I’ve been a certified Personal Trainer for 8 years now and just because I’ve become a certified Yoga Instructor, doesn’t mean I’ve lost my passion for muscle-building. Being a mother to 2 beautiful little girls, I love building sexy muscles via resistance training to stay healthy and fit. Here is your free mama park workout to do while your kids play.
Begin with a warm up. You can bring a skipping rope (great cardio!) or do some jumping jacks. You may also like to do a brisk walk around the playground. Your goal is to warm up your body and get prepared to do some fun exercises ;)
How to skip
With hands at your sides, three inches from your hips, hold the handles lightly and turn them with your wrists in small circles
Keep elbows slightly bent
Tilt head slightly down, but not so you’re staring at your feet
Keep your upper body straight and erect
Land on the balls of your feet with the heels barely touching
Squat and Press
Target Muscles: quadriceps, gluteus maximus, anterior and lateral deltoids
Set Up: Stand in the center of the band with your feet hip-width apart, holding the band handles at shoulder height, palms forward.
Action: Squat down until your thighs come parallel to the floor [A], press through your heels to stand back up. As you reach full extension, drive the band handles up toward the ceiling [B]. Reverse the move, and return to the starting position.
Tip: Because you’re stretching the band really far when extending your arms overhead, use a lighter band for this move to protect your shoulders.
Lunge with Curl
Target Muscles: quadriceps, gluteus maximus, biceps brachii
Set Up: Step on the center of the band with your left foot. Hold the handles at your sides, arms in close to your body, palms forward. Step back with your right foot [A].
Action: Keeping your upper arms tight to your sides, curl the handles toward your shoulders [B]. Next, bend your legs to lower into a lunge [C]. Return to your standing position, lower your arms for one rep. Complete all reps before switching to your other side.
Resistance-Band Abductor Pull
Set Up: Attach a resistance band securely around a pole. Attach the looped end of the resistance band around the foot furthest away from the pole, and step away from the pole enough so that you can feel the tension in the resistance band. You may need to split your stance for more stability.
Action: Flex your toes of the leg attached to the resistance band toward your shin. Next, keeping your leg extended, slowly move your foot away from the opposite foot. Feel the tension in your outer thigh, slowly return to the start position. Repeat. After completing 12-15 reps, switch sides and repeat the sequence.
Resistance-Band Adductor Pull
Set Up: Attach a resistance band securely by looping around a pole. Attach the looped end of the resistance band around the foot closest to the pole, and then step away from the pole enough so that you can feel the tension in the resistance band. You may need to split your stance a bit to feel stable.
Action: Flex your toes of the leg attached to the resistance band toward your shin. Next, keeping your leg extended, slowly move your foot across the opposite foot. Feel the tension in your inner thigh, then slowly return to the start position. Repeat. After completing 12-15 reps, switch sides and repeat the sequence.
Tip: To protect your lumbar spine, maintain a vertical posture throughout the range of exercise. Do not rotate your torso when you begin to fatigue. When you can no longer use proper form, stop the set.
Tip: Stabilize yourself by contracting your core, and keep your body vertical throughout each set. Also, flex your toes toward your shin.
Bruce Lee Kick
Target Muscles: Glutes
Action: Stand to the left of a railing or study object, your feet hip-width apart and both hands placed lightly on the sturdy object. Shift your weight onto your right leg, bend at the waist, and pull your left knee up toward your chest [A]. Quickly extend your left leg, pushing through your heel and contracting your left glute [B]. Reverse the movement to return to start, lowering your left leg back to the floor. That’s one rep. Do 12-15, then repeat on the other side
Target muscles: Calves
Action: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold on to a bench, or railing for support, if necessary. Lift onto balls of feet, then lower. Repeat 8–10 times.
Chest Press and Flye
Target Muscles: pectorals, anterior deltoids
Set Up: Anchor the band in a door. Hold the handles at shoulder height and take a large step away from the anchor with one foot. Extend your arms parallel to the ground, palms facing downward [A].
Action: Bend your elbows to bring your hands back toward your shoulders [B]. Smoothly reverse the move, pressing the handles to an extended position. Turn your palms inward, bend your elbows slightly, and open your arms wide until your elbows come in line with your torso[C]. Bring the handles back to the starting position. Continue, alternating presses and flyes.
Deadlift with Row
Target Muscles: hamstrings, gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, rear deltoids
Set Up: Knot a loop in the band and stand on it with both feet. Hold the handles at your sides with your palms facing inward.
