Trying to find time for yourself is so hard to do when you have young kids who require all your time and attention. It is important to continue to take care of yourself and not neglect your health!
We’ve come up with a few basic total body exercises that you can do at home in a 20 minute span, all while your kids are down for their afternoon nap!
These exercises require absolutely zero equipment, but build strength in all the right areas when you are short on time.
1. Jumping Jack Squat
Do a regular jumping jack, but when your hands come down to your hips, go all the way down into a squat form instead, touch your toes, then jump up back into a jumping jack.
Start with your stomach on the ground, place your hands directly under your shoulders and have your hands, knees, and feet hip-width apart. Keep your butt lowered and slowly lift so your torso is parallel to the floor. Try to hold this position for as long as you can – whether it’s 10 seconds, 30 seconds, or a minute! If it is too difficult on your wrists to go all the way up on your hands, try starting on your elbows (use the stopwatch on your cell phone for extra motivation!)
3. Wall Sit
Sit with your back up against a wall and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Try to stay in this position for as long as you can. Over time, as it gets easier, use weights or just a water bottle or can of soup!
4. Push Ups
Start with your torso on the ground. Set your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Start on your knees. Your feet can be shoulder width apart, or even closer – whatever feels more comfortable to you. Keep your body in one straight line through the top of your head down to your heels. Keep this in mind: if you have the correct form, your chin should be the first thing to touch the floor, not your nose! Keep your arms straight, supporting your weight, and keep your core clenched. Slowly lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle until your chest is close to the ground. Try to do 10 reps to start and ensure you focus on your form before getting a high amount of push-ups in.
Start with legs wider than shoulder width apart and feet pointing outwards at a 45 degree angle. Bend your knees and squat slowly. Go as far down as you can go while keeping your back and spine straight. When you bend, make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes. You should feel this in your inner thighs! Start with 20 reps.
6. Back Row
Grab weights or whatever you have available – a TV converter or a bottle of water – and hold one in each hand. Bend over at your waist, bend your knees a tiny bit, and stretch your arms out so your finger tips are facing the ground. With your palms in holding your ‘weights,’ pull your arms in towards your chest, bend your elbows as your arms come towards you, and squeeze your shoulder blades. Your hands should come just under your underarms. Keep your arms close to your body, and keep your spine and head in a straight line straight as you look down but slightly ahead of you. Try to do 12 of these to start and make sure you are squeezing your shoulder blades for at least 2 seconds on each rep!
7. Body Squats
Stand with your feet just slightly wider than your hips, and your toes pointing outward. Look straight ahead and bend your knees, but make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes. Keep your spine neutral and your arms in front of you, parallel to the ground. If you’re feeling up to it, add a weight – or whatever you have handy to take you to the next level!