At Home Workouts for Moms
Fitness is such a great way to release stress and help your body all at the same time! By having a regular fitness routine you can strengthen your heart, your muscles, and your mind all while you release some stress. I never regret doing a workout, but I often regret not getting any fitness in during my day.
lululemon has some great apparel that will keep comfy during your workout. lululemon has clothing and accessories for both women and men of all sizes.
We love that their pieces fit well and are made with quality material. I love that so many of their bottoms come in different sizes and lengths to get the perfect fit.
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Here are some of our top picks of what’s new at lululemon! lululemon makes great workout gear for women (and men!) who love to move and many styles work great for an outdoor life. Check out our other lululemon favorites here.
- Sculpt Tank Top
- Hooded Define Jacket Nulu
- Love Crew T-Shirt
- Swiftly Tech Racerback Tank Top 2.0
- Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Shirt 2.0
- Base Pace High-Rise Tight 28″
- Align High-Rise Short 8″
- Ready to Rulu High-Rise Jogger
- Invigorate High-Rise Tight 25″
- Align High-Rise Pant 25″
I like how smooth and cool the Invigorate High Rise Tights feel! They are perfect for spring/early summer when I don’t want to wear pants but want something more wicking than insulating.TMM Team Member Becky
- The Reversible Mat 5mm
- Loop it Up Mat Strap
- Light Locks Scrunchie
- Double Roller
- Blissfeel Running Shoe
Importance of Fitness for Outdoor Moms
Why making time for fitness is important
Exercise can help improve your mood, boost energy, help to keep you healthy from some diseases and conditions. If you workout with friends, it can even be a part of your social life. Add in your significant other or children and it easily becomes a healthy family activity.
Finding time for fitness
Finding time to workout is one of the biggest struggles that most of us face. Your available time to workout may change from day to day or month to month, especially if you have young kids. Here are some of the ways I fit fitness in my life…
Workout with the kids! Not every workout is going to be good for your kids to do, but so many are kid friendly. Young kids make great weights for squats and bridges. Older kids can join along with the exercise (with ability appropriate equipment).
Your heart will melt when they start working out with you. Your kids are always watching and learning. If they see you working out, making healthy choices, and loving life…then they will likely follow your footsteps. Fitness is an easy way to demonstrate the importance of self care to our little ones.
Just beware, kids have a natural instinct to climb on you as soon as you get on the floor!
Get it done early (or late)!
If getting your workout in before your family wakes up is your jam, then yay! Working out is a great way to start your day. It helps get your blood flowing and you are ready to take on the day before you have get your kids up. Most school days I try and get my zoom workout with friends done at 6am and wake my daughters up at 6:30am when I am done.
If you only have time after bedtime, then find some movement before you go to bed. Yoga is great for this! You don’t need to do a really intense workout (could lead to trouble sleeping), but 30 min of Yoga is still more beneficial than nothing at all.
Have an accountability partner(s).
For me, having an accountability partner(s) is key. Despite being a Personal Trainer, I am my worst client. I am so thankful for our FitMom community and having a variety of workouts and accountability partners. Most mornings I do virtual workouts with some of my closest friends!
Whether that accountability partner is your friend, spouse or a personal trainer, make sure that person knows your SMART Goals and will hold you accountable to them.
Set-up in-person or virtual workouts with your partner and make it an appointment in your calendar. If someone is waiting for you on the other end, you will be less likely to bail on them, even if you want to bail on yourself.
Finding a workout or a plan
You can find workouts all over the internet these days. A quick Google search will lead you to many and many are free! Just make sure you understand how to do the moves properly and safely.
Here are some of my favorites:
- lululemon Workout Videos – FREE!
- FitMom YouTube Channel – FREE!
- FitMom Virtual Studio – Paid membership required, free 7 day trial
- Fitness Blender – FREE! Paid membership available for more content
- PopSugar YouTube Channel – FREE!
- YMCA 360 – Included with your membership to the YMCA
If you don’t like working out with videos or need a little more guidance, find a fitness group, workout facility, personal trainer, or a friend and head to the gym instead!
Finding a workout space
Whether you want to workout inside or outside, the choice is mostly yours (and the weather’s). If you are inside, just find a spot in your home where you will have enough space to move around, living rooms or basements normally work great!
If you are headed outside, your backyard is a great starting point. Just grab a blanket or a yoga mat and find a nice spot in the yard for your workout. Perk of outside workouts is that your kids are normally busy playing instead of climbing on you.
Need to head elsewhere? The local park can be host to a great workout. Your kids can play on the playground or you can use the playground equipment for a workout. Swings can act like suspension trainers, stairs or benches for step-ups and dips, and monkey bars for pull-ups.
