Although I’ve always been physically active, I’ve had to force myself to focus more on strength training over the past few years. My preference has always been cardio exercise (just because that’s what I like to do), but trying to keep up with my kids and carrying little ones around all day made me realize I needed to get stronger. My youngest is now 10 months old and weighs over 20 pounds. She’s not walking yet, so I still carry her on my hip for a lot of the day. Since I don’t have lots of free time to head to the gym for long workouts, I’ve had to create my own programs that are time-efficient but still challenging.
My favorite workouts involve compound exercises, which combine two movements into a single exercise. There are a number of benefits to these types of exercises: they more closely mimic real- life movements since you rarely use muscles in isolation as you go about your day. They also save a lot of time since you’re getting two exercises done at once.
Here are 5 of my favorite exercises that target the muscles I’m using all day long, as I put one of my children down and pick up another:
If you’re a busy mom like me, you appreciate getting a quality workout in a short amount of time. These exercises target your whole body so that you can get stronger and then get on with your day!
- Squat with Calf Raise and Overhead Press: This exercise will give you strong shoulders and strong legs to help you lift properly and avoid injury.
- Wall Sit with Lateral Dumbbell Raises: Another way to focus on core stability, legs and arms all at once.
- Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curls with Forward Lunge: I combine these two exercises to get upper and lower body at the same time. Curl the weight up toward your chest as you lunge forward, then lower the weight down as your leg returns to the starting position.
- Dumbbell Chest Press on Ball: While this exercises focuses primarily on your upper body, it is also a workout for your core as you balance on the ball.
- Lying Straight Leg Raises: If you’ve had kids in the past few years (or even if you haven’t!) you might notice that your core needs some extra attention. This exercise is a challenge, even more so if you put your arms up over your head and bring them towards your feet as your legs raise up.
What do you think? Any exercises you’d add to this list?
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