Â Â Â Â If you are a mother who simply has no time to do cardio one day, strength-training another, and core work the next…why not try combining everything whenever possible? One of our favorite fitness tips for mothers is making the investment of buying a small step machine (typically $40-60.) They are portable, can be stored anywhere (no bulky machines in your way), and can be used in more ways than you’d think. You can even jump on one and get moving while your kids watch Super Why!, vibrate in their baby swing, or do their homework…anything goes!
How To Use: You can split up the cardio, strength, or core moves throughout the week (or day) when busy, or create a routine combining all 3. TRY: Stamina Electronic Mini Stepper from Target (or similar.)
Cardio Step Moves:
- Interval steps – start out doing 30 seconds at a steady pace, and alternate with 30 seconds of speedy, full-on stepping (really push yourself.)
- Karate kicks– using your core for balance, start to alternate stepping, and kicking in front of you with the free leg…keep switching this “step and kick” pattern. It will take time to master, but truly challenge your muscles and balance…
- Knee-Ins -Â continue stepping, but switch from front kicks to alternating “knee-ins” (like an exaggerated march), making sure to tighten your stomach every time.
Toning Step Moves:
- Balance Squats â€“ Stand so that feet are stable on the stepper pedals and even across (balancing.) From here, try to squat down deeply, return to standing (balancing with even feet) and repeat.
- Inner Thigh Taps â€“ Hold the balancing squat at the bottom of the motion and begin to tap knees together. You may look silly, but continue doing this until you feel a deep burn in your inner thighs. Repeat as needed…
- Elevated Split Lunge â€“ Place one foot on the pedal of the stepper and the other on the ground behind you. From here, dip into a low lunge, raise, and continue repeating until muscles fatigue. Repeat on the other leg.
Core Step Moves:
- Twisting Balance Squat â€“Imbetween stepping cardio, dip into a balance squat once more and hold (keeping feet stable.) From here, begin to twist upper body to the right and left in a fluid motion, to tighten core and abdominals.
- Open Chest Twist â€“ Balance standing on the stepper (so feet are level with one another on the pedals), tighten stomach, and raise arms in front of your chest. Twist chest open and reach one arm to the wall behind you. Return, and repeat this opening-twist to the other side. Continue alternating…