Earlier today in the Strong Mom Tribe I posted a workout called “The Only Strength Workout You’ll Ever NEED”
Bold claims I know! I guess I should say this workout is the base of the only strength workout you'll ever need. In the Strong Mom Tribe each Friday, I post a lot of different fun ways to get a workout in, but let’s get back to basics for a second...
If you are only doing one strength workout, it really needs to be Full Body.
To be considered "Full Body" a workout it should be comprised of exercises from EVERY movement pattern -Vertical/Horizontal Push and Pull, Quad and Hip/Hamstring Dominant, and Core. Using movement patterns to design your workout is the most efficient way to make sure you are training your whole body the right way.
The thing is, to make progress, you don't need to be switching up your workouts like crazy every day.... actually it’s the opposite. You should slowly, and intentionally be building the challenge.
First let’s start with the base workout.
Drew and I had so much fun doing this animal themed workout...… don’t worry if yours get distracted and only participate part of the time like Drew did 😂
For the first 5, set up two stations across the room or yard. If you can spread out 20-30 feet that’s perfect, if not, do what you can with the space you have. Then finish with the inchworm.
Don't forget to warm up too! Continue with the same theme and use animal themed yoga poses (Downward Dog, Cobra, Cat/Cow)!
Having the stomach you dream about may involve more than just fat loss, especially after having children…. hello mommy pouch. On top of that, it’s about so much more than aesthetics. Without a strong core you can expect persistent back pain, poor balance and muscle recruitment during exercise (leading to injury), and that nagging need to cross your legs when you sneeze.
The number one thing you should do to build back those core muscles is learn how to properly engage your core IN ALL THINGS that you do, including daily life and exercise. CLICK HERE to watch a brief explanation (and expect A LOT more on this soon)
Once you have that down, you need to understand that the CORE is much more than just your abs. The CORE is made up of your rectus abdominus, transvers abdomins, external and internal obliques, diaphram, pelvic floor AND your hips, spine, and glutes… basically everything that connects your lower body to you upper body. Efficiently and effectively strengthening your core means making sure all of these parts work TOGETHER!
My go to core moves:
These are the 3 go to core moves:
In all of these moves, the abs are working in conjunction with the rest of the core muscles.
As with all exercises, form can make or break their effectiveness. Watch the video for step by step instructions to ensure you get the most out of each move!
How do you integrate them into your workouts?
You can integrate these core moves into your workouts in one of two ways.
Effective CORE strengthening is a staple in all of my programs:
REVIVE: My monthly membership program.
IGNITE: My 4-week kickstart program.
Do you have 15 minutes each day this week you can commit to burning fat and making muscles?
The “Muscle Maker” is the hallmark workout of my Signature Online Challenge.
These Muscle Makers serve 2 purposes:
Burn fat and build muscle as efficiently as possible.
The 15 Minute Muscle Maker is a 9 minute high intensity, strength building workout, plus a short warm up and cool down. All of the movements are based on functional movements, movements you use in daily life. To make it efficient they are turbo charged! No equipment is necessary. You just have to promise to push yourself and not stop until the workout is complete (short breaks are allowed).
Measure your increasing strength and endurance over time.
Each Muscle Maker will also act as a competition with yourself (or your husband, neighbor, workout buddy...). You will record a piece of data for each workout then repeat the same workout daily (every other day, once a week...that’s up to you.)
Click Here to access your Muscle Maker tracker for the week. In the Challenge the Muscle Makers are all different throughout the week for the first two weeks. Then you would repeat the same workouts to measure your increase in strength and endurance.
With this little sample you will do the same workout for one week and see how much stronger you get!
Resistance bands and a few other items are on my list of Living Room Workout Must Haves. Of course there is a lot you can do with no equipment but if are ready to kick up your living room workout game add these to your shopping list!
My favorite resistance bands are the Black Mountain ones that have a nice soft handle and come with a door anchor. You can buy them on Amazon (where I buy pretty much everything in life. I wish they paid me like my grocery store). I suggest you start with medium or heavy. If you don’t get one with a door anchor you can easily make one out of an old sock (don’t rewind the video if you don't want to be grossed out by where that sock came from). If you are like me, you have a ton lonely mismatched socks lying around anyway.
If you already have a resistance band, try this Full Body Workout now!
*you can find more details below the video*
Squat w/ band resistance
Stand on band with feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Holding a handle in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder. Squat down as low as you can go with your chest up and core engage, sitting back on your heels to ensure your knees don’t go too far past your toes. Press through your heels and rise back up to start position and repeat for 12 to 15 reps.
Stand over the center of a tube band with feet shoulder-width apart. Grip each handle, positioning your hands at shoulder level with palms facing each other so your thumbs touch your shoulders. Press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms. Lower back down slowly and repeat for 12-15 reps.
Lie belly down and loop a band around your ankle, anchoring the other end to a door or support. Scoot away from the anchor to create tension. Tighten your core and bend your leg at the knee, bringing your heel toward your glutes as far as you can comfortably go. Slowly return your leg to starting position and repeat for 12 to 15 reps, then switch sides.
Anchor the band waist height. Stand facing away from the door with legs hip width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Grab the band with both hands, arms extended and palms facing each other. Standing nice and tall, with your tailbone tucked and core engaged, bend at the elbow and pull the handles into your waist, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly return to starting position and repeat for 12 to 15 reps.
