Check the no-time-for-fitness excuses at the door, mama! This bodyweight workout will activate all of your major muscle groups and get your heart pumping at the same time. Even better, you can do this entire circuit from the comfort of your own home while keeping an eye on your little one, and you don’t need any extra equipment to get it done!
As the name suggests, bodyweight workouts use our own body weight as resistance and can provide fantastic all-over toning. If you’re not yet comfortable using free weights in your resistance training, bodyweight workouts are a great place to start. Since you don’t need any dumbbells, exercise balls, resistance bands, or other fitness equipment, this exercise can be done just about anywhere, anytime.
The workout we’ve suggested below is designed for a moderate fitness level, however, you can feel free to do each exercise for either more or less time, depending on your personal needs. This workout should take you 15 minutes or less–so let’s get started!
Make sure to warm up for 5 minutes before starting by marching in place, doing side steps, dynamic stretching, or going for a brisk walk if possible.
Here are the moves you’ll do:
Lie down on your back and bring your hands behind your head to support your neck. Engage your core and lift your legs off the ground about 1-2 feet. Pedal your legs as if you were riding a bicycle, bringing your opposite elbow to your knee every time you pedal in; right elbow to left knee and left elbow to right knee.
From a standing position lunge forward with your left leg. Then, press forward with your back leg to rise to standing. Next, lunge forward with your right leg, then press forward with your back leg to rise to standing again. Continue with this forward-motion lunge until you run out of room — then turn around and keep going!
With feet shoulder-width apart and knees softly bent, lower into a squat. Make sure your knees don’t go past your toes and try to lower to 90˚–as if you were sitting in a chair. Engage your glutes and core to press back up to a standing position.
You know how the plank goes! Rest your forearms on the ground, parallel to each other and go up on your toes so that you are in a lifted position. You want your body to be in a straight line. Focus on feeling your strength in this pose! Your core should be engaged, pelvic floor activated, and keep your glutes tightened to help you hold the pose for the full time. Also – don’t forget to breathe!
This one is a cardio dash – so try to push through it! Start in a standing position and hop down, placing your hands firmly on the ground. Jump out into a high plank position and then jump your feet back up to your hands. Pop back up to standing and repeat the burpees until 45 seconds is up!
Here’s what the full circuit should look like. We’ve recommended some variations you can do for the 2nd and 3rd set to mix it up – but you can of course stick to the exercises as outlined above:
First set: do each move for 30 seconds
- Bicycle crunch
- Walking lunges
- Bodyweight squat
- Forearm Plank
- Traditional burpee
Take a 60 second rest
Second set: do each move for 30 seconds
- Straight leg bicycle crunch
- Reverse lunges
- Squat with alternating leg lift
- Side plank – left side
- Side plank – right side
- Burpee with knee tuck jump at top
Take a 60 second rest
Third set: do each move for 30 seconds
- Slow motion bicycle crunch
- Side lunges – left leg
- Side lunges – right leg
- Squat with alternating knee crunch
- High Plank
- Burpee with push up at bottom
Make sure to make the most of your rest before starting your second and third sets of this circuit–try to sip on some water while you focus on regaining your breath. Once finished, do some light stretching to help cool down your muscles and steady your heart rate.
This workout is not recommended for your second or third trimester of pregnancy or if you’re just getting back into postnatal exercise. If you’re interested in prenatal and postnatal bodyweight workouts safe for your stage, check out Baby2Body’s iOS app for customized programs.
Melinda Nicci is the founder and CEO of Baby2Body, a Sport Psychologist, and professional pre- and post-natal fitness trainer. Melinda is passionate about health and wellness, travel, art, and photography, and loves spending her free time with her two children and exercising outdoors, when the London weather permits! Learn more about her at baby2body.com!