As a working mom of two, I know how busy some weeks are and getting to the gym is impossible. Take 20 minutes out of your 1440 available minutes in a day and exercise your body! This will help pick up your energy levels and give you a boost either to start your day or after the kids are in bed. Find time and do it!
Grab your Ipod or find a music station with some upbeat tunes and start with a warmup. Use a cardio machine if you have one or a skipping rope, and if you are like me and do not, warm up with some good old jumping jacks (30-50 total)! Stretch those arms out to a star position, clapping overhead, and then back down to your sides. This warmup will increase blood flow to the muscles that you are about to strengthen and gradually increase your heart rate. Follow through these exercises with little rest in between to help burn extra calories as you will keep and elevated heart rate.
1. Body Weight Squat (legs/quads mostly)- Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder width apart and toes slightly pointed outwards to accommodate the natural path your joints will follow. Sit back (pushing your bum out) as if you were reaching for a chair, then lower your body keep your head up and chest out. Always thinking of keeping perfect posture throughout these exercises. Keep your arms out for balance and then return to start position. Repeat 20-40 times, depending on your fitness level.
2. Pushup (chest/arms)- Try a military pushup, and drop to your knees if you cannot keep good form. Another option is to do it off an elevated surface like your bed, table, or bathtub. Start with your hands at about chest level outside of your shoulders. Keep your bum and head level with the rest of your body. Think of a plank of wood, every body part moves together. Lower between your hands to 90 degrees, if possible, and then return to start position. If using a table or bed, aim your chest at the edge where your hands are placed. Repeat 10-20 times based on your fitness level.
3. Hip Thrust (Back of legs and glutes)- Lye on your back and bend your knees to around 45 degrees, drive your heels into the ground and squeeze and lift your bum up as high as is comfortable. Then lower returning to starting position. Repeat 25-40 times.
For a little more challenging option for this exercise, keep left leg bent on the ground and straighten the right leg out so it is pointing at an angle between straight up and your left legs angle. Now keep the right leg leg up and drive left heel into the ground, squeeze your bum and lift and lower your hips without twisting or lowering the right leg. Repeat 20 to 30 times each leg.
4. Prone Cobra (Back/arms/glutes)- Lye on your stomach with arms along your sides with palms facing down. Squeeze your bum, keep your head neutral by looking down, and lift your chest, legs, and hands about an inch-2 inches off the ground. Hold this position for around 3 seconds then lower back to the ground. Repeat 15-20 times.
5. Abdominal Crunch (abs)- Lye on your back with legs bent at 45 degrees. Hand by the ears for minimal neck support. Crunch up with upper back coming off the mat. Feel your spine curving into a “C” position as you squeeze your bum, push your lower back (where it curves) into the ground and lift your shoulders off the ground. Return back to starting position and repeat20-40 times, ensuring good form each time.
Finish off your power workout with a minute-3 minutes of cardio either jumping jacks, skipping or cardio machine AND some light stretching. Good to go after about 20 minutes! Enjoy and let me know how it goes!