Dynamic Gymnastics for Newborns – Interview with Rada

I am the oldest child and my siblings and I are about eight years apart so I do remember a lot from when they were young, which has helped me tremendously in having the confidence of raising my own child now. However in my adult life I didn’t have too much experience with babies, especially newborns so that was a very scary experience for me, they just seem so fragile! So in one of my Facebook mommy groups when I saw a post that was shared regarding a “Dynamic Gymnastic” (DG) class for newborns I was immediately interested, how could people do gymnastics for these tiny little creatures? I googled it quickly and what I saw shocked me! However, being in the fitness field I knew that the human body is capable of so much more than we think so I’m sure it was the same for our babies as well! So I kept an open mind and reached out to Rada and decided to try out her class for myself. It was the absolute best thing I could’ve ever done, so much so that I want to share my experience with you all! It made me so confident in handling my baby and realizing that babies are a lot stronger and smarter than most of us give them credit for. Participating in this course is something that I highly recommend to all new parents – as long as you keep an open mind and work with a teacher that you trust.

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A little blurry but an action shot of Max getting stretched by Rada!

DG is a practice that started in Russia about 60 years ago and has mostly stayed within Russia however there are a few teachers that have moved around the world and are taking DG with them. So myself and five other new parents embarked on a 4 week journey together with our babies to learn about different moves that we could do with our babies to help strengthen their muscles and joints, alleviate gases, decompress their spines, and relax them.

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A happy baby at the end of class!

I found out about the DG course when Max was just turning three months old which was perfect timing because the maximum age that you can start practicing is at four months. Most of the babies in our group were between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 months old. The entire course lasted about four weeks with an hour and a half to two hour session every weekend learning new moves and practicing old ones. It was a great time getting to learning under the careful guidance and watchful eye of Rada. Another surprising benefit from this class was meeting and connecting with all of the other new parents, since all of our babies were around the same age it was comforting to see other people going through what you were going through. And once we started introducing the babies to one another, seeing their interactions and curiosity towards each other was so adorable.

I am by no means an expert in DG so I decided to consult with the expert, our teacher Rada, and ask some common questions and concerns that people have as well as her own experience with DG. If you are pregnant or have a newborn, I strongly encourage you to see if DG is the right fit for you. If you know someone that might be interested please do share this article with them!

You can contact Rada by email at rada_bond@yahoo.co.uk or join the Facebook group: Dynamic Gymnastics for Newborns.

Interview with Rada

1. When did you start practicing DG?
I started practicing DG 6 years ago. I had the privilege to learn it from the student of Prof. Charkovski, the man who elaborated this exercises over 60 years ago.

2. I know you’ve said you started practicing DG with your kids, how old are they now? How has DG affected their life so far?

Karim is 6 y.o, Tristan is 3.5 y.o. Karim was born in the evening. I started practicing with him the second day. He was born at home, so I could do it. Tristan was a lotus baby, we had to wait will the umbilical cord would dry and fall off so we started on the 4th day.

I am deeply convinced that my children will mostly benefit from DG later in their life. DG was for them as an solid fundamental for emotional and physical health. But some of immediate results are:
  • very strong bodies, when you hold in your arms an ordinary child…you feel like the baby is smooth like a jellyfish, when holding a DG baby…it’s like holding an oak tree.
  • they are healthier, because DG improves immune system through its impact on the adrenal gland.
  • An incredibly nice movement coordination. They feel their bodies precisely, so in case of any accident their reaction is very adequate, they know how to move their body during a fall, for ex.
  • Open minded, easy going, and very attached to parents, because DG offers a strong bonding during the training.
  • Their respiratory system improves. During the trainings babies breath actively and their body and blood get saturated with oxygen, which increases the blood pH thus contributing to a better health. Oxygen gets also to the brain, which contributes to a better intellectual development.
  • Babies get a strong spine, which later will help them in school when they will have to stay still for a long period.
  • Strong abdomen – best preventing measure for hernia.
3. At what age should parents start doing DG with their kids and at what age should they stop?
The earlier baby starts DG, the better benefits are. The benefits of a baby who started DG at the age of 1 month are uncomparably higher to those of a baby who started at 4 months. I started with my children on following days after birth. Most parents start when baby us around 2m.o.  There is a big category of parents who come at the “last call “, when baby is 4 m.o, thinking that baby is already older and better prepared for DG. 4m.o is the latest when a baby can start practicing DG. After the DG course parents continue practicing alone at home,  daily till the age of around 1y.o. …this is when baby gets heavy enough even for the father, so DG stops. With my children we stopped at around 1 year and 3 months.
4. Do you find more moms or dads are interested in doing DG for their kids?
Interested in DG are probably equally moms and dads. But what is a very interesting phenomenon for Lebanon is that the number of dads practicing DG is higher than moms. Moms here are more scared to handle the baby, or they are physically less prepared. But its a pure pleasure watching dads working with their babies.
5. There is some controversy around DG, what are some concerns that parents have in regards to DG and what do you say to them?
There are few questions i keep on hearing every time:
  • If shoulder gets dislocated? – a baby must have chronic joints disease in order to have something dislocated during the training. DG strengthens the muscles,  muscles protect joints and tendons, so basically DG prevents such accidents.
  • Shaken baby syndrome.  It happens when the speed of the direction change is very high. DG has absolutely nothing to do with it. All movements are linear. And it’s sad when pediatrics advise parents to do DG bcs of the SBS,  totally unprofessional.
  • What if i drop the baby while i train with him?  Well,  as long as the parent is focused on the training,  the hands are dry, baby’s wrists and ankles are naked and the parent practices slowly,  without fanatical attitude,  then the baby is more than safe.
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Max’s first Diploma 🙂

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