You know you need to work out to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but finding a quick workout for busy moms is easier said than done.
Between your job, taking care of the home, and juggling your kids' activities, where are you supposed to find the time to fit in exercise?
Luckily, we have a quick workout for busy moms below, that can get you feeling and looking in the best shape of your life.
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get a high-quality workout that will improve your fitness.
In fact, a recent study shows that short bouts of activity can be just as beneficial for overall health as more prolonged exercise (1).
There are a number of different approaches to getting in a quick workout.
You can incorporate endurance, strength training, and balance exercises in under a half-hour to target all areas of fitness.
High-intensity interval training is one of the first things people think about when they need to fit in a quick but highly effective workout.
If you’re a busy mom that can’t get to the gym, these are workouts that can even be tailored to do in your own home.
HIIT workouts are a great way to improve cardio fitness and increase strength and power (2).
Bodyweight HIIT: Workout For Busy Moms
If you’re short on time, try this quick HIIT workout that can be done anywhere.
Complete each move for 30 seconds then move right to the next exercise.
High Knees: Stand upright and place your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands near your waist with your palms down.
Drive your right knee up to meet your right hand, then bring it back to the ground. Immediately bring the left knee up to meet your left hand.
Continue to alternate knees with a hopping motion, staying on the balls of your feet.
Jumping Jacks: Stand with your feet together and arms at your side.
In one motion, jump your feet out to the sides and raise your arms above your head.
Immediately reverse the motion back to the starting position.
Continue for thirty seconds.
Butt Kickers: Stand up straight with your legs slightly wider than your hips. Bring your right heel off the floor toward your glutes.
At the same time, match this movement with your left hand coming up towards your shoulder like you’re running.
As soon as your right leg comes back to the floor, bring your left leg up in the same manner. Continue alternating this running motion.
High Knee with Oblique Twist: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your elbows and bring your fists up near your chin.
Drive your right knee up while twisting your torso to the right, bringing your right knee to meet your left elbow.
Immediately repeat with the left knee meeting your right elbow and do this in a hopping motion while staying on the balls of your feet.
Repeat twice through then rest for one minute.
Perform each move for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then move right into the next exercise.
Alternating Jump Lunges: Start in a split stance position, your hands on your hips and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle with your right leg forward.
Lower your left knee toward the ground while bringing your right thigh parallel to the floor.
Push off the ground, jump and switch the position of your legs in mid-air, landing in the lunge position with the left leg forward.
Repeat, switching legs on each jump.
Burpees with Push-Ups: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and place your hands on the floor. Kick back into a push-up position.
Do one push-up. Jump your legs back to a squat and jump up, throwing your hands above your head. Land and repeat.
Squat Jumps: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips to push your butt back and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Explode off the floor and jump as high as you can.
Allow your knees to bend 45 degrees when you land, and then immediately drop back down into a squat, and jump again.
Side to Side Push-Ups: Start in a push-up position.
Move to the right with your right arm and right leg while bending at the elbows to lower your chest to the ground in a push-up.
Extend your arms to return to the top. Then repeat to the left side. Continue alternating sides.
Mountain Climbers: Start in a push-up position. Bring your right knee forward under your chest, then return the leg back.
Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward. Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
Lateral Skaters: Start with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart and arms at the sides.
Bring your left leg behind at a slight angle into a reverse lunge with the front right knee at a 90-degree angle.
Swing the arms in front of that bent knee and leap the back leg forward to switch sides in a skating motion.
Alternate your arms and legs as you switch sides like a speed skater.
Pike Push-Ups: Start in a push-up position and then lift up your hips up so that your body forms an upside-down V.
Keep your legs and arms straight.
Bend your elbows and lower your upper body until the top of your head nearly touches the floor.
Pause, and then push yourself back up until your arms are straight.
Flutter Kicks: Lie on your back and extend your legs up to a 45-degree angle. Keep your arms straight and in line with the floor, palms facing down.
Lift your upper body off the ground. While keeping your legs straight, begin alternating each leg up and down in a flutter motion.
Try to maintain this motion for the entire 30 seconds.
After this 4 minute circuit, rest for 1 minute. Then repeat two more times for a total of 3 sets.
Always make sure to do some gentle stretching following any workout, especially one with high-intensity intervals.
The warm-up and main workout give you a quick 20-minute workout.
With a five minute warm-up and cool down, you can complete a quick and effective workout in just 30 minutes.
If you have less time, you can always decrease the main set to two sets instead of three.
HIIT workouts are great to improve cardiovascular fitness.
Many of the bodyweight moves are great for toning and strengthening the muscles as well.
But you can also get a quick strength training workout that does not require such high-intensity cardio if that happens to be your goal for the day.
