30-Minute Workout Gets You Fit & Strong Fast
Work, playdates, laundry, dinner . . . Some days you’re more likely to break a sweat stressing over the carpool than getting in a good workout. On the rare occasion you have a few moments to yourself, it’s only a matter of time before the kids need help with homework, the oven starts beeping or you just want to crawl into bed and relax instead of doing one. more. thing.
So for every woman who thinks she’s too busy to be fit (trust me, I get it—I’m a mom of four!), I created this quick functional training workout. It’s inspired by Spartan Strong, a program that brings the spirit of obstacle course races into a group fitness space through physical and mental exercises. Doing these moves will help you lug around your kid’s sporting equipment with ease, carry groceries from the car in fewer trips and even give your teen a real challenge in a push-up contest.
Repeat this plan three times a week and stay focused throughout every move. You’ll look—and feel—stronger in no time.
Do each exercise for 30 seconds. Complete the circuit twice WITHOUT RESTING.
Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and chest lifted. Sit through the hips.
Same as above, now stepping side to side to add directional movement. Knees and toes always face the same direction.
From the basic squat position, come down to the ground and walk your hands out into a high plank. Pause in plank position, walk hands back into a squat and stand tall.
Run in place for 60 seconds to increase your heart rate.THEN
Rest for 60 seconds before moving on.
Do each exercise for 60 seconds. At the END of the circuit, rest for 60 seconds. Repeat 3 times total.
A pillow. (Add extra weight by filling it with a blanket or a bag of rice, or use a sandbag instead. Just make sure your floor can handle the impact.)
Place pillow on the ground and quickly shuffle 3 to 4 steps side to side to get your body past each end of the pillow. Touch each end of the pillow every time. (Builds stamina for chasing after kids and buses.)
Extension With Overhead Drop
Lay pillow at your toes. With a slight bend in your knees, a long spine and straight arms, hinge at the hips and bend forward to pick up the pillow. Lift it overhead and drop it behind you. Turn around and repeat. (Supports better posture while lifting heavy objects.)
From standing, bring your hands down to the ground and kick legs out behind you into a plank. Jump your legs back in, come to a standing position and leap up. Continue to repeat. (Increases strength so you can beat your kid in a
From plank position with feet in wide stance, move right hand a few inches to the right side and do a push-up. Bring right hand back to meet the left, then move the left out to the left side and do a push-up. Too tough? Do push-ups from your knees with a towel underneath. (Increases upper-body strength for moving heavy objects, like groceries.)
You’re almost done! Get ready for a two-move finale!
Do Different Daily
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AMREP (As Many Reps As Possible)
Do each exercise for 60 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds before repeating once.
Crab Cross Touch
Get into a reverse tabletop position so you’re on all fours with your belly facing the sky. Focus on keeping your hips up and your waist parallel to the floor. Now lift your right hand and left foot to tap your left foot. Repeat on other side. For an added challenge, balance the weighted pillow on your stomach. (Builds mental and physical coordination for multitasking moms.)
Note: Keep track of the number of reps per move so you’ll remember it for later.
Sit and Stand
Standing tall with your pillow overhead, drop pillow to the ground in front of you, step forward over it and sit down on top of it. Stand back up as quickly as possible while bringing the pillow back overhead. Every time your backside touches the pillow counts as one rep. (Helps you get up off the ground with speed.)
When you repeat the above exercises, work to BEAT the number of reps you performed the previous time.
Resilience: Recover and Reflect
Take the last minute (or as much time as you can) to stretch. Two of my favorite stretches are child’s pose and downward-facing dog. Then do some quiet, mindful breathing. Make this feel-good moment a priority in your day. You deserve it!
From a high plank, shift hips and press palms and toes into ground to form an A. Roll shoulders away from ears. Return to plank and repeat.
Kneel, pressing your hips into your heels, pushing your belly into the ground and stretching your arms outward and palms into the floor.
Get the soundtrack to this workout on Spotify by searching for Christina Remix LaGrega.
Christina LaGrega is a 5 Star ELI Group Fitness Instructor and Spartan Strong Master Trainer for Life Time athletic clubs.