'll even comfort cranky little ones while calling poses.
  • Stroller Strides
    Locations: Wedgwood, Phinney Ridge, Sand Point, University Village, Woodland Park Zoo, Green Lake
    Info.: 800.917.4592,
    The Scoop: These hour-long cardio and strength training workouts will make pushing the stroller around Green Lake seem like, well, a walk in the park. Nationally certified teachers (who are all moms themselves) lead groups through circuit training, lunges, push-ups and squats, often using strollers for balance/support. Oh, and don't worry, there's no need for stroller envy: high tech contraptions aren't necessary. (Instructors just ask that Baby's ride isn't an umbrella stroller.)
    Cost: $15/class; $49/unlimited monthly membership (plus $75 registration fee). Test the waters at free grand opening classes in June. (See web site for schedule.)
    Bonus: As if watching Mom sweat wasn't entertaining enough, toddlers get to pick the tunes for mid-workout sing-a-longs.
  • Moms in the Zone and Salsa Babies at Gracewinds Perinatal
    Locations: North Ballard, Green Lake
    Info.: 206.781.9871,
    The Scoop: This one-stop-shop Ballard studio has a variety of programs and classes for pre- and postpartum moms. Starting June 1st, stroller exercise class "Moms in the Zone" moves outside, to Green Lake, where trainers will lead moms through circuit training and core work while Junior basks in the sunshine. (Don't forget hats and sunscreen, of course.) Back in the studio, Latin beats charm little feet at "Salsa Babies"– a nuevo fitness class where dancing moms hold babies six-to-eight weeks and older in snug carriers.
    Cost: $110/eight class punch card
    Bonus: The studio also offers on-site and at-home massages.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Seattle YMCA (check to see what classes your closest location offers for kids; while Junior is taking a swim or dance lesson, you can be sweating in an aerobics class); Seattle and Eastside locations; 206.382.5000;, click on 'youth.'
  • Seattle Holistic Center (yoga classes for new and not-so-new moms; newborns and babies are welcome); Green Lake, Wallingford; 206.525.9035;
  • Urban Monkeys (adult yoga classes with free childcare); South Lake Union; 206.262.9282;
  • Strollertime (a "stroller workout" CD and DVD with animated graphics that keep babies and toddlers entertained while leading mom through cardio work, muscle strengthening and stretching); 866.348.6667;

Kids can't join the following boot-camp style classes, but the short, high-intensity format minimizes babysitting time.

  • X Gym (tough, twice weekly one-on-one personal training sessions that last only 20 minutes); Belltown, Alki, Kirkland; 206.728.9496;
  • Ms. Boot Camp at Cloud Nine Women (hard core, women-only evening workouts that whip you into shape in six weekly sessions); Queen Anne, Tacoma; 206.755.9683;

–Jasmine Moir