Quick Fitness: 10-Minute Workout For Busy Moms

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 9:00am

By Tracey Mallet

For women with babies or small kids, finding time to exercise can be challenging. With the sleep-deprivation factor, minimal personal time, and the priority changes that babies and small children bring—are there any fitness options for busy moms? The fact is, the more you take of yourself, the better you will feel…and thus the stronger you will be both physically and emotionally to face the day with the “little ones,” as well as deal with all of life’s challenges.

Mini-circuit training routine

This short mini-circuit is the perfect daily routine to help you burn a few extra calories and tighten up some common problem areas (i.e. the hips, thighs, buns, upper body and abdomen). It moves from one exercise to the next without a break in-between each exercise. The goal with this type of routine is to keep your heart rate elevated, which helps burn more calories and tones the whole body.

The busy mom routine consists of 4 exercises

Your goal is to perform one set of 10-15 reps before moving on to the next exercise. After completing all four exercises once, repeat the circuit again two more times, totaling three circuits. This workout should approximately take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. To get started, march in place or go for a small walk with your little one around the park to ensure your body is warm before starting your circuit.

1.   Curtsy lunge with lateral lift stabilizes your standing posture

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees relaxed, and hands on the hips. Pull abs in, spine in a neutral position with the shoulders pulled down and chest lifted. Extending right leg out to the side, supporting leg is slightly bent with foot pointing forward.

  2. Step right leg diagonally behind the body, hips and torso stay facing forward, right heel is lifted. Both knees are bent in a lunge position; weight is centered over the supporting thigh.

  3. Extend both legs and swing right leg out to the side, balancing on the left leg. The moving leg should be slightly internally rotated at the hip causing you to lead the motion with the heel.

    Repeat this motion up to 15 times then proceed to the next leg.

Reps: 3 sets of 10-15 reps on each leg.

Muscle focus: Targets glutes, quads, hamstrings and abs for standing stabilization

2.   Single leg lunge swings

  1. Feet together, knees relaxed, abs pulled in with shoulders relaxed and chest lifted.
  2. Take a large step forward with the right leg. Bend both knees, keep right knee inline with ankle and left knee pointing down to the floor. Hold the lunge, contracting the abs for balance, maintaining a neutral spine and push the swing forward with your arms and chest. Push off right front foot and thigh and bring feet back together, repeat alternating legs.

    Reps:3 sets of 10- 15 reps on each leg

    Muscle focus: Targets glutes, quads, hamstrings, chest, arms, shoulders and abs

3. Flamingo pick ups

  • Stand tall with your right leg extended behind the body, arms on hips.
  • Exhale as you contract your abs and hinge forward from the hips, maintaining pelvis square to the front. Simultaneously lift the back leg to a T-position body parallel to the floor. Hold this position for a count of 5, to make this exercise more challenging reach your left hand forward pretending to pick up something off the ground. Return back to T-position with both hands on hips. Contract the glutes and hamstrings; hinge the body back to start position.

Reps: 3 sets of 10-15 reps on each leg

Muscle Focus: Targets glutes, hamstrings and abs

Tip: Mentally focus on the core. Without this mind-body connection you will not be able to balance. Also, by contracting all the muscles in the supporting leg, you will create a more stable support to work from.

Modifications: Hold a chair or the wall for support if you have poor balance.

4.   Ab planks work the whole body

  • Place your hands on top of a step or climbing frame, placing you on an incline. Your hands should be directly underneath the shoulders. Move feet back and extend the body into a plank position, abs are contracted to keep torso supported.
  • Exhale; draw your right knee to chest without moving the upper body. Inhale swing the leg back maintaining the pelvis square to the floor, contracting the glutes and hamstrings.

Reps:3 setsof 10-15 reps on each leg.

Muscle focus: Works the whole body all at the same time! Targets chest, shoulders, arms, abs, glutes and hamstrings

Tip: While performing this exercise imagine you’re pushing away from the floor contacting your lats and upper back muscles which stabilize your shoulder girdle. Your core is tight without any movement as you move the leg.

Modifications: Lower supporting knee to the ground and gradually lift the knee off the floor as you get stronger. Eventually you can extend the body out in to full plank.