Whether you’re a mom of an infant, toddler, or school-aged kid (or all of the above), your “exercise” routine likely consists of running after little feet, running errands, or just running yourself ragged. You may think you have no extra time to squeeze anything else into your day. But there is a way! We’ve created a workout to show you how you can, specifically targeting your mom-bod in eight simple moves.
No matter what your level of fitness, these moves are for mamas of all shapes, sizes, and stamina — offering both a “turn it up” or “calm it down” version. Pick your poison and give us 10 reps of each. Feeling strong? Repeat the circuit two to three times.
Jumping lunge with core twist
Make your sweat session more exciting with plyometrics! Keep the upper body lifted with both knees bent at 90 degrees. Explode through the feet/lower body and land softly into the alternating lunge position.
Bonus: plyo is a quick way to increase your metabolic rate, which will keep you lean and mean.
Turn it up: Hold something heavy (your baby! That newly purchased box of wine!). Ideally this would be a plate or hand weight to keep the load balanced and centered.
Calm it down: Take out the plyometrics and make this a backward stepping lunge with core twist. Take a big step back with your front thigh parallel to the floor and back heel lifted off the ground. Twist toward your front thigh with the core while keeping your shoulders square.
Think of these squats as going up and down an elevator and making a pit-stop at each floor. While standing at full height you are at the second floor. Take it down and pause at the lobby (ignore the side eye from reception). Continue your descent into the ground level with a deep squat. All the while, your thighs should be parallel to the floor with toes slightly turned out. Keep the booty just above knee level.
Turn it up: Since you’re already down in the parking garage – grab your keys and unlock your excitement because here comes an explosive squat jump! Rocket out of the feet and return to a deep squat. Keep your weight in the heels with your chest lifted. From here take it back up and pause at the lobby. Finish in a standing position on the second floor. That fun little trip is one set.
Calm it down: Remove the explosive jump.
Tempo tricep push-ups
Same concept as the squat — two levels down and two levels up. Keep the hands directly under the shoulders with the elbows back to target triceps.
Turn it up: Take a three second pause at each level to feel the extra burn.
Calm it down: For a regression, take it down to the knees and keep your toes on the ground.
OK, clearly we aren’t reinventing the wheel with this one. Just do it. These work. Use a chair, bench, stair, the bumper of your car — whatever you can (literally) get your hands on. Keep your palms directly under your shoulders with elbows targeting directly to the back with each dip.
Turn it up: Extend your legs and alternate keeping one foot off the ground with each dip.
Calm it down: Keep your knees at 90 degrees with the soles of your feet flat on the ground.
Sit-up 1, 2’s
Channel your inner Ronda Rousey. Perform a full sit-up with a jab/cross combo at the top. Keep your core engaged on the ascent and descent with the punches strong and deliberate, despite the target being open air. The air had it comin’.
Turn it up: Increase the combo with a jab/cross/jab/cross at the top.
Calm it down: You’re Ronda. You don’t calm down. You go full out.
Mountain climber in plank
Ain’t no mountain high enough! Climb yourself to abdominal heaven. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders and keep the core engaged. Bring your knees straight up to the chest, alternating diagonally (right knee toward left armpit; left knee toward right armpit).
Turn it up: Increase the speed. Run that mountain!
Calm it down: Keep it slow and controlled. Take a beat in between, if needed.
All about that booty sequence
This one will take some practice, but that’s why there are 10 reps to perfect it! On hands and knees start with one fire hydrant: with your knees bent to 90 degrees, raise one out laterally. From here, bring your fire hydrant back in and kick the same leg straight back with the toe pointed. Then, kick the leg out to the side, away from your body, and bring it back to a fully extended position behind you. Finally, with the leg still extended and toe pointed, do a strong kick out to the side while keeping the oblique engaged. Return to full extension before bringing your knee back down to meet the other one the ground. That’s one rep — you’ll hate to love these.
Turn it up: Take the plank from palms to elbows to fire up more of the core and glutes.
Calm it down: Keep a slight bend in the knee for the entire move until you work up to full mobility and range.
Curtsy lunge with lateral raise
The old-school lunge gets super formal to make the stems long and lean. Cross the thighs by stepping one leg behind the other. Bend the knees and “curtsy.” The front knee should be aligned with the front ankle without the knee extending over the toe. Keeping the palms in a soft fist and raise the arms laterally to shoulder height with each lunge.
Turn it up: Grab hand weights (or even soup cans) to take the lateral raise up a notch.
Calm it down: If the curtsy aggravates the knee, take it central with a backward stepping lunge.
Workout goals: 10 reps each/three sets
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Jaime Galinsky wears as many hats as humanly possible — Reebok athlete, Les Mills National Presenter, Instructor and Coach, and her most important role – mom to three littles. Jaime got into group fitness in 2012 after having her second child because she found that it was the best way to be present for her children while fueling her passion for helping others enjoy fitness. She now holds her ACE and AFAA Group Fitness Certifications. In a previous life, Jaime was a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader for three seasons, while her future life includes growing in her career with Les Mills, being a Fatloss Foodies coach, and hopefully not changing any more diapers.