For busy moms, women who are always at work, or what seems to be pretty much all women, life doesn’t always leave a lot of time for fitness and exercise. But studies have shown that you can get maximum results with minimal investment with a few select exercises, meaning you don’t need an hour at the gym each day to get results.
You may have heard about high-intensity circuit training using just your bodyweight and these types of exercises have been shown to be effective when performed with little rest in between bouts. Below we’ll discuss some bodyweight exercises as well as exercises that only require some simple equipment that are perfect for women on the go. These workouts are used by a lot of certified personal trainers because of the quick nature of the workouts and minimal cost of the equipment.
Forget the Superman, this Superwoman exercise is an excellent bodyweight-only exercise that helps to stretch and workout the back as well as targets the glutes and hamstrings.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start by lying face down on the floor with your hands stretched out in front of you
- Simultaneously raise your arms, legs and chest and hold for at least two seconds
- Slowly bring your arms, legs and chest back down to the starting position and repeat
You’ll feel a bit of a squeeze as you bring your upper body and legs up as high as you can. The basic gist is that you look like Superwoman flying through the air.
There are several variations of the pushup that will target multiple parts of your upper body and one of my favorites is the close-hand pushup. This is performed by placing your hands close together, making something of a diamond shape between your fingers.
If you can’t do the close-hand pushup on your toes you can always try them on your knees until you build up your strength. Else, you can just do normal pushups and enjoy the benefits of the chest, shoulder and triceps workout you’ll get.
Most people are familiar with the lunge, an exercise that can be used with or without dumbbells and is a great lower body workout.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start by stepping about two feet forward with your right leg
- Keeping your left leg stationary, lower your upper body and keep your torso upright
- Exhale as you go down and be sure not to let your right knee pass your toes
Perform 10-12 sets per leg and then switch legs and repeat.
Exercise Ball Crunch
If you are seeing a trend here in the exercises listed you would be correct! The idea is to use exercises that can target multiple areas of your upper and lower body as well as core. The exercise ball crunch targets your abs.
Here’s how to do it:
- Plant your legs firmly on the ground while stabilizing yourself while seated on the ball
- Put your hands behind your head and keep a neutral spine as you use your abs to crunch up and down on the ball
- Exhale as you crunch up, hold for a second, then inhale as you release back down
Do these for 30 seconds or so or try to get in a set of 20 and work your way up from there.
This exercise doesn’t really need an explanation (I hope) but it does pay to explain its benefits. The jumping jack is a good warmup exercise, helps to get movement in the upper and lower body, is great as an interval, and helps to get the heartrate up.
For an added challenge, add a resistance band to your jumping jack. This is a bit more advanced so don’t be afraid to consult with your personal trainer on how to get this one going.
Workouts for Women Conclusion
These five workouts are intended to be used in order and with minimal rest in between so that you get the most significant impact. Instead of doing sets you can time each exercise to 30 seconds, take 10 sets rest, and move on the next exercise. Repeat two to three times if you’re up to it or consider adding some additional bodyweight exercises being sure to alternate between your upper and lower body: wall sits (lower body), squats (lower body), triceps dips on a chair (upper body), planks (core) or running in place (total body).
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