We’re going to take a cheeky guess at what’s nearing the bottom of your to-do list this time of year: exercise.
We’re definitely not here to judge! In fact, we’ve been a bit guilty of letting our workouts drop on our priority list as we move further into the holiday season, too. After the year we’ve all had, we can’t be blamed for diving head first into feel-good traditions of baking cookies, shopping for thoughtful gifts, and cozying up with hot cocoa and Christmas movies.
Of course, there’s always January to help us get back into a full-fledged fitness rhythm (make sure to follow us @baby2bodyofficial for all the New Year’s fitspo you’ll need). But we want to help you (and ourselves…) stay active during the holidays, because we know how important it is in feeling our best and staying our healthiest. And we’ve got just the trick for how to get it done even in the busiest of times: micro workouts.
A micro workout is a high-intensity workout circuit that takes less than 10 minutes out of your day. We’re serious, just 10 minutes, which is only 1% of your waking hours. We know it sounds like a bit of a shortcut, but research suggests that a 10-minute workout with at least 1 minute of very high-intensity exercise can deliver similar benefits to a 60-minute session at a moderate intensity.
We don’t advise swapping all of your workouts to these short burst circuits, but they are great to have in your exercise arsenal. The reason we love them during busier periods is because consistency is so important when it comes to reaching your fitness goals, and having a go-to, quick workout will help you stay in the routine of regular exercise. Whatever your holiday season looks like this year, we know you’ll be able to fit this 10-minute micro workout in. It’s one of our favorites and sure to get your heart pumping.
The only equipment we recommend is a sturdy chair or step and hand weights are optional.
We recommend focusing on good form during the 45 second strength moves and then dialing up the intensity during the 1-minute cardio bursts to elevate your heart rate safely.
We generally don’t recommend micro workouts during pregnancy, but we have included easy modifications for each move to make it pregnancy-safe in case you want to do a lower impact version of this routine!
Baby2Body’s 10-Minute Micro Workout for Busy Mamas
Low Squat to Reverse Lunge for 45 seconds
Stay in a low squat to keep your glutes engaged and alternate which leg you reverse lunge on. Focus on keeping your knees and toes pointing forward and core activated.
This move is safe for pregnancy, you can hold onto a sturdy chair for balance support if needed.
Overhead Press for 45 seconds
If you don’t have hand weights you can create tension in your fists to create light resistance. Water bottles also will also do the trick!
This move is safe for pregnancy. If you feel dizzy at all from having your arms overhead, you can do a shoulder fly instead.
Star Jacks for 1 minute
This is your first cardio push! Form is always important but try to push the pace here and gently elevate your heart rate.
This move is safe for the 1st trimester. Alternatively, you can do marching in and out steps. You don’t need to push it here, but this should feel like a bit of a cardio challenge. Make sure to keep your breathing rate as steady as possible.
Alternating Side Lunges for 45 seconds
Make sure to keep your toes pointed forward, sit back into your lunge, and keep your chest lifted. Don’t let your knee go past your toes, and squeeze your glutes as you press back to standing.
This move is safe for pregnancy. If you need extra balance support hold onto a sturdy chair.
Upright Row for 45 seconds
If you don’t have hand weights you can create tension in your fists to create light resistance. Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed, you don’t want them crimping up towards your ears!
This move is safe for pregnancy.
Walking Lunges for 1 minute
This is your second cardio push! If you don’t have a ton of space you can just do forward lunges in place, but walking lunges will really get your heart working!
This move is safe for pregnancy. As always, make sure that your breathing stays steady and that you feel steady and in balance.
Deadlifts for 45 seconds
Form is really important here, so follow along with our expert trainer, Becki in the video! Focus on really squeezing your glutes as you return to standing upright. You can do this without weights to get started to focus on form.
This move is safe for pregnancy. You may want to widen your stance to make room for your bump, and keep your back as straight as possible and head lifted as you lean forward.
Reverse Fly for 45 seconds
You can do this move with a resistance band or hand weights. If you don’t have either, you can create tension in your fists to create light resistance. Exhale as you lift your arms up and inhale as you lower.
This move is safe for pregnancy.
Burpees for 1 minute
This is your third cardio push! Burpees will definitely get your heart pumping. You can make easier by doing your burpees with a sturdy chair (as shown in the video), or you can make harder by adding a full pushup at the bottom.
If pregnant, we recommend a slightly lower impact move. A squat with a knee crunch is a great alternative!
Bird Dog Crunches for 45 seconds
Focus on keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe as you extend opposite arm and leg. Exhale as you crunch in, feeling your abs engage. Keep your wrists stacked directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. Switch sides halfway through!
During pregnancy we recommend doing Bird Dogs without the crunch.
Reverse Plank Table Top for 45 seconds
Place your hands at either side of your hips, bend your knees and lock heels onto the ground as you engage your glutes and back muscles to lift into a reverse plank table top.
This move is safe for pregnancy. If it causes any back or shoulder pain, you can do glute bridge lifts instead.
Elevated Mountain Climbers for 1 minute
This is your fourth and final cardio push! Really give it your all, mama. You can make it harder by placing your hands on the ground, or easier by doing these at a slower pace. Either way, make sure to keep breathing throughout!
Elevated, slow mountain climbers are safe for the 1st and 2nd trimester of pregnancy and even into the early third trimester if you aren’t coning. To be safe you can also finish off this exercise with alternating step ups for a final cardio blast.
Wishing you all a very healthy and happy holiday season. Let us know if you do this micro workout and if you enjoyed it (or broke a sweat!) by commenting below.
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