High up in one of Hong Kong’s ubiquitous skyscrapers a group of women are being put through their paces, straining against the weight of a novel training accessory — their children.

Dubbed ‘Mumba’ these exercise classes are a new twist on the baby-wearing trend gripping mothers in the city.

Once the preserve of traditional communities, the art of wrapping a baby across a caregiver’s body so it can be carried during daily activities is being taken up by modern parents.

In Hong Kong, where narrow hilly streets and unforgiving urban landscape often render strollers and prams useless — many frustrated parents are now going back to basics out of necessity.

Proving the old adage, invention has followed. ‘Mumba’ fitness, baby-wearing bellydance, ballet, yoga and pilates classes, and even suspension training (TRX) classes have sprung up in recent months — all allowing parents to exercise while their baby is strapped to them in a carrier.

“There is huge demand from mums who wanted to get back in shape and to get strong again after the challenges of labour, but who also didn’t want to leave their young babies behind while they spent time exercising,” explains Ifat Hindes, co-founder of Mumba Fitness.

“We have combined different types of exercise including yoga, dance, TRX, and pilates, and the bonus is that you are using your baby for weight training,” she says.

“There’s no need for expensive gadgets — it’s just you and your baby, with other parents, being guided by a professional. You know everyone is in the same boat. Hong Kong can be a difficult and unwelcoming city for new mothers.”

Baby Wearing Revival Gets A Fitness Twist In Hong Kong
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