Easy Home Workouts

Five Fast At Home Workout Ideas that are simple and possible with small kids

As a mom, it isn’t always possible or practical to get to the gym everyday. I’m also not a fan of long hours on the treadmill, especially since high intensity short workouts and weight training have more health benefits. I prefer at home workouts when possible and often my kids workout with me.

My personal workout routine is to do the following each week:

  • weight training with really heavy weights 2 times per week – pullups, deadlifts, squats, lunges, etc
  • High intensity 1-2 times per week – sprints, burst training, etc
  • other form of movement 2-3 times a week – martial arts, walking, swimming, etc

I train at my brother-in-law’s house on days that I do weight training since they have lots of free-weights, but the other days I do at-home workouts.

These are five easy ways that I try to work movement in to my day (and that my kids can do too):

Kettlebells

I’m a big fan of Kettlebells because they can be easily used at home in a short amount of time and they don’t take up much room (unlike, say, a Bowflex…). You’d be surprised how intense your workout can be from just a cannon ball with a handle, but kettlebells can give you one of the most intense whole-body workouts you’ve ever completed.

The Russians have used kettlebells to train their elite athletes and secret service for years and now even because they give great strength and definition and don’t add any bulk for women.

My two favorite kettlebell workout are Swings (video how to in this post) either in intervals (30 seconds of swings, 30 seconds of rest, and repeat for 5 minutes) or just doing 75-100 swings without rest with the heaviest kettlebell I can use with good form.

In the name of full disclosure… kettlebell workouts are HARD, but that is why they are so effective. Because of the combination of strength and high intensity cardio, even the most seasoned athletes have trouble lasting five minutes when switching to kettlebells.”

You can find kettlebells almost anywhere now, and even order them online. I started with a 20 pound kettlebell and now use 35-55 pound kettlebells. The best part, they are basically just a canon ball with a handle, so they are compact and easy to store, even if you don’t have much extra space.

This post has a video tutorial on how to do kettlebell swings.

Rebounding

I must admit, when I first heard or rebounding, I thought it sounded a little crazy. Now that I’ve tried it, I see why it has such a loyal fan base. Rebounding is basically jumping on a mini trampoline and it  has a myriad of health benefits including:

  • Helps promote lymphatic drainage
  • Supports liver health
  • Good for bones (weight bearing movement helps strengthen them)
  • Helps cellular cleansing
  • Improves endurance
  • Helps with digestion
  • Helps the body detoxify on a cellular level

The idea of rebounding is that by bouncing on a mini trampoline in different ways, a person can make use of the rapid acceleration and deceleration to increase blood flow, oxygenate the body and improve muscle tone. Rebounding is also more fun (in my opinion) than running for the same amount of time and it is a better workout. There are sample rebounding workouts online, but all it takes is jumping (fast, slow or alternating) for 20 minutes once a day.

I try to work this in each morning and it definitely helps boost energy levels! My kids also love bouncing on the mini trampoline and often bounce on it while learning or on rainy days when they can’t go outside.

Often, mini trampolines can be found on Craigslist or at yard sales. If not, there are several good rebounders available online, (like this one that is 50% off right now or this one that has really high reviews and is silent).

Pull-ups

Often, like when I’m pregnant or early postpartum, I can’t do actual pull-ups and stick to dead hangs or negatives, but the act of doing pull-ups or working up to them is very beneficial to the body. Pull-ups are also one of the most functional exercises you can do and it helps stretch out muscles/spine and strengthen the core.

Even if you can’t do pull-ups right away, you can start where you are and work up. Mark Sisson has a great video tutorial for how to work up to pull-ups here.

I have this pull-up bar hanging in my bathroom doorway and just make a point to do pull-ups, dead hangs or negatives every time I go through that doorway. This is an easy way to get the benefits of pull-ups throughout the day.

