Family Fitness: 20-Minute Interval Workouts
I have two boys under 3. Despite how much I might have been a fitness fan in my pre-baby life, maintaining a die hard fitness routine is not in the cards for me right now. That doesn’t mean, though, that I’ve given up hope entirely on an exercise regimen. I’ve just shifted priorities a bit.
These days, my workouts are shorter, quieter, and often at home. M and I do most exercising before the boys wake up on weekdays or during their naps on the weekends. Sometimes the boys wake up before we finish or their naps don’t overlap on the weekend. Consequently, we’ve developed a few interval training workouts we can do in our living room or on our apartment building’s common outdoor patio space (which includes a small track) while the boys are awake and with us. While we won’t be winning Fitness Guru of the Year awards, these workouts help us stay active while jugging work and parenting.
Workout Session Framework
In general, we create workouts within a framework defined by the following:
- 4-5 exercises per round.
- Each exercise lasts either 30 seconds or a set number of reps (whichever makes sense based on the particular exercise).
- We start each exercise in a round on the next minute. In other words, I start the first exercise at the beginning of minute 1. When I finish my set of that particular exercise, I rest for any extra time before the beginning of minute 2. As minute 2 begins, I start a set of exercise number 2.
- 4 -5 rounds to arrive at a total of 20 minutes of movement.
- Limited equipment, thus we mostly rely on exercises using our own body weight. We have a TRX, a resistance band, and two kettlebells of different weights that we occasionally use, but not much else.
I’ve included three specific workouts we do that target different fitness goals. All of them fit within the framework, and we’ve done each of them while the boys either play with toys or join in for some fun.
3 Sample 20-Minute Workouts at Home
- 10 Push-ups (I do mine on an incline or on my knees; M does regular ones.)
- 3 deep lunges with rotation on each side (Start in plank pose on your hands as opposed to your elbows, bring your right foot to the outside of your right hand, lift your right hand up toward the sky and twist so your chest faces your right knee. Repeat on your left side.)
- 10 TRX rows (I don’t do mine quite as inclined as the video, but find your comfortable place.)
- 10 TRX basic push-ups
- 10 Kettle bell rows on each side
- 5 side lunges on each side
- 30 seconds resistance band side steps
- 10 one-legged squats with TRX (or two-legged if not able to do one-legged)
- 30 second plank
- 3 deep lunges (like I explained above)
4-6 burpees each minute starting at the beginning of each minute. Thus, the faster you do them, the more rest time you earn between sets. I can only get through about 7-8 rounds. When I can’t go any longer, I hold planks for 30 seconds.
When I do these workouts, I don’t finish with sweat dripping down my face feeling like I’m gonna die. That’s a really great target for some, but not my goal with these. The interval nature allows us a few seconds between exercises to deal with any baby issues if they are awake. Some of the sets we can do outside while the boys play on the track or the patio.
Let’s be honest too. I’ve spent the last four years being pregnant, having babies, and recovering from having babies. I’m slowly but surely returning to a fitness routine, slowly being the key.
What I Wear
I have found that a little new exercise gear re-energizes my motivation a bit as well. I didn’t really buy much for myself during my two pregnancies, so I’m just starting to invest in some new attire.
I snagged the shirt at a thrift store. I have a major crush on this neon yellow color.
I received the pants from RBX Active just as I intended to refresh my summer workout gear. Stellar timing (not to mention the notes of my beloved neon yellow among the shades of gray). They fit quite well and are a great quality. Like any effective workout pant, they wick away moisture and provide four-way stretch for great comfort and performance.
I’ve been trying a few new brands of workout apparel as I restock my “gym locker,” and these are among my favorites so far. I really like the well-finished edges and seams and the double layered waistband, which I haven’t found on all the brands I’ve tried as of late.
If you’re in the market for a new addition to your workout wardrobe, these are definitely worth consideration. I found them comparable in quality to any high end brands that generally come to mind despite being markedly less expensive. Through July 31, 2015, get 25% off using the code ACTIVE25 on the RBX Active website. As I continue to round out my updated workout attire, I’ll certainly have a pair of these in another color on my list for consideration.
I just bought the shoes last week following a recommendation from my brother-in-law. I’ve always liked Adidas shoes and wore them almost exclusively for tennis during my competitive years on the court. These Adidas Pure Boost Chill Shoes are really nice. They’re super light weight and have a nice cushy sole. They run a bit large. I’m almost always an 8.5 and ordered that size accordingly. They’re a bit big but not so much so that it’s worth returning. My brother-in-law did exchange his for a smaller size finding they ran big in men’s too. If you’re between sizes, definitely size down.
So that’s that.
A little interval training and some refreshed exercise gear keep us on track (no pun intended) with reasonable fitness goals. Balancing work, family, and a bit of TLC for ourselves isn’t always easy. We can’t be the best in every category of life, but that doesn’t mean we can’t participate. I’m not winning Crossfit competitions (and don’t even want to, to be honest). But every little bit helps, and exercising with the boys makes us good role models of physical fitness.
What do you do to squeeze in a few fitness moments for yourself? I’d love to hear in the comments. Also, if you want a steady flow of ideas for working out at home and/or with children around, check out my Health and Fitness Pinterest Board. I regularly add new ideas and don’t waste space including complicated regimens for which I’ll never find time or motivation. If quick and streamlined is your workout jam, the board might be right up your alley. I’d love for you to follow along!
Love this post! I’m all about the quick & efficient workouts (and quiet ones definitely help so as not to wake the baby!) LOVE those capris and the top matches perfectly!
Thanks! I think you’ve shared some ideas like this so I’ll have to be sure to try them too. 🙂