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Lindsay Dolak
Editor at Aaptiv

10-Minute Workout Routines You Can Do While Baby Naps

As a new mom, there’s not much time to hit the gym. Luckily, there are a bunch of quick 10-minute workouts you can do at home that’ll get you into shape.

New babies bring loads of love and happiness into a mother’s life—but they also bring a lot of responsibility and require near-constant attention, which can pose some challenges for new moms looking to jump back into a workout routine. But don’t let it stop you from trying, especially since regular exercise can be exactly what your body needs to get back to feeling like its old self. “After having a baby, you’re probably busy breastfeeding, pumping, changing diapers and just holding your little one,” says Jaime McFaden, a trainer with Aaptiv, a fitness app offering trainer-led audio workouts you can set based on your fitness goals, how much time you have, the kind of workouts you enjoy and the kind of music that gets you grooving. “Making time to move is good for your body and mind!”

According to McFaden, postpartum exercise comes with a slew of benefits for new moms, including better sleep, better moods, alleviated aches and pains, and a general feeling of normalcy. So it’s worth fitting it in when you can. The key is starting small. Even doing a 10-minute workout while baby naps can make a big difference.

With that in mind, we asked certified pre- and postnatal Aaptiv trainers (and moms!) McFaden and Kira Kohrherr to put together six 10-minute workout routines, ideal for new moms, that you can fit into even the craziest of days. Each mini routine is dedicated to a certain area of the body, like the core or that booty, so you can choose your focus for the day or mix and match for a full body workout as your schedule allows.

Remember, no matter how fit you were before or during pregnancy, your body is different now! Not only are you physically healing from the inside out, but you’re also under new external stresses. (Caring for a newborn is no easy feat.) So go easy on yourself. “Always listen to your body,” McFaden says. “Stay more hydrated than you think you need and be kind to yourself. Rushing into intense workouts right after childbirth can be too harsh on your body.” Most women are cleared for exercise six weeks after delivery, but everyone is different, so talk to your doctor and wait until they give you the green light to start working out again.

In this article:
10-minute ab workout
10-minute arm workout
10-minute butt workout
10-minute leg workout
10-minute full body workout
10-minute cardio workout

10-Minute Ab Workout

The core presents a unique set of challenges post-baby. During pregnancy, physical and hormonal changes cause the thinning and widening of the connective tissue in the abdominal region. This is called diastasis recti, and every pregnant woman experiences this condition to some degree. It takes time for the core to recover, so to avoid further exacerbating things, you should avoid any core movements that involve crunch or contracting the abs.

Before performing any core workouts or movements, talk to your doctor about your personal diastasis experience and work with them to figure out the best course of action for your individual body. When you’re ready for a 10-minute workout that’ll tone your core, perform each ab movement below for the indicated amount of time and repeat the full set once.

Bridge: 1 minute

Begin lying down with your feet planted on the ground and your knees bent toward the sky. Engage your glutes and core and lift your hips up, keeping your shoulders on the ground. Drive through the heels, hold the position at the top, and breathe through your belly. Lower your hips and repeat.

Bridge with leg up: 30 seconds on each side

Perform the bridge exercise again, but this time with your right leg fully extended from the knee. Repeat on the left side.

Knee press: 10 reps

Start on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale and, as you exhale, press your hands into your thighs. As you do this, contract the abs, focusing on wrapping the abdominals around the waist. Hold for five seconds and return to starting position—that’s one rep.

Rotating plank circuit: 2 minutes

Start in a standard plank and hold for 30 seconds. Then, turning to open up your right side, place your left forearm and both knees, bent, on the ground so you’re in a right side plank. Hold this stationary pose or perform hip dips for 30 seconds. Flip into reverse plank (with your chest up and hands behind you on the ground) and hold for 30 seconds. Turning to open up your left side, place your right forearm and knees on the ground so you’re in a left side plank. Hold the pose or perform hip dips for 30 seconds.

10-Minute Arm Workout

If cradling baby isn’t working your arms enough, add this quick 10-minute workout routine to your week. Perform each move for 60 seconds, then take a 15-second rest between moves.

Sitting arms circles

Sit on the floor with your legs crossed in front of you. Engage your core and sit upright. Raise both arms out in a T-formation. Rotate your arms forward in circles the size of a grapefruit. If this circle size is too difficult for you, you can modify it by making a larger circle. Switch directions halfway through the set.

Plank shoulder taps

Begin in a standard push-up position on your toes with your hands stacked under your shoulders. Engage your core and keep your body as still as possible as you lift your right hand and tap your left shoulder. Then lift your left hand to tap your right shoulder. Continue this alternating sequence for the duration of the set.

Seated punches

Sit in a chair with your feet planted firmly on the ground and your back straight. Ball your hands into fists and raise them into a fighter stance so your fists are in front of your shoulders. Punch forward with the right hand and bring it back to the starting position. Punch forward with the left hand and bring it back to the starting position. Punch upward with the right hand and return to start. Punch upward with the left and return to start. Repeat this sequence for the duration of the set.

