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Nap-time workout routines

Madeline Glasser is an Army wife and toddler mom with her Bachelors of Health Science in Physiology from the University of Arizona. She lives in Savannah, GA and enjoys good food, sweaty workouts and the adventures life as a family of th...

Feel the burn while baby sleeps

Nap time has never been more fun! Torch calories while your little one sleeps, and meet your postpartum fitness goals in record time.

Feel the burn
while baby sleeps

Nap time has never been more fun! Torch calories while your
little one sleeps, and meet your postpartum fitness goals in record time.

When you're a mom, fitting in fitness can feel like a race against the clock. When your kiddo goes down for a nap it's time to get things done. It's a common misconception that you need a lot of time to get in a good workout. However, by choosing short but effective workouts, you can have a killer calorie-torching session in just 20 minutes. These four workouts are all effective in different ways. Each will allow you to get in a great workout before your child wakes up from their nap. All you need is a timer, a set of dumbbells and motivation!

Lotta Tabata

Tabata is a great way to get your heart rate up in a very short period of time. You do 20 seconds of hard, intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Each Tabata consists of eight intervals for a total of four minutes work. You work at your level and take breaks as needed. Tabatas are a more advanced form of exercise, but they can be adapted to all fitness levels.

Perform each each four-minute Tabata by doing eight rounds of 20 seconds work followed by 10 seconds rest. Exercise tutorials listed below.

  • Tabata #1: Pushups
  • Tabata #2: Squats
  • Tabata #3: Burpees
  • Tabata #4: Plank

Cardio blast

For this workout, you do each exercise for one minute and complete the workout as a circuit with one exercise after another. The cardio blast workout gets your heart rate pumping and keeps it elevated for the 20-minute workout for maximum calorie burning.

Repeat series four times. Perform each exercise for one minute. Exercise tutorials listed below.

  • Mountain climbers
  • Butt kicks
  • Jump rope
  • Burpees
  • Rest

Full body

Incorporating weight training is an effective way to help lose those last stubborn pounds. All you need for this workout are dumbbells.

Repeat series two to three times. Do 10 to 12 reps of each exercise. Exercise tutorials listed below.

  • 1 Minute jump rope
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps kickbacks
  • Pushups
  • Dumbbell rows
  • Squat
  • Lunge
  • 1 Minute plank

Belly slimmer

As moms, one of the areas we are most focused on improving is our stomach. These exercises target each area of your abs and help to whittle your middle.

Repeat series two to three times. Perform each exercise for one minute. Exercise tutorials listed below.

  • Traditional crunch
  • Bicycle crunch
  • Reverse crunch
  • Feet up crunch
  • Plank

Push-ups

Push-Up

Start in plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders, abs braced, and feet about hip distance apart. Think of yourself as being in a straight line from head to toe. Slowly lower yourself until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle. To modify, you can come to your knees or do the push-ups upright against a wall.

Squats

Squat

Face forward with your feet hip distance apart and lower into the squat as if you're sitting into a chair. Keep your knees in line with your ankles. Push through your heels as you stand and keep your abs engaged.

Burpees

Burpees

Begin standing. Lower down into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet backwards and lower down into a push-up. Touch your chest to the floor and push back up. Return to the squat position. Vertically jump as high as you can.

Mountain climbers

Mountain climbers

Start in a plank position. Rest on the balls of your feet. Bring one leg forward to your chest, and then move it back to the starting position. Repeat this motion while alternating legs — one leg forward, one leg back. Remember to breathe!

Butt kicks

Stand with your feet facing forward and hip distance apart. Contract your glutes and bring your right heel to your glutes. Land softly and repeat on the other side. Be mindful not to arch your back.

Planks

Plank

For a high plank, position your hands directly under your shoulders with your arms straight and your legs straight back. Keep your abs tight and your tailbone tucked under. Imagine a straight line extending from your head to your heels. For added difficulty, you can do a forearm plank. Lower your forearms to the ground with your palms facing down and your elbows directly under your shoulders.

Bicep curls

Bicep curls

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hip distance apart. Curl both arms upward until the dumbbells are in line with your shoulders. Keep your abs tight and your knees slightly bent.

Triceps kickbacks

Tricep kickbacks

Lean forward from your hips until your body is at a 45-degree angle with the floor. Keep your back straight and bend your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Keeping your upper arm still, straighten your arm behind your body. Keep your back flat and your elbows close to your waist.

Dumbbell rows

Dumbbell rows

Keeping your knees bent, lean forward from your hips. Let your arms hang down and a bit forward. Pull your arms up until your elbow is pointing toward the ceiling and your upper arm is parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and your abs braced for this exercise.

Lunges

Lunges

Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Take a large step forward with your right leg. Lower your hips down until both legs are at 90-degree angles. Be mindful to keep your front knee directly over your toes. Repeat on the other side.

Traditional crunches

Traditional crunch

Lie with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands lightly behind your ears or crossed across your chest. Contract your abs and lift your head and upper torso off the ground while pressing your lower back into the ground.

Reverse crunches

Reverse crunch

Start with your feet flat on the ground. Bend your legs at the knee and raise your feet so that your knees are over your hips. Contract your abs and lift your knees toward your chest until your lower back and hips are off the ground.

Bicycle crunches

Bicycle crunch

Start by lying flat on the floor. Lift your knees to a 45-degree angle. Touch your elbow to the opposite knee as you twist back and forth. Legs mimic the motion of riding a bike.

Feet-up crunches

Feet up crunch

Use the same movement as the traditional crunch, but instead of having your feet flat on the floor, your legs extend straight up. Keep your feet in line with the hips. Contract your abs and lift your head and torso off the floor.

Before starting a new exercise program, make sure to check with your healthcare provider. Most healthcare providers recommend waiting six weeks post delivery before beginning to exercise. The amount of time your body needs is highly individualized and dependent on a number of factors.

More fitness for moms

Flat belly exercises
Postpartum fitness tips to bounce back after baby
6 Stress-less postpartum weight loss tips for new moms

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