5 Easy-to-Do Exercises You’ll Actually Want To Try

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By Micky Marie Morrison, PT, ICPFE, Contributing Writer
Updated March 2, 2017
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Image: Shutterstock / The Bump

Need a quick energy boost?This short circuit of five exercises is a great way to rev up your metabolism and get a full body workout in a few minutes (because, let’s face it, all you really have most days is just that: five minutes).

The low-impact version of each exercise is appropriate for beginners and prenatal moms. If you’re pregnant, the low-impact variation provides a great workout while still being bump-friendly and if you’re a new mom start with the low-impact version and work your way up to the more difficult series.

Do 10 reps of each exercise without stopping for rest between exercises. Rest for 10 full breaths in child’s pose after you finish then repeat at least once more! Work your way up to 4 or 5 sets of this circuit for a great workout.

1. Jumping Jacks: Inhale as you lift your arms out the sides and up over head while jumping the legs apart, exhale to bring the arms down to your sides and jump your legs together. (Low-impact variation: Wide leg squats- Standing with feet open wide and reaching upward toward the corners of the room, exhale to bend the knees deeply as you )

2. Jumping Lunges: Start by stepping one foot forward to a high lunge position (both heels down). Exhale as you jump the back foot forward and the front foot back. Count one rep when you return to starting position and have done the lunge on both legs. (Low-impact variation: Instead of jumping, exhale as you step the right foot forward and dip the left knee down toward the floor just a few inches, Inhale to step the right foot back. Repeat with left leg forward to complete one rep)

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3. Plank Jacks: From plank position (the top of a push up), jump your feet open wide as you exhale then jump them back together as you inhale. Keep hips down in line with your body and draw the belly button inward throughout the exercise. (Low-impact variation: Don’t jump feet apart, instead step one foot at a time out then one foot at a time back in).

4. “Girls” Push Ups: From Plank position, drop your knees, keeping hips in line w/ the body and elbows close to the sides, exhale to lower your chest toward the floor, inhale back up to starting position. (Low-impact variation- Do only 5 reps)

5. Bicycle Abs: Lying on your back with both knees bent and shins parallel to floor, press your low back flat into the floor and exhale as you take the right leg straight while bringing the right elbow to the left knee and the knee to the elbow. Count one rep when you return to starting position and have done the bicycle on both legs. (Low-impact variation: Keep your head and shoulders on the floor and hands resting by your sides).

If you are looking for motivation to get and stay on track with your 2014 fitness goals, look no further: Join our 22 Days of Health Challenge for daily tasks and to chat with other moms trying to start the new year off right with a focus on health and wellness.

How do you stay fit with a baby to care for (or a baby on the way)?

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