TOTAL TIME: 22-25 min
45 seconds on, 15 seconds active recovery, repeat 4x, first round warm-up
1. Toy Soldier to Puppet
This is an odd looking, yet low impact, combo that works your outer thighs, abdominals, and, well, a lot of other muscles too.
- Toy Soldier: stand with feet hip width apart and hands at sides.
- Kick your right foot forward, keeping the foot flexed and your torso straight.
- At the same time, swing your left arm around to try and touch your right foot.
- Repeat on the other side, pretending like you are a marching toy soldier.
- Make sure to keep your legs straight.
- Only go as fast as you can maintain natural breathing and control of the pelvic floor and abdomen. Make sure to keep your torso erect.
- Do a 4 count of the Toy Soldier, then move into the Puppet.
- Puppet: Bend your right knee and right arm and bring them together on your right side (similar to a standing side crunch). Immediately do the same on the other side.
- The movement has a flow; as one side goes up, the other side goes down.
- Do a 4 count of the Puppet, and then go back to the Toy Soldier for a 4 count, and so on.
2. Around the World Lunges
Don’t try to rush the lunges, but keep up a good pace.
- Stand with feet hip width apart. Lunge forward. Return to starting.
- Next, lunge sideways. Return.
- Next, perform a curtsy lunge. Return.
- Last, lunge backward. Return.
- Switch legs.
Your arms can do whatever you want. Mine naturally bend like I’m faux running.
3. Motherfigure Up and Overs
I’ve seen a lot of different versions of up and overs, ranging from hand stands to crazy plyometric jumps. This version will get your heart rate up without overdoing the intra-abdominal pressure.
- Do a side lunge to the right and point straight arms toward your left shin.
- Hop to the center and bring your arms up and over (hence the name), landing in a side lunge on the left side and your arms pointing to your right shin.
If you have prolapse or pelvic floor disorder, only make the side lunge as wide as feels comfortable.
4. Incline Plyometric Push-Ups
Adding a plyometric push makes the traditional push-up into a cardio exercise.
- Find an appropriate incline that will allow you to maintain the integrity of the contraction in your pelvic floor and abdomen. This could mean a wall, countertop, or ottoman.
- Keeping a neutral line from head to feet, perform a push-up.
- As you move upward, push off the surface.
- Land gently, maintaining control of your torso and arms. Make sure momentum doesn’t do all the work for you.
5. Oil Drill Squat
I’ve never actually seen an oil drill, but I imagine it looks something like this. I also saw a children’s production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in which the Oopma Loompas did a version of this squat. I immediately incorporated it into my workouts. It works your legs as well as your back. Win, win.
Level 1: Feet flat on floor and no weights
Level 2: Lift to toes and add weights
- Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart and toes pointed at a 45 degree angle. Point your arms between your legs.
- Squat down. Stand back up and pull your arms up and back. Use the muscles in your mid and upper back.
- Squat back down and lower your arms between your legs.
Feel free to play with the tempo.
5 Stretches for 30 seconds each:
1. Side Wave
Stand with feet wider than hip width apart, your left foot pointed away from you and your right foot pointed forward (think yoga triangle). Lift your right arm over your head and toward your left side. You will feel the stretch along your right side. In a fluid motion, lower your right arm to your side and lift your left arm up over your head, feeling the stretch in your left side. Keep alternating arms, then switch sides. If you have diastasis recti, I’d be careful not to overstretch the torso. Do this by keeping the torso mostly erect and initiating the stretch with your arms. Also, tuck your pelvis a little if you feel too much of a stretch.
2. Standing Figure 4
Stand with feet hip width apart. Lift your right foot on top of your left thigh, creating the figure 4 with your legs. Sit back into an imaginary chair to deepen the stretch. Switch sides. Make sure to hold on to something if you keep losing your balance.
3. Chest Opener
Stand tall. Then, tuck your chin and round your upper back a little, stretching your arms straight in front of your chest with palms facing each other. Next, swing your arms backward, opening up your chest. You can keep the hands above shoulder height or at shoulder height. Return to starting and repeat.
4. Toes Up the Wall
Stagger your feet. Press your right toes against a wall, heel on the floor. Lean towards the wall to deepen the stretch in your calves. Switch sides.
Hold onto a wall for support if needed. Stand feet hip width apart. Grab your right foot with your right hand and press toward your butt. Try dipping the torso forward a little, then rocking back to neutral. Switch legs.
Watch the Video
That’s it for CIRCUIT 2!