I’m not a mom yet, but I have a lot of mom-friends who remind me of how busy it can get when trying to manage multiple priorities at once. Many moms that I talk to don’t have an hour to set aside for exercise every day, but the good news is that they don’t have to! You can still reap the health benefits of exercise with short workouts spread throughout the course of the day. So whether you’re a busy mom or just a busy person, here are a few cardio and strength training moves that can be done at anytime and anywhere in just a few short minutes.
Plank with Shoulder Tap
Area: Core, Glutes, Shoulders, and Arms
Come into a full push-up position with feet hip-width apart and hands directly underneath your shoulders. [Ground your toes to the floor, keep your head in line with your spine, and squeeze your glutes to stabilize the body.] Lightly tap your left shoulder with your right hand and return it to the floor. Then immediately tap your right shoulder with your left hand, and continue alternating for 30 seconds.
- Focus on keeping your core tight, back flat, and glutes parallel to the floor.
- Planks are the perfect exercise for just about anywhere! Try this during television commercials or while you’re waiting for dinner to finish cooking.
- Have a friendly competition with the family to see who can hold their plank the longest.
Area: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, and Core
Stand in front of a couch or chair. With feet shoulder width apart, core tight, and back flat, bend your knees and slowly lower down until your glutes are about an inch above the couch/chair. Keep the weight in your heels, knees in line with ankles (not over the toes), and head in line with your spine. Hold the squat position for five seconds then slowly stand up tall. Go back down into a squat and hold five seconds, and then sit on your couch/chair. That’s one set. Continue sequence for a total of 10 sets.
- Do Hover Squats at your desk at work, while you wait for your next appointment, or as you watch television.
Single Leg Squats
Area: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, and Core
Stand tall with your feet together and arms by your sides. Lift the right foot off the floor a few inches. Bend the left leg and slowly lower into a squat position as you raise your arms straight out in front of you for balance. Continue to lower until quad is parallel with the floor, and then hold for one second. Pressing up through the left heel, slowly come back up to the standing position, squeezing the glutes as you lift. Repeat 12 times, and then switch sides.
- Great for balance! Try this while you brush your teeth.
- Sit your hips back and control your body as you lower into the squat as opposed to crashing down and jolting up.
- Keep you back flat, core tight, and head in line with your spine the entire time.
Area: Triceps, Biceps, and Obliques
Lie on your left side with legs extended straight but staggered (top leg in front and bottom leg in back). Take your left arm and wrap it around your waist. Place your right hand in front of your left shoulder with palm pressed to the floor. Exhale as you raise your torso off the mat until right arm is fully extended, but not locked. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat. Complete 12 reps then switch sides.
- Perfect for between commercial breaks or right before you go to bed at night!
Frog Reach Thru
Lie on your back with your legs off the floor, and press the soles of your feet together. Extend your arms out in front of you and press the palms of your hands together. Exhale as you contract your abdominals and slowly lift your shoulders off of the mat. Reach your arms through your legs, hold one second, and inhale as you slowly lower back to the floor. Do a total of 12 repetitions.
- Try this in bed when you first wake up in the morning.
Area: Glutes, Quads, and Core
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend at the elbow with forearms parallel to the floor as if holding a basketball. Bend at the knees and waist, and sit back into a half squat. Jump up off the ground as high as you can, raising both arms up over your head as if shooting a basketball. Land softly with knees bent. Continue jumps for 30 seconds.
- Great for coordination and balance.
- Another great exercise that the whole family can to do together!