TOTAL TIME: 23–25 min
45 seconds on, 15 seconds active rest, repeat 4x, first round warm-up
1. Knee Lift
This is a good way to get the heart rate up without adding a lot of impact. Go as fast as you can maintain form and balance. Make sure you never hold your breath.
- Stand with feet hip width apart and arms above your head in a soft fist.
- Lift your right knee and pull your arms down toward your knee.
- Then repeat with the left knee.
Think of driving your knee to your hands and vice versa.
2. Squat Shuffle Leg Lift
I like squats. Squats have made my butt bigger (okay, chocolate has helped, but I’m sticking with the squats story). They have also made my pelvic floor stronger. Stronger legs means your large muscles can do their job, often sparing your pelvic floor and abdomen from undue pressure.
- Stand on a resistance band, keeping feet hip width apart. Hold the ends in your hands.
- Squat down and step to the right three times while remaining in that squat. Don’t let the band develop slack.
- After three steps, stand up and simultaneously lift your right leg to the side and slightly back. Keep your leg mostly straight to work your outer butt.
- Squat and shuffle in the opposite direction, then lift your left leg and repeat.
Remember, do not overarch your lower back or jut your chest while standing up. Feel the movement start in your feet and move up your legs.
3. Off the Floor Clams
This is an oldie but a goodie for the thighs, hips, abdomen, and pelvic floor. If you feel too much pressure in your pelvic floor, regress to a traditional clam (bottom leg stays on the floor).
- Lie on your side with either your head resting on a straightened arm or resting in your hand (see video) and the other arm on the floor in front of you.
- Bend your knees and keep a straight line from your head through your pelvis. Don’t overarch your back.
- Lift your bottom leg a couple inches off the floor.
- Then, open your knees, but keep your heels pressed together.
- Open and close like a clam.
You can stay on one side for the entire 45 seconds, or switch half way through. If you stay on one side, make sure you alternate every round.
4. Hip Extension Push-Ups
I’ve alway struggled with arm strength, and my diastasis recti hasn’t helped matters. Therefore, I love me some push-ups, even if I’m never going to be super buff woman. I like this version because your butt joins in the action. For variation, you can also turn this into a triceps pushup by keeping your elbows tucked into your side.
- Find an appropriate incline, as high as the wall or as low as the floor.
- Get into a push-up position, then lift your right foot off the ground.
- Keep neutral alignment or a slightly tucked pelvis.
- On the descent, simultaneously push your right foot toward the ceiling, with knee bent.
- As you push-up, simultaneously reverse the hip movement and drive your knee toward your chest.
- Complete a round with the right leg lifted, then switch to the left on the next round.
You can also reverse the movement if that feels more comfortable (knee toward chest on descent, foot toward ceiling on ascent). Remember, the abs and pelvic floor should be coordinated with the movement. Inhale on the descent and gently release your abs and pelvic floor (but not too much because you are still working). Exhale on the ascent, contracting your abs and pelvic floor. DO NOT LET YOUR LOWER BACK OVER-ARCH.
5. Fake Jump
Whenever I join a group exercise class, I always modify the jumping. Sometimes I feel silly, but I know I can still get a good workout without compromising injured structures.
This exercise is simple. Pretend like you are going to jump off the floor with your arms overhead, but don’t actually do it. Hence, the name “fake jump.”
- Stand with feet hip width apart and arms at your side.
- Lower into a squat and swing your arms behind you.
- Swing your arms above your head, straighten your legs, and push-up to your tippy toes.
- Return to starting and repeat.
- Keeping breathing as you pick up the pace!
1. Squat and Pull Back
Squat as deeply as you can maintain control. As you push back up, pull back your elbows to stretch your chest muscles. Don’t let your shoulders creep upward.
2. Hip Hinge
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Bend at the waist and hinge forward with arms straight. To deepen the stretch, you can hold onto a counter or chair. Feel the stretch in your shoulders, back, glutes, and hamstrings. You can make the stretch dynamic by standing back up and hinging forward over and over.
3. Chest and Shoulder Stretch on Wall
Stand with your right side facing a wall. Lift your right arm behind you and put the palm of your hand against the wall, keeping the arm straight. Step forward slightly to feel the stretch in your chest. Slightly rotate away from the wall to vary the stretch.
4. Side Reach
Stand with feet hip width apart. Side lunge to the right, keeping your feet straight ahead. Lift and stretch your arms to the right. Return. Repeat on the left.
5. Floor Pelvic Lunge
Lunge with one knee forward and the other knee on the floor. Push your pelvis forward and then return to neutral. Repeat this 10–12x before switching legs.
Watch the Video
That’s it for CIRCUIT 3!