Core and More on the Floor Summer Fitness

Prepare yourself, summer is coming!  Actually,  if you’re reading this in Louisiana, summer has already arrived, and that can only mean two things:  shorts and bathing suits.

The warmer weather has people in the mood to exercise and get fit, and I’ve been seeing tons of “summer body” challenges on Pinterest and Facebook. Unfortunately, I have to burst that bubble. We can’t spot train our way to fitness, and as a busy mom, I don’t want you to waste your time. Chances are, if you do squats for 30 days, you may see some results, but overall you will not see any significant change. I totally understand the appeal of the 30-day challenges — it’s supposed to be quick. Don’t we all love instant gratification? However, the best way to reach your wellness goals is with an overall balanced diet sprinkled with cardio, strength training, and conditioning.

As moms, I know it’s difficult to carve out time for a workout and easy to lose sight of wellness goals. That’s okay. If you can’t make it to the gym or your favorite Mommy and Me workout class, all is not lost. Give this at-home workout a try! I can’t promise it will give you Kim K curves that those 30-day challenges claim, but I can promise it will make you feel better than doing nothing.

For this workout, you’ll need water, a timer (your smart phone), motivational music, and a yoga mat or blanket.

Warm Up

It’s never good to go into a workout cold. Meaning, you need to warm up and stretch for a few minutes before performing any strength training or cardio exercises.

I also recommend putting on motivational music before you get started. Good music makes such a difference when working out. My favorite music app is Spotify. I usually tune in to the Cardio station.

To warm up, jog or march in place for 30 seconds. Then, perform basic jumping jacks for 30 seconds. Follow the jacks with a runner’s lunge prayer twist.

The runner's lunge is great for stretching your leg muscles and glutes. Your forward leg should be at a 90 degree angle, and your back leg should be straight. Try not to sink your hips.
The runner’s lunge is great for stretching your leg muscles and glutes. Your forward leg should be at a 90 degree angle, and your back leg should be straight. Try not to sink your hips.
Find your balance, then lift both hands overhead with palms touching.
Find your balance, then lift both hands overhead with palms touching.
Lower your arms down to chest height, then twist opposite elbow to opposite knee.
Lower your arms down to chest height, then twist opposite elbow to opposite knee.

Before moving to strength and cardio, repeat the lunge sequence on the left side of your body.

Strength and Cardio Circuit

You’re a busy mom, so utilize your time by intertwining strength training and cardio. Doing this will keep your heart rate elevated and provide you with better results.

Perform each move for 30 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat the segment 3 times. Give yourself a water break between each circuit!

  • Tablesaw (works triceps, core and glutes)
Starting on the ground with your knees bent, use your triceps to lift your hip about 6 inches off the ground.
Starting on the ground with your knees bent, use your triceps to lift your hips about 6 inches off the ground.

 

Once your hips are lifted off the ground, you're going to kick your leg up and reach to your toes with the opposite arm. For this exercise, I recommend alternating sides.
Once your hips are lifted off the ground, you’re going to kick your leg up and reach to your toes with the opposite arm. For this exercise, I recommend alternating sides.

 

  • Mountain Climbers (cardio, core, legs, shoulders, and triceps)
Starting in full plank position (arms a little wider that your shoulders, legs straight back, core engaged), draw one knee in to your core. Try not to lift your hips up. Alternate legs. The faster you go, the faster your heart rate will elevate. Go fast!!
Starting in full plank position (arms a little wider than your shoulders, legs straight back, core engaged), draw one knee in to your core. Try not to lift your hips up. Alternate legs. The faster you go, the faster your heart rate will elevate. Go fast!!

 

  • Bird Dog (works trunk – glutes and back)
Start out on hands and knees (hands under shoulders, knees under hips). Lift one leg out straight behind you, pointing your toes. Then lift the opposite arm forward. How for a few seconds, then switch sides.
Start out on hands and knees (hands under shoulders, knees under hips). Lift one leg out straight behind you, pointing your toes. Then lift the opposite arm forward. Hold for a few seconds, then switch sides.

 

  • Plank Jacks (cardio, core, triceps, shoulders and legs)
Start in full plank position (arms straight, shoulders and wrists aligned, legs straight back). Jump the legs in and out. To modify step the legs in and out.
Start in full plank position (arms straight, shoulders and wrists aligned, legs straight back). Jump the legs in and out. To modify step the legs in and out.

 

  • 2-Count Push-ups (chest, arms, core)
Start in a modified push up position. Bend your knees, and rest on your quads - try not to rest on your knees (that hurts)! Arms will stay at should height and come out to your sides. Count 1, lower down half way, then count 2 and lower all the way down, then come back up. Repeat.
Start in a modified push-up position. Bend your knees and rest on your quads – try not to rest on your knees (that hurts)! Arms will stay at shoulder height and come out to your sides. Count 1, lower down half way, then count 2 and lower all the way down, and come back up. Repeat.

Stretching and Conditioning (perform this sequence after completing 3 rounds of the Strength and Cardio circuit)

  • Downward dog leg lifts
Start on hands and knees. Tuck your toes under, then lift your hips and reach your arms forward. Try to get deep in this stretch. If you can, press your heals down to the ground.
Start on hands and knees. Tuck your toes under, then lift your hips and reach your arms forward. Try to get deep in this stretch. If you can, press your heels down to the ground.
Without opening up your hips, lift one leg straight up and point your toes. Hold for 5 seconds then, release, and lift the opposite leg.
Without opening up your hips, lift one leg straight up and point your toes. Hold for 5 seconds then release, and lift the opposite leg.

Repeat the runner’s lunge prayer twist combo from the warm up to stretch and cool down.

So there you have it — a real life workout from a real life mom. Challenge yourself to complete this workout in under 20 minutes. Remember that fitness is important not only for your physical health, but also your mental health. As moms we put ourselves last. Between laundry, cooking, lack of sleep, and all of the other responsibilities that come along with being a mom, it’s often hard to justify “me” time. Trust me, you need it! Even if you can’t make it through an entire segment, take some time for you. You don’t need to be extreme with your wellness goals, you just need to be committed and consistent.

What are some of your favorite ways to fit in fitness? What are your barriers to exercise?

*Disclaimer: Before starting any exercise program, check with your doctor. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately.

Jada grew up on the bayou in Larose. She moved to Baton Rouge for college, and quickly decided to call it home. In 2011, she married Zack, and in 2013 they had their daughter, Aubrey. They're also expecting another girl, Charlie, in August. Jada owns Movement Fitness in Watson, and loves helping women reach their wellness goals. When she's not working or parenting - oh lets be honest, those times are few and far between - she loves attending LSU and Saints games, cooking, playing golf badly, and being outdoors.

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