Tricep dips

Find a couch or place a chair on a mat or other non-slip surface. Face away from the chair and position your hands on the edge with your fingers pointing in toward your back. Extend your legs in front of you, rest on your heels and keep your arms straight. Using only your arms, bend your elbows to lower your body down until your chest is almost level with the seat. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position.

Spider push-ups

Start in a standard push-up position on your toes with your hands stacked under your shoulders. Engage your core to keep your torso straight and steady. If you need to, drop to your knees for an easy modification. Bend your arms and lower your chest to perform a push-up. As you do this, bring your right knee to meet your right elbow. Push up with your arms and return to the starting position. Repeat on the left side. Alternate for the duration of the set.

Side plank

Begin seated on your right side with your right hand on the floor stacked under your shoulder. Extend your legs to the side and stack your feet. Engage your core and press through your feet and right hand to lift your body into a plank position. Hold. Perform this move on your knees instead of your feet if you need a modification. Repeat on the left side.

Wide push-up

Start in a standard push-up position on your toes with your hands stacked under your shoulders. Engage your core to keep your torso straight and steady. If you need to, drop to your knees for an easy modification. Bring your hands slightly beyond shoulder-width. Engage your core and lower your torso to perform a push-up. Push through your hands and fingers to return to the starting position.

Reverse planks

Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place your palms on the floor behind you so they’re under your shoulders with your fingers spread wide. Press into your palms and lift your hips and torso toward the ceiling. Look up to the ceiling, point your toes and keep your arms and legs straight. Squeeze your core and hold.

10-Minute Butt Workout

Target that booty with this 10-minute workout dedicated to lifting and strengthening your back end. Perform each move for the designated number of reps below. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat.

Squat: 20 reps

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your core and lower your body down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, raising your arms straight out in front of you as you do. Pause, then push through your heels to return to starting position.

Side lunge with pulse: 10 reps on each side

Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be pointed forward. Engage your core and gradually shift your body weight to your right leg, bending the knee until it comes to a 90-degree angle and your left leg creates a straight line. Pulse three times. Then push through your right heel to return to center. Alternate sides.

Plie squat: 20 reps

Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be pointed out in 45-degree angles. Place your hands on your hips. Engage your core and squat, keeping your knees aligned with your ankles (your knees shouldn’t move side to side). Squeeze your glutes and stand up.

Forward and back lunges: 10 reps on each side

Stand upright with your hands on your hips. Engage your core and step forward with your right foot until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your left knee is hovering above the ground. Make sure to keep your body upright and your head forward. Press your right heel into the ground, pushing through the leg, and bring your right leg back to return to standing. Then, stand upright with your hands on your hips. Engage your core and step backward with your right foot until your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your right knee is hovering above the ground. Make sure to keep your body upright and your head forward. Press your left heel into the ground, pushing through the leg, and bring your right leg forward to return to standing. That full sequence is one rep. Alternate sides.

In-out squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your core and lower your body down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, raising your arms straight out in front of you as you do. Pause, then push through your heels to return to the starting position. From there, create a wider stance with your feet and squat again. This full sequence is one rep.

Wall sits: 30 seconds (then 30 more after heel raises)

Sit against a wall with your legs at 90-degree angle. Keep your back flush to the wall and hold for 30 seconds. Release, rest and hold for another 30 seconds. Repeat this five times. This works your core and quads.

Heel raises: 20 reps (then 20 more after second wall sit)

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly raise your heels until you reach your tiptoes, then slowly lower back down to the ground. You can use a wall for balance if needed.

10-Minute Leg Workout

We bet you’re on your feet a lot these days. Keep your lower body strong with this quick 10-minute workout targeting your legs. Perform each move for 60 seconds each. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat.

Reverse lunge

Stand with your hands on your hips. Engage your core and step backward with your right foot until your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your right knee is hovering above the ground. Make sure to keep your body upright and your head forward. Press your left heel into the ground, pushing through the leg, and bring your right leg forward to return to standing. Alternate legs.

Plie squat

Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be pointed out in 45-degree angles. Place your hands on your hips. Engage your core and squat, keeping your knees aligned with your ankles (your knees shouldn’t move side to side). Squeeze your glutes and stand up.

Donkey kicks

Begin on all fours with your hands stacked beneath your shoulders and your knees stacked between your hips. Keep your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle, flex the right foot and kick up the knee to hip level. Lower the knee without touching the floor and repeat. Switch sides when you repeat the full set.

Bridge

Begin lying down with your feet planted on the ground and your knees bent toward the sky. Engage your glutes and core and lift your hips up, keeping your shoulders on the ground. Drive through the heels, hold the position at the top, and breathe through your belly. Lower your hips and repeat.

Kick-ups

Begin in a seated position with your legs extending in front of you. Bend your knees and bring your feet to the ground. Place your hands behind you with your fingers pointed in toward your feet. Lift your hips and straighten your arms so your body forms a table position. Your core should be pointed toward the sky. Engage your core and lift your right leg into the air, holding your body steady. Lower the leg and continue alternating sides.

10-Minute Full Body Workout

Feeling particularly busy or bogged down? Work your whole body with this quick 10-minute workout that covers everything from the arms to the abs to the legs. Perform each move for 40 seconds each. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat.

