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As a Wife, a Mom of a Toddler, and a Business Woman with my own company, I don’t have big blocks of time in my day to exercise. In fact, consistent exercise was on of the first things to go on the back burner when I became a Mom, and it’s been one of the hardest things to work back into my life post-baby. As we all know, exercise is one of the most important things we can do to keep our bodies strong and healthy, as well as to keep ourselves mentally fit and de-stressed! I knew 2016 had to be the year I got back on track. For me, exercise is more about feeling healthy– NOT about being the skinniest possible version of myself. That said, I appreciate when my muscles are defined and taut just as much as the next girl! Today I’m sharing five easy moves you can do at home, with a few simple props, to get yourself feeling fit. Transform your baby’s nap time in to “Me Time”!
I like to perform these moves one after another, as a twenty-minute “exercise block”. I aim to do this four days a week, and more if I have time. My best tip is to take your child on a brisk jog with your stroller (I have this jogging stroller) before nap time– and then while they sleep, finish your workout with these moves! Remember to stretch well after your workout to really elongate those muscles and get the most out of your exercise.
PLANK WITH LEG LIFTS
This is an amazing move for your butt and your abs! Begin by extending into a plank/push-up position. I like to extend my arms, but you can lower to your forearms for modifications. Next, flex your foot, raise your left foot while contracting your butt muscles, hold for two seconds, then release down. Repeat fifteen times on each leg, for one full set. Do three sets, resting in between.
This is a yoga move! I just love it because it’s extremely lengthening, and stretches as well as tones your muscles. It’s awesome for toning the arms as well as your core!
Begin in a plank/push-up, with a breath, pull your hips back and up into the yoga position “downward facing dog”. Make sure your heels are reaching towards the ground, and your back is lengthened and flat. Gaze downward or between your legs. I like to hang out in this position for around thirty seconds just breathing and letting my leg muscles stretch. Next, move forward back into a plank position. With a breath, slowly lower yourself to your stomach, keeping your elbows tucked into your sides. Take a brief moment on your stomach before pushing your chest up and forward between your arms, lengthening your legs, arching your back and opening your chest. Gaze upwards and breath. Push back into Downward Facing Dog. I do five of these, resting for a moment or two in between.
SQUATS WITH WEIGHTS
This move is for your butt, core, legs, AND arms! Quadruple whammy! If you don’t have weights you can always hold cans of soup. I bought a pair of three-pound weights from Amazon and use them all the time. Great investment! Begin by standing, feet hip-width distance apart, holding the weights at shoulder height. Leaning slightly forward (to maintain a straight back) tighten your core as you squat down. Keep your weight in your heels. You should be able to lift up your toes. Hold for a beat, then slowly extend your arms, holding at the top for two seconds. Bring your weights back to should height, and slowly rise back to standing. Now extend your weights straight out in front of you, making sure there is no bend in your arms. Return the weights to should height. Repeat ten times for one set. Do three sets, resting briefly in between.
CHAIR DIPS AND PUSHUPS
Ok, this is technically two moves, but they go together seamlessly! They also target the backs of the arms (my own personal problem area) as well as the arms, shoulders, and chest. And the only prop you need for this is a chair! I think you might have one of those in your house…
Sit on the edge of your chair. Place your hands gripping the front edge, with your fingers facing the floor and your palm on the seat. Your elbows should extend directly behind you. Slide your butt to the edge of the seat until it is right off the edge and the level of the chair. Hold here for a beat, and then slowly dip your tailbone down towards the floor. Your elbows will bend behind you. Stop when your elbows are at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Hold for a beat, then slowly return to start. Do twenty dips for one set. Repeat three times, resting in between sets.
Next, flip over so that your body is straight and you are facing the chair seat in a push-up position. Place the chair against a wall so it doesn’t slip! Slowly lower into a push-up, until your chest is almost touching the edge of the chair. Slowly return back to start. Do ten of these for one set. Repeat three times, resting in between sets.
I hope these four simple moves help you on your path to a stronger you! I know it can be really tough to find the time to strengthen our bodies, but it’s worth the effort– especially when you can get it done while your family is occupied or asleep at home! Do you find time for fitness moves at home? I’d love to hear about it, let me know in the comments below.