Exercises For Busy Moms
4 Quick, But Effective, Exercises To Keep Busy Moms Strong
By Tracey Mallett, http://www.traceymallett.com
We all know how difficult it is to stay in shape and find time to exercise, but most especially for women with babies or small kids. There’s the sleep-deprivation factor, no time and priority changes. So what are the fitness options for busy Moms?
The fact is, the more you can take care of yourself and the better you feel, the stronger you will be physically and emotionally to take on the day with the “little ones” and all of life’s challenges.
Below are some quick, but effective, exercises--specifically designed for the busy Mom--for the back and shoulders to keep you strong and prevent injuries that may occur with poor lifting biomechanics and poor posture. The heavy weight of not just the baby, but also all the fun gadgets you’re expected to lug around. It’s no surprise that our bodies need a little help to get through the day.
Rotator Cuff Strengthener
For this workout you will need a light theraband. The beauty about this piece of equipment is that it’s small enough to carry in your bag or your stroller. Now you have no excuses: you can do these exercises on the go, at the park or when you have a few moments to spare.
You can do this exercise either seated or standing; hold the elbows close to the waist with palms facing the sky holding the theraband. Pull the hands away from each other, rotating the shoulders outwards.
Reps: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Muscle focus: Rotator cuff muscles are the small muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint. If these get weak, you could end up with bicep tendonitis or other potential injuries. This is very common with Moms as everything is usually done with one hand while holding the “little one” in the other. Editor's note: Failure to properly develop these rear deltoids is what causes forward shoulder rotation, shoulder dislocation, and rotator cuff tears. All of these are just about unheard of in people with properly developed rear deltoids.
Tricep push-up extension
You are going to need arm strength. The biceps are going to get overworked from the motion of picking up the baby, so it’s important to balance these out and keep the triceps strong.
Hands are directly under your shoulders and knees are on the ground in a modified push-up. The pelvis is slightly pressed forward creating work in the abdominals that stabilize the spine. Place the theraband under the right hand on the floor and extend opposite arm in a tricep extension. Whilst extending the working arm be careful to keep the wrist in line with the hand not to create any unwanted tension/strain.
Reps: 3 sets of 10-15 reps on each side
Muscle Focus:Drawing your shoulder blades down and activating your upper back muscles, engage the abs at all times. Keeping your abs strong and being aware of contracting them is very important, as they play an important role in stabilizing and protecting the back.
Translating this in to functional activities such as picking the baby up out of the crib will really save your back.
Spine extension with pulses
Over time in pregnancy, a woman's posture completely changes due to the increased weight of the baby bringing our body forward and causing the spine to round forward with the shoulders. This causes the back muscles to become very stretched out and weak.
Seated upright with legs in front of body shoulder width apart, raise your arms straight over your head. Hinge forward from the hips, leading with the sternum. Biceps are by your ears. Hold this position and slightly pulse the arms behind the body, mobilizing the shoulders and working the upper back. Return back to an upright position to repeat the movement again.
Reps: 3 sets of 10 pulses.
Muscle Focus: Upper back and hamstring flexibility. This exercise will strengthen the mid upper back and open up the tight thoracic area of the spine, correcting bad habits that the body formed through pregnancy.
Butterfly ab curls
Keeping you abs strong is essential for keeping your whole body strong and restoring poor posture left over from pregnancy.
Lie on the floor with heals of feet together and knees bent to the side in a frog like position. Arms are straight over your head, Circle arms around, and lift the head, neck, and shoulders off the floor. While you do this, exhale and pull in the abs. Hold for 5 seconds and return back to starting position.
Reps: 3 sets of 10 reps
Muscle Focus: As you exhale and bring the head neck and shoulders off the floor, think of pulling your abdominals in up and back to the spine. Moms, this is a time you can practice doing your Kegel exercises. Do this on the contraction, so you are working the pelvic floor.
About the Author: A highly sought after fitness expert with over 15 years in the fitness industry, Tracey Mallett can help the busiest parents get into shape. Her Jab, Kick and Burn, Cardio Boot Camp, and Cardio Kick exercise DVDs each feature 3 different cardio workouts that hone in on kickboxing moves and techniques that will strengthen and reshape your body’s major muscles – in just 15 minutes per day. Even the busiest of parents have 15 minutes in a day.
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