As moms, finding time to do anything for yourself is often an exercise in futility. Work out time is especially hard to carve out because, well, there are so many OTHER things to do with those rare moments of free time. Not to mention that the chances of a young child allowing you to do a full workout without interruption are slim to none. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of kid-friendly workout exercises you can do quickly in your free time, or if your child is big enough, that he or she can even do with you. And what’s great about having your little ones work out with you (besides the more immediate physical benefit) is the secondary benefit of teaching them from a young age that exercise and health are important aspects of life.
We suggesting doing a quick warm-up to get yourself (and the kiddos if they’re joining) limbered-up and ready to go. You could try moves like high knees, various stretches, pretend jump roping, or jumping jacks. Then go for it!
Put your elbows on the floor, raise up on the tips of your toes, and keep your back straight and your abs tight in a line. Hold that position as long as you can. 30 seconds is pretty good if your kids can hold it that long.
Put your feet a shoulders’ width apart and do deep knee bends as if you’re sitting down on an invisible box. Put your arms out. Make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes.
Keep your abs tight and your back straight; you can do this with a straight or bent knee.
Sit-ups, but not all the way from floor to knee. Just curl your chest toward your knees.
Take a step. Touch your back knee to the floor, and make sure your front knee doesn’t extend passed the toes.
6. Side leg raises
Just like 80’s exercise tape queens used to do! Keep your legs straight and lift to the level of your waist.
These are pretty tough, and a whole sequence of them will really get your heart racing. Squat, then put your hands to the ground. Kick your legs straight back behind you, landing on your toes. Then do a push-up, bring your legs back underneath you, and jump straight up off the floor. That’s one burpee. (If you have to cuss while you’re doing them, just do it quietly and under your breath so little ears don’t hear.)
8. Mountain Climbers
Start in a push-up position, then alternate bringing one foot at a time forward toward your armpit and then extend it back out. It almost looks like a stationary bear crawl.
9. Butterfly Kicks
Lie on your back. Keeping your abs tight, raise your feet just barely off the floor and flutter-kick them for 30-45 seconds.
This one’s like a sit-up, but in the shape of a V. Lie back, extend your arms out above your head on the floor, then lift your legs and raise your torso and hands until you make a V. Reach toward your feet, then back down again.
Any combination of these exercises will end up being a great circuit, or if you’d like, do all of them for shorter periods, and see if you can do about 20 to 25 minutes worth. The kids may not last that long, but at least you’ll have put a small dent in their endless tanks of energy, which in the end, is the real gift that keeps on giving.
(And if you leak a little when you’re doing these exercises, we have a solution for that! Try Finess.)