(Who Needs a Gym When You Have Young Kids?)
Hey Mom, isn’t it crazy that you just can’t seem to find the time to exercise? It seems like it’d be no problem, what, with your long, relaxing days of lounging around at home with your kids. Or if you’re a working mom – isn’t time to workout one of the many perks of that super-satisfying job where you barely have to work and just read Mom Blogs all day? Or at the very least, shouldn’t it be a breeze to fit it in right before dinner when your kids are inevitably on their best behavior after a long day with (or without) you? Well, then this Mommy Workout is tailor-made for YOU. Here are 7 moves you can do practically any time, anywhere, because you’re never off the clock!
What You’ll Need:
One to two children
Stool or bathtub
Herculean strength and a Buddhist-style sense patience.
Move 1: The Imagined Calamity
When to Do It: In the wee early morning hours while you’re still “sleeping”
How to Do It: Do these sit-ups every single time your child wakes you from sweet, soul-nourishing REM sleep when he screams for you in his sleep as if he is being murdered. As you wake up from a lovely dream about a particularly wild Spring Break getaway you had in college, quickly bolt upright in Pure Fear Mode from full recline position. Stumble to your child’s room and tell him that there is no such thing as a “sideways face” in his curtain but REMEMBER TO KEEP YOUR BELLY BUTTON PULLED IN to really fire up those core muscles. Repeat until the alarm buzzes.
Move 2: Solids Like a Rock
When to Do It: Breakfast
How to Do It: Turn mushy oatmeal dumped on the floor into an opportunity to strengthen your quads! Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart (not your pre-children hips, your new and wonderful Birthing Hips. Wider. OK, that's perfect). Place hands behind the head so you don't cause any physical harm to your child (you still haven't had coffee), elbows out, and lower into a squat. Scoop oatmeal directly into your bare hands, then explode up, tapping heels together in the air. Land, dispose of oatmeal, and get ready to immediately squat again because DD's little sister just dumped her cheerios. Do 20 reps.
Move 3: The Apocalypse Now
When to Do It: On your “leisurely” stroll.
How to Do It: Say no to Mom Butt with this power move: Take your stroller (bonus points if it’s a double) and pack it with everything you might possibly need should the End of Days happen on your way to school drop-off (snacks, extra snacks, backup extra snacks, sippy cups for the kids, and an extra sippy cup in case your child has decided he “hates that one” today). Find the steepest hill possible, even if it is out of your way and can make you late for work. Push everything up the hill, as fast as possible. Do one set – unless you forgot your kid’s lunchbox when leaving the house – in which case you’re shit out of luck and will have to do this whole fucking thing all over again. Beast Mode: Place the family pet in the bottom part of the carriage for extra resistance!
Move 4: The Diaper Bag Destroyer
When to Do It: At your playdate. I mean, seriously, your kid’s BFF’s mom is BORING.
How to Do It: Who says a sandbag is the only gig in town for a boot-camp style workout? Use a diaper bag instead to tone your legs, back, and core! Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and grasp the top of an overstuffed (but zipped) diaper bag with both hands. Hinge forward to lower diaper bag between legs, then, in a thrusting motion, raise the diaper bag to chest height. If this sounds too complicated, just start drinking instead.
Move 5: Mommy in the Middle
When to Do It: Also on your playdate. These things can feel like they last forever!
How to Do It: Place your child (Child 1) and your kid’s BFF (Child 2) – who you begrudgingly agreed to have over after school even though you think her mother is a fucking whack job – about four feet apart. Give each child a desirable toy (e.g. Elsa dolls) and then wait. In about thirty seconds, Child 2 will throw her doll at you and whine that she HATES Sparkle Princess Elsa and wants to play with Birthday Party Elsa – which of course, is the one your child is enjoying. Begin to jog in a figure-8 pattern between both children, giving each a few seconds with the desired Elsa doll. Do four sets of one minute each before Birthday Party Elsa doll gets a time-out.
Move 6: Bathroom Breaker
When: During bath time or potty time.
How: Batwings be gone! Place hands on the edge of a bathtub or your child’s potty stool (make sure it is stable) with your arms straight. Lower chest and hips down, making sure to brace your core and to tuck your elbows close. Pause, then use your core to push yourself back to the starting position. Be mindful of rubber duckies or toilet paper rolls getting thrown in your face. Perform 12-15 reps.
Move 7: The SuperMom
When: At bedtime, when your child insists that you stay in his room until he falls asleep.
How: You’ve been in and out of your child’s room for the last 45 minutes fulfilling requests for graham crackers, a sippy cup with ice, and a “really good bedtime story that’s sad but also happy and a little bit scary.” Don’t despair. This is a great time to stretch! Lie face down on your stomach with arms and legs extended, like you are giving up on life itself. Keeping your arms and legs straight, lift them toward the ceiling to form a “u” shape with your body. Hold for two to five seconds and lower down. Do three sets of 12 or until your child finally falls the fuck to sleep.