T-Tapp

I’ve reviewed T-Tapp workouts before… from that post:

“I’d heard T-Tapp mentioned in several places online before and was skeptical. When I saw “bio-hackers” like Bulletproof Exec mentioning the T-Tapp system and claiming that it:

  • “Is the fastest weight loss workout we’ve ever seen
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Increases insulin sensitivity, which promotes loss of excess weight
  • Reduces stress
  • Skyrockets energy levels and mental clarity
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Improves cardiovascular function
  • Helps the brain gain better control over the body (builds neurokinetic function)
  • Takes just 15 minutes””

I still use T-Tapp at times and it is an easy and simple workout that can be done at home in a short amount of time. My kids actually think it is hilarious and some of them will workout with me.

Pilates

Pilates are another easy and low-impact workout to do at home. There are many options available (from prenatal Pilates to Pilates for advanced athletes and everything in between.

A couple of my favorites are this beginner workout and this rapid result workout. Pilates DVDs cost much less than gym workouts and the kids have fun doing them with me.

Do you workout at home? What is your favorite at-home workout? Share below!

It can be hard to make time for exercise. I get it. With a busy family, a household to maintain, meals to cook and work to do, it isn’t always at the top of the priority list. I’ve found that if I concentrate on fast workouts that provide maximum benefit, I’m more likely to stick to them.

Statistically, getting regular exercise is one area that many of us are not doing, and despite the multi-billion dollar gym and training industry, it isn’t always something that requires a gym membership or expensive equipment. I have a couple pairs of minimalist/barefoot shoes and a kettlebell, and these have served me better than a gym membership ever did because it isn’t about the equipment as much as it is about actually just doing it and learning to enjoy it!

The good news is that exercise can be incorporated into daily life rather than being something for which you must set aside time. Things like kettlebells can make a fast 5-minute home workout easy to sneak in while cooking dinner, or you can do a full set of Tabata sprints in 4 minutes (and they’ve been found more effective than long distance running for both weight loss and increasing fitness level!).

We can all manage to find 5 minutes a day to sneak in some kind of movement, and it doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are a few of my favorite fast workouts that I do each week:

Sprints

Sprinting can be much more effective than distance running and it takes much less time! This is one case of definite quality over quantity.

I use a modified Tabata routine interspersed with a longer rest routine. I usually run one set of Tabata sprints (sprint 20 seconds, rest 10, repeat for 4 minutes) followed by a long rest period and a 30 second sprint followed by a 60 second rest (repeat 8 times). Followed by another set of Tabatas. In case that was confusing, here is a broken down version:

  • Sprint 20 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat above two steps 8 times

then

  • Sprint 30 seconds
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • Repeat above two steps 8 times

then

  • Sprint 20 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat above two steps 8 times

These could be done running, on a stationary bike, with kettlebells, or any other activity that can be done quickly. I don’t recommend swimming for sprints because it doesn’t have the benefits of weight bearing exercise. You could also use any one part of that, and even just one 4-minute burst would be beneficial!

Strength Training

I am a big proponent of exercise that utilizes body weight as it can be done anywhere, it can be done relative to your fitness level, and it is less likely to cause injury than free weights (especially if weights are done with bad form!). Body weight exercises can also be done quickly and without any added equipment, making them perfect for a workout while the kids are napping. I do a total of about 20 minutes each time I do strength, though work up to more, or start with less as needed. I focus primarily on the following exercises:

  • Pull ups -These can be done on a tree branch or a portable pull up bar in a door frame. Start with assisted pull ups if needed.
  • Push ups -Start with wall push ups or “girl” push ups if you need to work your way up. Work up to doing them with your feet elevated or in a handstand.
  • Squats– Start small if you need to and work up to a full squat.
  • Planks– One of the best all-over exercises you can do. Rest on elbows, forearms and toes. Hold as long as possible. Repeat several times. Once you can do this, mix it up by raising one arm or leg and holding the position or by holding in a low-push up position instead of resting on forearms.

How do you fit exercise in to your daily routine? Share below!

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