Your Go-To Circuit Workout
With a new little cutie demanding attention 24/7, exercise seems impossible. But you don’t need to make the gym your second home to get back into pre-baby shape. Instead, do a circuit plan like this one—switching between high-intensity cardio and strength moves every minute—just a handful of times each week. It burns more calories than an ordinary strength or aerobics workout, and it’s faster than your kiddo’s shortest nap!
How it Works: 3 to 5 times a week, do each move for 1 minute, performing 1 minute of high-intensity cardio (such as running or jumping rope) between each exercise. Repeat once. Switch the order of the moves each time you work out.
You’ll Need: A 4- to 10-pound dumbell, a resistance tube and a Bosu trainer (optional).
Works legs, butt, shoulders and core
Hold a dumbell in front of hips and stand on top of a Bosu, feet shoulder-width apart. Squat as you raise arms to shoulder height in front of you. Return to starting position and repeat.
Works legs, butt and chest
Anchor the center of a resistance tube around a sturdy object at shoulder height (or in a door-jamb with the door closed) and stand facing away from it. Hold a handle in each hand in front of shoulders, palms facing the ground, and lunge forward with right foot. Rise up as you extend arms in front of you. Continue alternating lunges and arm extensions, switching legs after 30 seconds.
Works biceps, butt and core
Anchor one end of a resistance tube around a high, sturdy object (or in the top of a doorjamb with the door closed) and stand with left side facing up. Place right hand on hip, and raise left knee toward elbow (A). Lower left foot as you curl handle toward left ear (B). Continue alternating knee lifts and bicep curls, switching sides after 30 seconds.
Works abs and triceps
Sit on a Bosu with legs extended and place hands on the ground behind you, fingers facing forward and elbows bent (A). Raise legs to a 45-degree angle as you lift torso, straightening arms (B). Return to starting position and repeat.
Ready to ramp up the challenge factor but don’t own a Bosu? You can use a couch cushion or pillow instead.
Work legs, butt and back
Anchor the center of a resistance tube around a high, sturdy object (or in the top of a doorjamb with the door closed) and stand facing it. Hold a handle in each hand with arms extended in front of you and palms facing the ground, and squat (A). Rise halfway up as you pull the handles down to your sides (B). Return to squat position and repeat.