Hi Hayley!

I'm part of a small group of moms who get together 2 times a week to work out. We were all part of a mom and baby boot camp, but our trainer moved to another province and we are now left to our own devices. We do some cardio (pushing a stroller!) and circuits and we have been taking turns planning the circuits. We need some new ideas! We have access to dumbbells up to 10lbs, benches and ourselves.  Can you think of some circuit ideas for us, keeping in mind that we are focused on toning midsections and other "mom" areas?

Thank you!


Squeezing in workouts when we can is hard enough for most of us, but add it to a busy day of running kids around and you are lucky to squeeze in what you can. That being said, it is important to make sure you make the most of your valuable time and get as much accomplished as you can. How do you do that? You need to plan your workouts in advance, have the equipment you are using ready to go and make sure you all understand the exercises, and how to do them properly, before beginning the circuit.

Click here and here for a refresher on building up your deepest core muscles, as well as how to progress your workouts post baby. When you are ready to step it up, try these post baby body blast moves. All of these exercises will work your entire body, from head to toe, which will guarantee maximum work in minimal time. Do each exercise for 45-60 seconds before switching to the next, making sure to switch quickly to make the most of your time. 

Straight arm plank row with tricep extension

This is a great exercise to target your core and your upper body, especially your back and arms. Position yourself in an incline, placing one hand on a bench and holding a dumbbell in the other. Feet just slighter wider than shoulder width and keeping your hips square, row the weight up towards your hips to a 90 degree bend. Then extend your arm straight, squeezing the back of your arms as you do this. Return the weight back to 90 degrees then back towards the sand. Repeat for 30 seconds on one side then the other, or spend 60 seconds on one side and 60 seconds on the other.

Squat with a bicep curl plus overhead shoulder press

This exercise will strengthen your leg muscles, your butt and your upper body all at once. Place your feet slightly wider than hip width apart, weight through the heels, and then drop your hips towards the floor into a plie squat, keeping your arms straight between your legs, palms forward and a dumbbell in each hand. As you start to stand, squeeze your glutes as you lift and do a bicep curl that transitions into a shoulder press. Lower your arms back down and repeat. This is a great exercise to do after the towel rows.

Plank up downs with an alternating leg lift

This is a great combination for your triceps, shoulders, core and legs. Begin in a plank position on your elbows and toes. Place one hand onto the floor, extending your arm straight, then do the same with the other so you are now in what seems like a push up position. Hold it here while you now lift up one foot off the floor, using your hamstrings and keeping your pelvis still. Do the other side then lower yourself back into a plank, the same way you came up. Repeat for 60 seconds, switching the lead arm and leg each time.

Side plank, clamshell leg lifts

This is a great exercise for shoulder stability, hip stability and to tone your butt (think JLo booty). Start by lying on your side, resting on your bottom elbow with both of your knees together and bent. Lift your body up, finding your strength through your bottom glute, and as you do, extend your hips forward and lift your top leg up, being careful that you are not extending through your back. Return back to your starting position. You can either do this for 30 seconds each side, or stay here for 2 sets and do a full minute for each leg. 

Reverse Lunge to a push up

This is a great exercise to tone your legs as well as your back, chest, shoulders and triceps. Start by standing with your feet together. Step your right foot back into a reverse lunge, lowering your body right to the floor. Place both hands onto the floor, one on either side of your foot, then step the left leg back putting your into a pushups position. Complete one pushup and then step the left leg forward, standing up tall as you bring your right leg back to its starting position. You can either do 30 seconds on one side then switch, or alternate legs for one minute. If you want to work extra hard, do 60 seconds on one side followed by 60 seconds on the other.

You can do these 5 exercises 2 or 3 times through or add one or two into the routine you are already doing with your other mom workout buddies. Happy Training!