Action: Keeping your legs straight, fold forward from the hips until your torso makes a 45-degree angle [A]. Pull both handles toward your rib cage, squeezing your shoulder blades together while keeping your elbows in close to your sides [B]. Pause, then lower your hands and use your hamstrings and glutes to raise your body back to the starting position.
Target muscles: arms, back, core
Action: Stand facing anchor point, holding 1 handle in each hand with arms extended. Lean back until straps are taut [A]. Pull chest forward, bending elbows and squeezing shoulder blades, bringing hands alongside chest until almost standing straight [B]. Return to start and repeat.
Forward Lunge and Fly with Resistance Band
Target muscles: Pectorals and core
Action: Loop the resistance band around a sturdy object at chest height. With your back to the object, grab a handle in each hand and step forward until there’s no slack in the band. Stand with your feet together and knees slightly bent, then raise your arms to shoulder height, palms facing away from you, so that your body forms a T [A]. In one motion, step forward with your left leg, bend your left knee, and press the handles towards each other in front of your chest, keeping your arms straight [B]. Return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat on the other leg and continue alternating until you’ve completed 12-15 reps on each side.
Target muscles: Back and Shoulders
Action: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Grasp band with both arms extended in front of you at shoulder height, elbows slightly bent. Pull hands away from each other, stretching band, focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together until both arms are horizontal to your body (band may be against chest). Release and repeat 8–10 times.
Band Biceps Curl
Target muscles: Biceps
Action: Stand with right foot in middle of band, holding one end of band (forget the dumbbell) wrap ends of band around palms. Keeping elbows by sides, turn palms forward and curl both hands up to shoulders. Do 10-12 reps. Next, curl one hand up at a time, alternating sides. Do 10-12 curls on each side. Repeat.
Tricep Dips: This is one of my favorite exercises. I do this when I’m watching my girls at the park.
Action: Sit on a bench of chair, placing hands next to your hips. Lift up on your hands, bring your hips forward and lower your hips down until your elbows get no lower than 90 degrees. Push back up without locking your elbows. Try to do 10-20 reps. Make sure not to shrug your shoulders, keeping them down and away from your ears as you bend your elbows. To make this move more intense, walk your feet farther out or prop them up on a bench.
Balancing Triceps Extension
Target Muscles: triceps brachii, transverse abdominis
Set Up: Stand on one end of the band with your right foot and hold the other end in your right hand. Lift your right elbow so it points toward the ceiling, and drop your hand behind your head. Place your left hand on your waist and lift your left knee to hip height in front of you.
Action: Straighten your right arm toward the ceiling, keeping your upper arm close to your ear and your core tight. Pause at full extension, then slowly lower to the starting position. Complete all reps on one side, then switch to the other.
Target Muscles: obliques, transverse abdominis, rear and lateral deltoids, pectorals, trapezius, rhomboids
Set Up: Anchor the band at shoulder height and stand sideways to the anchor, feet shoulder-width apart for stability. Grasp both handles with straight arms at chest height, and rotate your torso and shoulders toward the anchor [A].
Action: Move your arms, shoulders and torso as one unit and twist away from the anchor, stretching the band as you pull it across your body to face the opposite way [B]. Slowly uncoil and return to the starting position. Complete all reps on one side then switch to the other.
Target muscles: Back, arms, abs, obliques, and hips
Action: Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, holding one end of band in each hand, arms by sides. Lift arms overhead, pulling band tight, and point right toes out to side. Keeping left arm still, engage obliques, pull right elbow down to side, and lift right knee to meet it. Extend right arm and leg without touching toes to floor. Do 10-12 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Crunches (For Abs)
Action: Lie with knees bent, feet flat. Place hands behind head, or cross arms across chest. Lift torso up a few inches (keep a space between chin and chest), then lower. Repeat 8–10 times.
Plank: This is one of the most effective abs exercise that you can do, and it’s not just great for strengthening your abdominal muscles, it also works on all your core muscles, such as your hips and back.
Action: Start by lying face down on the exercise mat/ grass. Place your elbows and forearms underneath your chest and prop yourself up into a bridge using your forearms and toes, engaging your core. Keep your back flat and don’t let your hips sag towards the floor. Hold while focusing on tightening your abs. Beginners can start at 10 seconds and then work your way up to a full minute. Return to starting position and rest.
*Focus on form, slow and controlled.
*Breathe! Exhale the tension out on the working phase, the hard part. NEVER hold your breath.
Save money on a gym membership and invest in resistance bands. You can workout at the park while your kids play :) Fit mama = happy, healthy mama :)