Before You Begin Working Out
Some of the best ways to get ready for hiking and adventure is to increase your core strength and balance. Then build onto that with general strength and cardiovascular endurance.
Before you start a new workout routine, its important to perform a health check on yourself, your abilities, and check-in with your physician if you haven’t recently.
If you are pregnant, post-partum, or still nursing, it is important to pay attention to your body. It will also be important to mostly stick to lower impact and lower intensity exercises. Your body can contain the hormone Relaxin for up to 3 months after you stop nursing, so it is important to not over stretch any joints. If you overdo it early on, it can lead to greater issues down the road, so don’t push it.
If you are pregnant, post-partum, or nursing I HIGHLY recommend finding a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist (PFPT) or a Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist before starting a workout plan. They can identify and treat issues with your core like Diastasis Recti and address any issues you may have with your pelvic floor.
This Post Partum Recovery Guide is also a fantastic resource put together by two of my favorite Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialists (PCES), Drea & Brit of FitMom. This is a great resource especially if you do not have easy access to a PFPT or PCES near you.
The Fit MOM Postpartum Recovery Guide is a simple, yet detailed plan for fitness recovery during the “4th trimester” – the first 12 weeks after birth. Think of it as the “handbook” for recovery that every mom should have during her last trimester and before leaving the hospital!Drea & Brit, FitMOM
Equipment for Home Workouts
There are so many excerises and workouts that you can do with minimal to no equipment needed. One of my favorite pieces of equipment is a simple miniband. There are so many uses!
For the exercises listed below I used the following equipment:
- Sliders (I have “furniture gliders”, plastic bottom for carpet, felt for hard floors)
- Paper plates or container lids are good substitutes for carpet
- A hand towel or washcloth works good for hard floors
- Light to medium dumbells (3-10 pounds)
- Yoga Mat
Below you will find some of my favorite exercises that are easy to do at home, at the playground, or even traveling. Each exercise has some different modifications based on your current fitness status and some variations if you are looking to change it up.
Mini bands, long handle bands, and sliders are easy to add resistance and variety to your workouts. They are also easy to toss into your bag when you hit the road. Lighter dumbbells are not too expensive and can easily add some resistance to a workout without a lot of weight.
One last reminder…don’t forget to breathe! Proper breathing is crucial to proper pressure management within your core. In general, when performing exercise you should EXHALE with EXERTION and INHALE on RECOVERY.
Core is more than just your abdominals, it is your whole midsection including abdominals, hip flexors, pelvic floor, and low back muscles. Your core is your FOUNDATION! A properly trained core is the foundation to good posture, proper breathing techniques, and proper body movement.
A strong core will help you carry those backpacks, kids, or kids in backpacks. If you are looking for some great informative videos on all things core, check out this YouTube Channel from CES.
Here are a few of my favorite core exercises. If you do not yet have good core control or are newer to exercise, please start with the beginner exercises. Another reason I love core work is that most of core exercises involve more than just your core! You can get some lower body or upper body work mixed in too.
Starting on your hands and knees, making sure your wrists are under your shoulders and your knees are under your hips. Your back should be level and core engaged.
- Beginner: Working on maintaining core control, slowly extend either one arm or one leg at a time making sure to keep your core engaged and back flat.
- Intermediate: Raise an opposite arm and leg at the same time, lower, repeat with the other side. Making sure that your hips stay facing the ground.
- Advanced: Add resistance like a mini band around the thighs or add movement out to the side.
Starting on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Feet closer to your rear will target more Glutes. Walk your feet out a little further and dig in heels to target your Hamstrings more.
- Beginner: Raise and lower your hips from the starting position. Making sure to keep hips level.
- Intermediate: Raise your hips, march or extend one leg while keeping your hips level, lower your foot back down and lower hips. Repeat with the other leg.
- Advanced: Raise your hips, alternate extending your legs while keeping your hips level for 10-12 reps. Lower your hips.
- Put a mini band around your thighs to work your abductors.
- Put a mini band around your waist, put your hands through it behind your back to hold the mini-band to the floor. Bridge up while the band resists you.
- In the starting position, put a slider under one foot. Bridge up and slide one foot straight out and back.
Starting with your elbows directly in line with your shoulders and feet on the floor. Engage your core and raise your hips. Keep your body in nice alignment, head and neck should be in a neutral spine position. Keep your back flat and don’t let your butt stick up in the air or your hips sag towards the ground. Start with holding this poistion for 10-30 seconds.
- Beginner: Plank on the wall, table or chair. Or a Hover Plank (hands and knees position, lift knees slightly off ground).
- Intermediate: Forearm or straight arm plank on the floor.
- Advanced: Plank on the floor, can add movement if proper alignment can be maintained. i.e. plank toe taps, see saw motion, hip dips.
