Operation Strong Mom – Introducing Tabata Exercises

Operation Strong Mom – Introducing Tabata Exercises

Maximizing time is essential for all parents and Tabata style workouts are a wonderful option to break a healthy sweat in a short amount of time!

Tabata exercises involve performing a particular exercise (or exercises) at high intensity for 20-seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated 8 times for a total training time of 4-minutes. You are welcome to use a basic clock with a second-hand to time yourself or there are apps available. I purchased the Tabata Pro for my iPhone for a small one-time fee.  The Tabata app tracks the duration of each 20-second and 10-second spurt as well as counts down the 8-cycles of exercise.

The sky is the limit when doing Tabatas. I tend to alternate between cardio and strength exercises so that the body has some sort of rest between circuits.

Some notes:

*When working out with your little ones, the order of the exercises may change. For example, when one of my guys becomes fussy, I will switch to an exercise in which he is involved. Also, making goofy faces at your little people is a blast. Their expressions are great motivation!

*Is your child out of the car seat? Lift your child if you can manage, or try lifting your diaper bag! (we know that thing is full!)

So let’s get to it!  For the next few months I will introduce several different Tabata exercises for you to try. The following are great to do inside the home:

*Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise regime. Be sure to warm-up the body prior to beginning intense training. Warm-up suggestions include step touches from side to side, jogging in place, and doing light slow jumping jacks for 2-3 minutes. Once the body is warm, stretch the different muscles holding each stretch for a minimum of 8-seconds.

*Repeat the sequences below alternating between exercises for 20-seconds each, 4-times total. Maintaining good form should take priority over the number of reps completed. Keep in mind you have 4-minutes for each drill – Getting in a lot of reps will not be a problem!

Perform the following sequences in order, alternating between cardio and strength training.

CARDIO

Jumping Jacks - 2

Jumping Jacks

20-seconds – jumping jacks (as fast as you can)

10-second break

20-seconds – tire hops – hop from side to side lifting your opposite knee up to activate the obliques (sides of your tummy). Hop up for 4 and back for 4.

10-second break

20-seconds – jumping jacks (as fast as you can)

10-second break

20-seconds – tire hops

10-second break

Moving Tire Hop - 1

Tire Hops

20-seconds – jumping jacks (as fast as you can)

10-second break

20-seconds – tire hops

10-second break

20-seconds – jumping jacks (as fast as you can)

10-second break

20-seconds – tire hops

DONE!

STRENGTH

Car Seat Tap 3

Car seat taps

20-seconds – car seat taps – in a plank position (option – on your knees), tap the car seat in front of you alternating hands.

10-second break

20-second – tricep dips on the floor or overhead press with a weight (or diaper bag) 😉

CARDIO

20-seconds – run in place as fast as possible

10-second break

20-seconds – bunny hops up and back (be sure to keep knees slightly bent at all times to protect the knees. Belly in to protect the back).

STRENGTH

Car Seat Wood Chop

Car Seat Wood Chop

(Baby out of car seats? Try picking up your child for the exercise. Be sure to keep your tummy pulled in to support the lower back. Or again, use the diaper bag!)

20-seconds – car seat wood chop: feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, car seat outside of the foot. Lift the car seat across your body up to the opposite shoulder while pivoting on the opposite foot as you turn. (works shoulders, abs, and legs).

10-second break

20-seconds – repeat with the other baby on the opposite side

CARDIO

20-seconds: Power Jumps – start in a low squat with hands on the floor if possible. Jump up and down in place ending in the low squat position. Repeat!

10-second break

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

20-seconds: Mountain Climbers – *baby may be lying down slightly under you cheering you on!
*Be sure wrists are in line under your shoulders.

SEVERAL OPTIONS:

  1. Outer Hip Mountain Climbers – begin in a plank position. Lift your leg alongside your body bringing the knee to the shoulder. Alternate legs. Move slowly, or make it a cardio move by quickly alternating the knees to the shoulders.
  2. Outer Hip Mountain Climbers with Push-Up – begin in a plank position. Complete the same motions stated above however move slowly and lower yourself into a push-up as you bring the knee to the shoulder. Alternate sides.
  3. Standard Mountain Climbers – begin in plank position. Bring one knee up to the chest, then switch legs. Move slowly exhaling each time the knee is brought to the chest, or make it a cardio move by quickly alternating knees to the chest.

STRENGTH

Car Seat Squat - 120-seconds: car seat squat/lift: legs shoulder width apart. As you straighten your legs, lift the car seat up over your head, and lower back down into a squat as you lower the baby back down (great for legs and shoulders).

10-second break

20-seconds: Transitioning Planks – transition from hands and toes to elbows and toes – repeat. (if needed, you may drop to your knees).

Be sure to stretch and drink plenty of water. Great job!

Related Articles

Operation Strong Mom: Car Seat Upper Body Exercises

Operation Strong Mom: Lower Body Exercises

Canfield Family PhotoJulianna Canfield has been a certified group exercise instructor for over thirteen years. She lives with her husband Matthew and their 5-month old identical twins Parker Raymond and Gregory Allen in Tega Cay, South Carolina. Julianna is the Director of Fitness at the YWCA Central Carolinas in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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