Between taking care of the kids and doing the laundry and all the other (thankless) things moms do, its no wonder we don’t always have time for a full-blown workout. That means we just have to find ways to sneak one in. On most days, for example, I spend a while in the kitchen waiting for things to bake or boil or for my picky eater to just get on with it! So it makes sense to burn a few extra calories during all the waiting and standing around, right? Here are 10 efficient, fat-blasting moves you can perform anywhere — even by the kitchen sink (but maybe not the stove).
1) Chair Dip
This tricep-sculpting move can be done using a chair or slightly raised surface, such as a sidewalk curb. Start seated on whichever surface you are using, hands at your sides. Keeping your elbows pulled in toward your body, press your feet into the ground and grip the edges of the chair or surface with your hands, leaving the rest of your body suspended. Use your arm strength to push your body up and then dip down toward the ground, bending your knees and elbows only. Repeat this for a set of 15.
You don’t need anything for this move other than the weight of your own body. Place your hands on your hips and take a big step out with your right foot, dropping your left knee to the ground. Then press off the front foot to come back to starting position. Repeat with the left foot, this time dropping your right knee to the ground. Keep alternating legs until you complete 15-20 lunges. Then try another set!
3) Jumping Jack
Simple and old school as it may seem, a jumping jack is still a great way to get your heart pumping. Make sure you have a little space for this one. Jump your feet out as wide as you can as you swing your arms up overhead. Jump feet back together, bringing your hands back down to your sides. Keep tension in your arms and legs. (If you really don’t know how to do a jumping jack, I’m sure your son or daughter will gladly demonstrate.) Keep jumping for about two minutes — or until someone pelts you with a bagel, whichever comes first.
4) Chair Pose
This yoga-based move is great for sculpting legs and buns and even engages core muscles if done correctly. Bring your feet and knees tightly together. Keep drawing them in as you sink your butt down as if sitting in an invisible chair, and reach your arms up overhead. Tuck your tailbone in instead of arching your back to engage the muscles of your core and make this move more challenging. Hold the pose for 45 seconds to a minute.
The kitchen counter is where this one gets done the most for me. Its a great alternative to the standard push-up. Place your hands on a windowsill or counter, a little wider than shoulder width apart. Putting your weight into your arms, take a few steps back so that your body is on an angle. You should be on your toes, in an incline push-up position. Bend your elbows, bringing your body closer to the counter or surface, then straighten your arms and press your body away. If this is too challenging, take a step closer to take some of the weight off of your arms. Try two sets of 12.
6) Calf Raises
Position your hands flat on a counter or up against any wall. You are just using the surface to stabilize your body, so be sure not to lean in toward it. Come up onto your tip-toes as high as you can, then tap your heels to the ground. Come up and down like this quickly until fatigue. Trust me; it won’t take more than about 30 seconds to feel this in your calves — and maybe even throughout your legs as whole.
Another yoga-based move is Warrior pose. This is a pose of self-confidence, so perform it as such! Step forward with your left foot, wide enough so that your left knee comes to a ninety degree angle, and pivot your right toes to face out towards the right. Bring your arms up to shoulder height, left arm pointing to the front and right arm reaching back. Relax your shoulders down, tuck your tailbone and sink into the front knee. This is a great move to gain strength but also to quiet your mind a bit throughout the day, so perform it whenever you are feeling tense. Hold this pose until your breathing becomes more audible, then straighten out the front knee and switch sides.
8) Wall Sit
This is a challenging move that works legs and glutes. Start by standing with your back up against the wall. Bending your knees, sink down until your knees are bent at a perfect 90-degree angle. Hold this position by pressing your feet into the floor and your back into the wall. Remain in the wall sit as long as possible — or even turn it into a game with your partner or kids, seeing who can hold their pose the longest.
Start by standing on a single leg with the other leg bent slightly a few inches from the ground. Take a big leap to the side, landing on the opposite leg, and preventing the starting foot from touching the ground. Keep leaping side to side, bending the standing leg slightly and bringing the opposite arm across the front of your body, as if you are speed-skating. Keep skating for 1-2 minutes.
Did you know you can work your abs effectively without lying on the ground? Here’s how: Bring both hands behind your head with your elbows out to the sides. Inhale, opening up your chest and arching your back slightly. As you exhale crunch inwards, moving your head toward your belly button and tucking your tailbone. Complete 10 reps, then come back into starting position. For the next set, lift one leg and bring your opposite elbow in front of your body toward that lifted knee. Then alternate with the other knee and elbow. Repeat for 15 reps, and then come back to the regular crunch. Alternate between standing crunch and twist for 2 minutes for a solid abdominal workout no matter where you are.