Monday, February 10, 2014

10 Minute Workouts for Moms: Strength [Fit Mamas Series, Part 5]

Last week I posted some sample core/balance workouts that I do.  Core work makes up about a third of each of my excercises (usually the first third, though sometimes I switch up the order).  The second third of my workout is usually strength training.  Strength focuses on making the body stronger, and since I do functional fitness workouts, I focus on getting stronger at movements I already perform on a daily basis.  Some strength exercises focus narrowly on a few muscles (for example, curls) but the best strength exercises use a combination of many muscles in the body, working together to make the movement (for example, squats).
'Kettlebell' photo (c) 2010, Andrew Malone - license:

Unlike the weights used for core workouts, you should use a weight during strength training that leaves your muscles spent at the end of each set, to the point where you could only do one or two more reps, if that.  Make sure you don't get in a groove and always grab the same weights, constantly try to challenge yourself to a heavier weight, even if it means doing fewer reps until you build up.

Rest for 15-30 seconds in between each set, but not much longer, especially if you really want to keep each of these workouts to 10 minutes.  Keeping the rest time short also helps keep your heart rate up, which is good for your heart and better for your body over all.

As I mentioned previously, these workouts are samples of what I do.  They may not necessarily be right for you, so I recommend consulting a health professional before beginning a new exercise routine.

10 Minute Strength Exercise #1

Shoulder press, 2/2 count (meaning two counts up, two counts down), 10 reps, 3 sets

Circuit, 4x though, 30 seconds each exercise:
Mountain Climbers, Squats with weights, Upright Row, Dips

10 Minute Strength Exercise #2

Circuit, 3x through:
Goblin Squat to Shoulder Raise (15 reps)
Deadlift to Upright Row (15 reps)
Pushups (Unless you are really strong, most women should do knee or wall pushups. 10 reps)
Kettlebell swings (20 reps)

10 Minute Strength Exercise #3

Lateral shoulder raises, 2/2 count, 10 reps, 3 sets
Front shoulder raises, 2/2 count, 10 reps, 3 sets
Pushups, 2/2 count, 10 reps, 3 sets
Deadlifts, 2/2 count, 15 reps, 3 sets
Squats with weights, 12 reps, 3 sets

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