Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Daily exercise is an essential part of living a happy, healthy life. In fact, staying in shape has so many health benefits and has been proven to increase your life expectancy. Think of it as the fountain of youth. And yet, many of us are not as active as we could be. I know as mamas we're all crazy busy, but you don't need to be a powerlifter, have a gym membership or spend hours on the weights to keep health and look your best. A simple circuit of bodyweight exercises (like the one below) performed three times a week is all any Mum needs to keep her body toned and her fitness up.
Here are five easy toning exercises that you can do just about anywhere and whenever you have time. So while baby naps this afternoon, give this circuit a run through and see how you go.
If you find it hard, good! Keep at it over 4 weeks and I guarantee you it'll be easy by then, and you'll have to add a round or increase the intensity with some cardio to get the same benefits. The fabulous thing about this circuit is that you can do it at home, at the office, or on vacation! No excuses, mamas!!
The Bridge Butt Lift
Sounds like a plastic surgery technique but it is an easy way to tone your booty. Lay down with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder width apart. Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your body. Pushing with your feet, squeeze your gluteal muscles and lift your butt off the floor. Hold the position for a count of five to ten and release down to the floor.
Squats work the booty, the hamstring muscles and the quadriceps. If you aren’t sure of proper form, you can use a chair. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and feet firmly planted. Push your butt back as if you were preparing to sit in a chair. Keep your abs tight and your upper body straight. Once you reach chair level stop and hold the position for a count of two to five and release. At the lowest point, place all of your weight on your heels for balance and maximum toning.
Lunges work the quadriceps muscles. They can be hard for people with knee problems. A reverse lunge still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure on the knee. Stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Take one leg and move it backwards until you are in lunge position: front leg bent at a 90 degree angle and back leg extended until you are on the ball of your foot. From this position lower yourself down until the back knee almost touches the floor. Hold for a count of two and return to starting position.
This is a classic toning exercise that works all areas of the arms plus the chest muscles. If you aren’t comfortable or strong enough to perform a pushup on your toes, lower your body to your knees, or alternatively, push off the wall. Be sure your arms are at right angles, joint over joint and that your back straight as you lower and lift your body. If you can balance a stick from head to toe, you're holding proper form.
Abdominal muscles can be worked every day to build strength and muscle tone, and are a fabulous exercise for mamas once thy have clearance from their doctor. Lying on the floor in a classic sit up position, touch your fingertips to your ears. (Do not lace fingers behind your neck as this can cause strain and lead you to lean in rather than perform the full crunch). Squeezing your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body until your lower back is about to come off the floor. Hold for two to five counts and return to starting position. Slow and controlled. If you speed this up, you lose the deep muscle toning benefit.
These five exercise moves can be just about anywhere and the effects are cumulative. Even five or ten minutes a day will give you noticeable results if you stick with it.
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