Plie squat with pulses

Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be pointed out in 45-degree angles. Place your hands on your hips. Engage your core and squat, keeping your knees aligned with your ankles (your knees shouldn’t move side to side). Stay low and pulse for five counts. Squeeze your glutes and stand up.

Side lunge to knee lift

Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be pointed forward. Engage your core and gradually shift your body weight to your right leg, bending the knee until it comes to a 90-degree angle and your left leg creates a straight line. Push through your right heel to return to center and, as you do, use the momentum to raise the right leg and kick forward. Bring the foot back to the ground and repeat. Switch sides when you repeat the full set.

Surrender lunges

Stand with your hands behind your head and your elbows wide. Engage your core and bring your right knee to the floor, followed by your left knee. You should be in a kneeling position. Lift your right knee and place the right foot on the ground. Bring the left foot forward too, coming into a deep squat. Push through your heels and come to a standing position. Start on your left side when you repeat the full set.

Side plank

Begin seated on your right side with your right hand on the floor stacked under your shoulder. Extend your legs to the side and stack your feet. Engage your core and press through your feet and right hand to lift your body into a side plank position. Hold. Perform this move on your knees instead of your feet if you need a modification. Repeat the set on your left side.

Reverse table

Begin in a seated position with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your knees and bring your feet to the ground. Place your hands behind you with your fingers pointed in toward your feet. Lift your hips and straighten your arms so your body forms a table position. Your core should be pointed toward the sky. Keep your legs active and press through all 10 toes.

Cat/cow

Begin on all fours, with your shoulders stacked directly above your hands and your hips stacked directly above your knees. Arch your back up, drawing your navel in, and let your head hang to cat. Then, press your belly toward the ground and bring your head and gaze to the sky for cow. Repeat this, alternating cat and cow, for 10 reps. This works your core and helps stretch the muscles in your back and neck.

Bird dog

Start on all fours, with your hands stacked below your shoulders and your knees stacked below your hips. Engage your core and raise your right leg and left arm simultaneously. Fully extend both, keeping your leg at hips height and your arm at shoulder height. Reach and lengthen through the spine. Hold and release. Repeat, alternating sides.

10-Minute Cardio Workout

Get that heart rate up with some modified cardiovascular moves. Use this 10-minute workout as a starting point to work your way up to a more intense cardio routine. Perform each move for 35 seconds each. Rest for one minute and then repeat.

Step-out jacks

Start in a standing position with your arms at your sides. Step your right leg out to the side, raising your arms above your head (as you would in a normal jumping jack). Quickly return the right leg to the starting position, bringing your arms back to your sides. Immediately step your left leg out to the side, raising your arms above your head. Quickly return the left leg to the starting position and lower the arms. Repeat this rapid sequence, creating a fluid side-to-side motion for the duration of the set.

Hamstring curls

Start in a standing position. Raise the right heel off the ground slowly, bringing it toward your glutes. Stay aware of your leg muscles and create resistance by engaging your hamstrings and quadriceps on the way up and as you bring the leg back down. Repeat on the left side, alternating legs throughout the set.

Arm circles with marching in place

Start in a standing position with your arms at your sides. Raise both arms out in a T-formation. Rotate your arms forward in circles the size of a grapefruit. If this circle size is too difficult for you, you can modify the move by making a larger circle. As you perform the arm circles, march in place. Continue this for the full 30 seconds.

Baby burpees

Stand 2 to 3 feet away from the side of a sturdy chair. Make sure the chair is placed on a mat or other non-slip surface. Place your hands on the seat of the chair and walk your feet back, extending your legs, to create a plank position with your body. Keep your feet close together for a more challenging variation or keep them shoulder-width apart for an easier variation. Walk your feet back in toward the chair and return to standing. Alternate leading with your right foot and then with your left foot.

Kangaroo

Stand upright with your arms at your sides. Ball your hands into fists and raise them into a fighter stance so your fists are in front of your shoulders. Punch forward four times, alternating arms. Then engage your core and immediately follow the punches with four kicks forward. Continue this pattern for the duration of the set.

Lateral shuffle

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and bring both hands in front of your chest in a guard position. Take a small shuffle step to the right side and quickly bring your left foot to meet the right. Shuffle right for four steps and then shuffle left for four steps. Continue this pattern for the duration of the set.

Chair squat

Place a chair on a mat or other non-slip surface. Stand about a foot away from the chair, facing away from it. Your toes should face forward and your feet should be hip-width apart. Slowly lower down into a squat, using your arms for balance, until your bottom hits the seat of the chair. Press through the heels and return to standing.

Uppercuts

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Ball your hands into fists, bend your elbows and hold your arms next to your sides. Punch the right fist in an upward motion, bringing the fist to chin level. Switch to the left side, bringing the right hand back to the starting position. Continue to alternate fists until you reach a rhythmic pace.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.

Published January 2019

Plus, more from The Bump:

10 Best Postpartum Workout Moves for New Moms

Lower Body Workouts You Can Do While Baby Wearing

A Feel-Good Full Body Workout To Do With Baby

PHOTO: iStock