Anchor the band at the height of your breast bone. Turn your body so your left side is in line with the band. Pull the band using both hands into the center of your chest. Push the band straight out in front of you, keeping your body in a straight-line with no rotation. Hold it in front for a 2 count, then slowly return the band to your chest. Do not allow the band to rotate your upper body back towards the machine. Repeat for 12-15 reps, then switch sides.
Anchor the band waist height. Stand facing the door with legs hip width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Grab the band with both hands, arms extended and palms facing each other. Standing nice and tall, with your tailbone tucked and core engaged, bend at the elbow and pull the handles into your waist, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly return to starting position and repeat for 12 to 15 reps.
Lat Pull Downs
Anchor the band to the top of the door, pulling the free ends down at your sides. Kneel facing the anchor so the bands are positioned in front of you, gripping each end with arms extended overhead and hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. Bending the elbows, pull the band down toward your shoulders while contracting your back muscles. Once the hands reach your shoulders, slowly raise them back to the starting position and repeat for 12-15 reps.
Repeat the circuit 2-3 times through.
As always, when designing my workouts I used this Plug and Play template as a guide. I can’t stress enough, using movement patterns to design your workout is the most efficient way to make sure you are training your whole body the right way. If a pattern is missing in a workout, you are failing to train your entire body. If a pattern is consistently missing from your workouts, you are setting yourself up for muscle imbalances and inevitably injury.
For this workout, I pulled one from each category and viola! This time I arranged them in the order that minimized how many times I needed to move the resistance band anchor. Efficiency is number one in my book! The combination are really endless. This was just one example. You can find a bunch more resistance band exercises here.
Can't get out of the house for your cardio? No treadmill available? No excuses!
Getting in your cardio doesn't have to mean going out for a 3 or 5 mile jog. In fact, with intervals you can get better results in less time. You burn m ore calories in less time AND tap into the after burn that comes with a high intensity workout.
Try this Living Room Cardio Circuit during nap time today!
Do each move for 20s, followed by 10s of active recovery (jogging in place) before moving onto the next. The whole circuit takes 2 minutes. Repeat 5 or 10 times for a full cardio workout or cram in a few of these throughout the day.
Come on it's only 2 minutes!
If the jumping in the high knees is too intense (especially for my preggo mamas). Try marching in place. Pull your knees up as high as you can.
While there is a lot you can do with no equipment (no excuses right?), I highly recommend a set or two of dumbbells for your living room workouts. Dumbbells and a few other “must haves” will help you make the most out of your workouts Check out my last post on Living Room Workout Must Haves if you are ready to kick up your living room workout game!
As promised, over the next couple of weeks I will work through that list with a workout designed using each. Today of course, is a full body strength workout using dumbbells (and a stability ball if you have it).
When designing my workouts I always use this Plug and Play template as a guide. Using movement patterns to design your workout is the most efficient way to make sure you are training your whole body the right way. If a pattern is missing in a workout, you are failing to train your entire body. If a pattern is consistently missing from your workouts, you are setting yourself up for muscle imbalances and inevitably injury.
For this workout, I pulled one from each category and viola! I arrange them in this order of movement pattern most of the time, but the combination are endless. The following is just one example:
Horizontal Push: Chest Press (with stability ball option)
Vertical Push: Overhead Press - Single Leg Standing (with stability ball option)
Quad Dominant: Reverse Lunge
Horizontal Pull: Alternating Bent Over Row
Vertical Pull: Dumbbell Pullover (on ball, give floor option)
Hamstring Dominant: Straight Leg Dead Lift
Do 15 of each exercise (both sides where applicable). When you get to the bottom of the list stop and rest 1-2 minutes. You have completed one circuit. Then repeat the circuit 2-3 more times. Watch the video for instructions on how to perform each exercise with proper form and engage your core!
A little glimpse into my exact core workout from leg day last week! It's important to remember that your core is more than just your abs. Everything is connected through your core! Read more at bit.ly/StrongCoreMom.
Here's the workout:
15 Bridges -push through your heels
15 Hamstring curls - keep your pelvis lifted and core engaged throughout
15 Hip abductors - both sides; lift quick, lower slowly
15 Dead Bug - keep lower back pressed into the mat throughout
Repeat for 4 total sets.
Stop doing those boring crunches! These are some of my favorite CORE exercises that you can do with your little one in the stroller. Remember your core is not just your abs, these exercises work the whole lumbo – pelvix – hip region.
Click Here to for the full workout at My Atlanta Moms Club!
You can find all my other MAMC workouts here!
Every year on Memorial Day, crossfitters around the country do a crazy intense workout called the “Murph” in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan. During his military career, Murphy received 11 different military decorations, including: the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Navy Commendation Medal to name a few. This year I decided to attempt it myslef. Next thing you know I’m bawling like a baby laying on my living room floor. There is something about complete and utter physical exhaustion that make me vulnerable to raw emotion. I spent much more time than I would normally do thinking about what that day really means. It was the best way for me to really honor the service and sacrifice. I will definitely do it again next year. If you want to know more about my Murph experience click here – especially if you want to commiserate with me about child birth and bladder control.
Anyway, it got me thinking Murph had a mom and her name was Maureen. I thought it would be nice this week for us to do a workout (more manageable for us busy moms) in her honor. What do you say? Hope on over to my post on My Atlanta Moms Club and try The "Maureen".