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Maximize Your Muscles & Energy in 12 Minutes
4 easy moves that help moms incorporate activity into their schedules
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1 Side Lunge with Lateral Raise
(strengthens: shoulders, upper back, obliques, glutes, quads)
a. Stand with feet hip-distance apart, arms at sides holding light weights. Step right foot a few feet out to right side, deeply bending right knee; keep knee aligned over ankle. At the same time, lift arms out to sides to shoulder height, palms down.
- b. Reach left arm overhead and toward right side, pulling through the waist; at the same time, reach right arm straight down toward floor and lift right heel. Lower arms; step back to start and repeat. Do 8 reps per side.
(Make it easier: Keep heel down.)
2 Reverse Pushup with Leg Lift
(strengthens: arms, glutes, hips, hamstrings)
a. Sit on floor with knees bent, palms under shoulders with thumbs pointing forward. Lift hips and right heel; press shoulders down. Bend elbows slightly, keeping hips steady.
- b. Straighten arms; at the same time, lift hips high as you extend right leg, as shown. Lower to start and repeat. Do 8 reps.
(Make it easier: Bring leg to hip height only or keep both feet on floor.)
3 Second Position Pli¿/Hug the Tree
(strengthens: chest, biceps, inner thighs, quads, calves)
a. Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out 45 degrees. Hold light weights in front of chest, elbows slightly bent.
- b. Bend knees 90 degrees, thighs parallel to floor as you lift heels; at the same time, bring weights behind thighs as shown. Straighten legs, bringing weights in front of shoulders with arms extended. Bring weights together in front of chest, elbows slightly bent. Repeat. Do 8 reps.
(Make it easier: Don't lift heels.)
4 Full Plank to T-Stand
(strengthens: shoulders, chest, abs, obliques, glutes, outer thighs)
a. Begin in a full pushup position, palms on floor under shoulders, legs extended, forming a straight line from head to heels, with abs tight. Keep a pair of light weights close to both hands.
- . Pick up weight with right hand and rotate body to the right, raising arm above shoulder as you drop heels to side. Lower to start, Do 8 reps. Repeat on opposite side.
(Make it easier: Keep bottom knee on floor for support.)
Kneel on right knee, left leg extended in front of you. (Keep knee soft.) Lean into left leg, feeling the stretch along the back of your hamstring. Stay here for two deep breaths. Switch sides and repeat.
Child's Pose Reach
(stretches: lower back, sides, hips)
Begin on all fours, hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Sit back on heels, extending arms in front of you on floor, palms down. Slowly reach arms to left while shifting hips to right. Stay here for two deep breaths. Switch sides.
(stretches chest, hips)
Stand with feet hip-distance apart, arms at sides. Lunge forward with left leg, bending front knee 90 degrees. (Keep knee aligned with ankle.) Straighten right leg behind you while reaching arms back, opening up chest. Stay here for two deep breaths. Switch sides and repeat.