- Miniband around forearms to engage arms more.
- Miniband around thighs and add side toe taps or plank jacks.
- Sliders under feet for jack-like movement or mountain climber movement.
- Side plank – similar flat body position, just rotated 90* to one side. Then repeat on the other side.
Find a wall and lean against it. Slide down until your hips and knees are both at 90*, feet about hip width apart. Activate your core and initiate a light press of your back to the wall. Breathe and hold this position for 20-45 seconds.
- Place a mini band around your thighs to work the abductors.
- Grab some weights and do some upper body movements like bicep curls, shoulder press, or arm raises.
- Raise and lower your heels to get some calf involvement.
The last thing you want to do while adventuring is lose your balance and trip or fall. Core strength and balance are two fundamentals that I am always working on with my clients. They are a KEY to lifelong stability.
Single Leg Balance
This is a simple exercise that can be added to any part of your day. Plant one foot on the ground, keep a soft knee, and lift your opposite foot. Increase difficultly by increasing balance time, moving to an unstable surface (like a folded towel), or closing your eyes. Balance for about 30 seconds and then switch sides. Repeat 2-3 times.
Single Leg Deadlift
Start in standing with your feet together, hold a weight in each hand. Ground down through one leg, keeping a soft knee. Slowly raise your opposite leg behind your body, hinging at the hips. Lower the weight towards the floor as you work to get your torso parallel with the floor, make sure to keep your opposite hip pointing down and not opening up.
Keeping your back flat and core tight, slowly reverse the motion and squeeze your glutes to stand back up to the starting position. Repeat 8-12 times and then switch legs.
Upper Body Exercises
This exercise is great for working those muscles that help you lift heavy back packs. Grab some weights, long handled band, or even a weighted backpack.
Start in standing with your feet about hip width apart. Have your hands with weights down by your side, bring the weights up along your front until your hands are about armpit level. Slowly lower and repeat.
During a push up your head, neck, spine should all be in alignment. Start with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Keeping your body in a straight line, lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor (or wall). Exhale, keep your core engaged and push your self back to the starting position.
- Beginner: Perform your push up on a wall
- Intermediate: Start on your knees keeping your core tight and aligned (like in the Upper Body Sliders photo below)
- Advanced: Starting with your feet and hands on the ground with a nice flat back
Upper Body Sliders
Starting in knee push-up position, put a slider under each hand. Lower your chest like a push up, as you come up draw your arms inward and finish in a high plank. Slowly slide your arms out and lower again.
- Instead of going to the side, push both arms straight out front keeping your core in control and draw them back in.
- Arm circles – start by pushing both arms out, but make a circle instead of going straight out and back.
- Keeping your arms straight, slowly slide them out to the sides and use your scapular muscles to draw them back in.
Lower Body Exercises
Squats are a great exercise that work a lot of the muscles that you need for walking or hiking.
Starting in standing with your feet shoulder width or a little wider apart. Start by pushing your butt backward and sink down hinging at the hips. Make sure that your knees are not falling inward or going out past your toes. Keep your head and neck in a neutral alignment.
- Add a band around the thighs to work the abductors.
- Add a weight near your chest for increased resistance.
- Perform a squat and add in other movement like bicep curls, monster walks, or jumping.
Start by standing with your feet hip width apart and soft knees. Put your hands by your ears. Start bending forward hinging at the hips working to get your torso parallel to the floor.
Push your hips forward and squeeze your glutes to stand back up. Repeat 8-12 times. Add a weight near your chest for increased resistance if you have good core control.
Lunges are another great exercise to get ready to climb some hills. There are also lots of variations you can do with lunges to change up the routine.
Starting with your feet together, take one foot and step forward. Your feet should be hip width apart, but on parallel tracks. Slowly lower straight down. Make sure that your front knee is staying behind your toes.
- Reverse lunge – step backwards instead of forwards.
- Side lunge – stepping sideways and lowering.
- Walking lunge – move forward or backward with every lunge.
- Add weights to your hands.
- Raise your rear leg to a chair for a elevated split squat.
Make Time For You…
Sometimes it feels like we barely have 5 minutes to ourselves in a day. But even if you have only 5 minutes try to find some movement! Your body and mind will thank you.
We hope some of these recommendations help you get ready for whatever some of your summer adventures. If you are already set to head out for a hike, check out this mini series on getting warmed up for a hike by CES.
What are some of your favorite exercises to prepare for adventures?
A quick bit about me…
I am a mom of two girls as well as a Licensed and Certified Athletic Trainer who works part time as a Personal Trainer helping clients reach their fitness goals! I love teaching my clients about proper core engagement and bettering their balance. I am also passionate about spreading the word about pelvic floor PT for all those post partum.
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