Tabata 1

Here’s to the first workout post!

For about 3 years now my favourite go to workout has been tabata. It’s a high intensity workout that lasts only 20 min.  For me, I like to have my yoga mat and my tabata timer app (free for download on smart phones).  Basically, it’s 4 rounds of 8 repetitions of 4 exercises, each rep lasting 20 seconds, with 10 second breaks between reps, and 1 minute rest between rounds (sounds like a lot right? don’t worry the time flies by!).  Sometimes I do a modified tabata and do alternating exercises per round, especially if it’s something really difficult like push-ups or burpees…but we can get into that another day!  If you choose the right exercises, you can target all your muscle groups and really work your entire body. Tabata is perfect for moms because it’s quick and requires minimal equipment, and even if you get interrupted you can always finish the next round when you get a chance.

Today I’m posting what I was able to do over the weekend – the boss was napping upstairs (window open to hear her just in case!) and sweetie pie pie was playing house on the deck…occasionally joining me on my mat:) You’ll notice I’m not exactly in work out clothes…this is because sometimes I don’t have the time to run up to change, or if I did I would probably end up waking up the napping baby and then really be screwed! But my casual wear usually involves stretchy pants or tights and a tank top underneath my shirts, which allows me to move.

Try this work out and of course, always listen to your body, respect your limits, never push into pain but some fatigue and discomfort is okay!  There is always the option to modify (see descriptions below), or simply take a break if you need it! Remember, this is a high intensity exercise so if you’re just beginning to workout you may want to take it very slowly and monitor things like your heart rate and how you feel overall.  You should always consult your medical practitioner if you have any concerns or questions.  You should also be at least 2 months post-partum to be doing these kinds of exercises.

THE WORKOUT

*Remember, each exercise is one round, to be performed 8 times (reps) for 20 seconds, with 10 seconds break in between.  Take a 1 minute break after you’ve completed one round* {or perhaps a good time to grab your napping baby that has woken up, or switch over a load of laundry…we mommies tend to be multitaskers after all}

1. Mountain Climbers

  • Start in a plank position. Keep the bum low, and imagine a straight line from the tailbone all the way to the crown of your head. Push the ground away from you – don’t let your shoulder blades wing out (stick out of your back).

  • Bring one knee at a time to try to touch the same elbow (e.g. right knee to right elbow) – really squeeze that leg up to try your best to touch the elbow.  Nothing should move except your leg! Keep your back flat, abdominals firing.

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  • Modifications: if it gets to be too much you can try these:
    • Holding the plank without the “climbing” part
    • Bring knees down and hold modified plank
    • Wrist pain? Come down onto your forearms and plank from there instead.

2. Squats

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart or wider, tilt your pelvis forward (i.e. stick your butt out) and sit into a squat.  Keep the chest up and extend through your back (as in, do not round your spine or collapse forward).  A common error that women tend to make is bending only at the knee – you must bend through your hips in order to work your glutes (the lovely butt!). So, flat back but bend through the hips and knees!

    DSC_0519

    how low can you go?

3. Dive Bombers

  • Or as I sometimes call them, “snaking yourself under a fence push ups”.  Start in a downward facing dog position, (imagine you have to snake yourself under a fence) then slowly bend your elbows to sweep your face, chest, then tummy under that imaginary fence.  You will end up in an upward facing dog position.  Then return to the start position by reversing this movement, just barely grazing your tummy, chest, then face along the mat to return to downward facing dog.  This exercise uses a lot of back and shoulder strength.
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    down-dog

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    mid-dog

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    up-dog

  • Modification: perform the same movement from your knees

4. Bridging

  • Lie on your back and keep feet on the mat, knees up, and parallel.  Push into your feel to lift the hips up high.  The further away your feet are from your bum, the more your work your hamstrings (the backs of your thighs).  The closer your feet are to your bum, the more you work your glutes.  So you can choose which area you’d like to target more!  To make this more challenging, do one leg at a time (switching legs each rep) – be sure to keep your hips level.
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bridging

Now, didn’t that feel great? 🙂

post workout hugs

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pie pie’s showing me her table top

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One thought on “Tabata 1

  1. Pingback: work your abs (I) | fit for food mom

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