You can’t borrow, buy, slow it down or stop it: Time, how does it slip away from the active Modern Mom? Time might slip away as your daily “To Do” lists get longer, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few minutes here and there for yourself to work out or exercise. Work out smarter, not harder. Who says you have to go to the gym or health club to get a challenging workout in? Here are a few “quickies” to get your heart rate up, challenge your muscles, and relieve the stress that increases minute by minute in your active lifestyle.
Whether you are doing walking lunges or standing lunges, they are a great for a lower body work out as they challenge and incorporate every muscle in your legs. Walking Lunges: Standing tall, shoulders back and down, abdominals engaged, step forward with and place one foot in front of you as you lower your back knee almost to almost touch the floor. As you push off with your back foot, walk forward and do the same motion of lowering your now back knee to almost touch the floor. Don’t step out too far, you should have about two to two and a half feet between your feet. Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, push up and back and repeat with the other leg (walking forward). Standing Lunges: Standing tall, shoulders back and down, abdominals engaged, step forward with one leg and lower your upper body down, bending your leg, do all the reps with one leg then switch to the other leg. The farther forward you step, the more the glutes and hamstrings you will use. It is very important to keep your upper body vertical. The Breakdown: Walking Lunges: Take 10-15 steps 2 sets. Work up to 3-4 sets. Standing Lunges: 10 on each leg – 2 sets.
Calf raises can be done at home, at the market, or waiting in line for a coffee. Standing in place on your toes or with the balls of your feet on a step or stair, simply stand and lower for a few reps to feel a burn in your calves. For an additional challenge, try using just one foot. Be careful because you don’t want to slip off the step or stair and twist your ankle. The Breakdown: Try 3 sets of 10 alternating between legs for a great work-out.
We all want flat, tight, rock hard abs, you can perform this simple series of abdominal exercises on your living room floor and be which will get your heart racing and work toward that tight tummy. Between the abdominal routine, roll over and push out a few knee or military push-ups. Great chest and full upper body work-out. The Breakdown: Crunches – 25 reps – work up to 3 sets. Bicycles – Keep your shoulders elevated, support your neck with your finger tips, and bring your knee up to touch your elbow as you extend your foot/ leg out to 6 inches above the floor. 25 reps work up to 3 sets. Yoga Boat Pose – Imagine the letter “V”. While sitting keep your spine straight and erect, your back flat, make sure your shins are parallel with the floor, and extend your arms out in front of you. Hold for 30 seconds – 3 sets. Work up to holding for 60 seconds – 3-5 sets. Push Up Plank – An amazing yoga move that focuses on isolating the abs, back, arms and legs. Lie on the floor face down. Your elbows should be on the floor by your chest, now push your body up off the floor into a push up position – you can either have your hands or elbows on the ground. Squeeze your abs, keep your body in a “plank” like position, meaning do not drop your hips. Hold for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds – repeat 3 times. Work to holding for 60 seconds with a 60 second rest – 3-5 sets.
Resistance Bands are a great easy way to tone your arms and shoulders. They can go anywhere and will give you that well known “burn” in a matter of seconds. The bands come in different colors for different levels:Yellow – Little or no exercise experience. Green – Starting place for most women. Red – Regular exercisers. Blue – Intermediate exercisers. Black – Highly advanced exercisers
More with Resistance Bands
Keep a few resistance bands nearby for a quick arm work-out and shoulder burn. It’s easy to do while on speaker phone, waiting for the computer to fire up or between kids brushing their teeth. Here is a list of 5 can do anywhere upper body exercises.
Bicep Curls – Step on the band with both feet placing the middle of the band under your arches. Grab the handles one in each hand. Begin with your arms by your sides, squeeze your biceps as you bend your elbows and bring your hands up as close to your shoulders as you can. Slowly lower and repeat. Do 2 sets of 15. Work up to 3 sets of 15 – 20.
Overhead Tricep Extension – Step on the band with both feet placing the middle of the band under your arches. Grab the handles one in each hand lift your arms up so your elbows are pointing toward the sky. Keeping your elbows close to your ears extend your hands up to the sky slowly as you squeeze your triceps. Slowly lower your hands to where they started, repeat. Do 2 sets of 15. Work up to 3 sets of 15-20.
Overhead Shoulder Press – Step on the band with both feet, placing the middle of the band under your arches. Grab one handle in each hand as you bend your elbows and bring your hands to just above your shoulders, slowly straighten your arms up over your head, then return to starting position. Do 2 sets of 15. Work up to 3 sets of 15 – 20.
Lateral Shoulder Raise – Step on the band with both feet, placing the middle of the band under your arches. Grab one handle in each hand, hands by your side. Keep your arms straight as you raise your arms out to your sides and up to shoulder height, slowly lower to starting position. Be sure to keep your shoulders down and your abdominals engaged. Do 2 sets of 10. Work up to 3 sets of 15 – 20.
Front Raises – Step on the band with both feet, placing the middle of the band under your arches. Grab one handle in each hand, hands by your side. Keep your arms straight as you raise your arms out up in front of you to shoulder height, slowly lower to starting position. Again, be sure to keep your shoulders down and abdominals engaged. Do 2 sets of 10. Work up to 3 sets of 15 – 20.
This is not magic, simply a way to use some of that stuff that keeps slipping away!
Watch how quickly you get back into shape while making the most of your time.
About the Author
Thomas Roe has been a Certified Personal Trainer for over ten years. His love for health and fitness began in high school where he was a decorated two sport athlete – football and track – which led him to pursue his athletic endeavors at the collegiate level. After a near fatal neck injury which led to two spinal surgeries, Thomas committed himself to being in the best shape of his life through fitness and nutrition, and has vowed to share that with his clients. His degree in Endurance Nutrition has helped him design programs for himself, family, friends and clients, which clarify the difference between diet vs. nutrition.