By having a workout more focused on resistance training you can focus on form and targeting specific muscle groups.
Quick Strength Training Workout For Moms on the Go
In order to get in an efficient resistance workout, the exercises are arranged as a circuit workout.
By alternating the muscle groups that are being targeted, you can get a full-body strength workout in a limited amount of time.
For this workout, you will need some light dumbbells or resistance bands.
Since you are trying to fit in a quick workout, the focus will be more on light weights and higher reps so that the rest periods can be minimized.
Complete each exercise for 30 seconds each.
- Jog in place
- Jumping Jacks
- Arm Circles-15 seconds forward, 15 seconds backward
Repeat twice through, then rest for one minute before starting the main workout.
This will be performed as a circuit workout. For each exercise, try to perform as many reps as possible (AMRAP) in 30 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then move to the next exercise.
After you complete the circuit, rest for one minute.
Then repeat two more times. In total, the main set will take about 20 minutes.
Since this is being done as a circuit with minimal rest, choose light weights that will allow you to complete the exercises.
You can even just use your bodyweight if you find yourself fatigued, especially towards the end of the workout.
Alternating Bicep Curls: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
Raise the right dumbbell toward your shoulder while simultaneously rotating the back of your hand.
Pause with your palm facing your shoulder, then lower the weight back to the starting position.
Repeat with the left hand. Continue alternating sides.
Alternating Front Lunges with Dumbbells: Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand.
Lunge forward with the right leg while dropping your left knee down toward the ground.
Drive back off your front heel to come back up to standing.
Then lunge forward on the other side, again dropping the back knee down as close to the ground as you can.
Continue alternating sides.
Tricep Kick Backs: Start with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing in towards you.
Keep your back straight with a slight bend in the knees and hinge forward at your waist.
There should be a 90-degree angle formed between your forearm and upper arm.
Bend your elbows to lift the weights until your arms are fully extended. Then lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Press: Begin in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height.
Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Extend your legs back up to a standing position.
Then press the dumbbells overhead by extending the elbows. Return the weights to the shoulders, then repeat.
Dumbbell Bent Over Rows: Start standing while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
Hinge forward until your torso is roughly parallel with the floor.
Bring your elbows up to your torso while bringing your shoulder blades together.
Then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position under control.
Dumbbell Reciprocating Chest Press: Lie on a flat bench, holding a pair of dumbbells. Press both dumbbells into a locked-out position above your chest.
Lower the right dumbbell down to your chest while holding the left arm above your head. Then press the right arm back up.
Then press up the left dumbbell in the same manner and lower back down while keeping the right arm locked. Continue alternating sides.
Calf Raises: Stand on a raised platform or step holding a dumbbell in each hand.
Slowly lower your heels down towards the ground until you feel a slight stretch in your Achilles. Then press back up. Repeat.
Russian Twists: Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest.
Lean back slightly and lift your feet a few inches off the floor. Slowly twist the torso to the left and bring the dumbbell to the left hip.
Return to center, and then slowly twist to the right and bring the weight to the right hip. Continue alternating sides.
Always remember to finish every strength workout, even one of short duration, with some cool-down stretching.
Focus on the muscles targeted during the workout.
Following the above exercises, make sure to stretch out the shoulders, triceps, glutes, and hamstrings.
Quick Workouts With Lasting Results
As you can see, you don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get a great workout. You can get strength, cardio, and balance workouts in quickly.
These exercises will still burn calories and tone your muscles even if you are short on time.
The Fit Mother Project
After you try these quick workouts for busy moms, you have to check out some of the programs offered by the Fit Mother Project.
You will get essential exercise and nutrition advice to get you started on the road to a healthy lifestyle.
If you're looking for a longer plan to keep you accountable for your health and fitness, FM30X is the one for you.
This 30-day program is specifically designed for busy moms who want to lead a healthy lifestyle.
You will receive guidance on nutrition and workouts to help you gain the level of fitness you have always aspired to.
So get started today with these quick exercises for busy moms! Even if you are short on time, there is never an excuse to miss a workout.
Your new friend & health coach,
Writer, The Fit Mother Project
Holly Smith is a board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine and nephrology with a bachelor's degree in dietetics.
A strong interest and passion for health and wellness, Holly is also a NASM certified personal trainer with a performance enhancement specialization.
Holly enjoys long-distance running, competing in Ironman triathlons.
1) Saint-Maurice, P. F., Troiano, R. P., Matthews, C. E., & Kraus, W. E. (2018). Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity and All-Cause Mortality: Do Bouts Matter?. Journal of the American Heart Association, 7(6), e007678. doi:10.1161/JAHA.117.007678
2) Astorino, T. A., Allen, R. P., Roberson, D. W., & Jurancich, M. (2012). Effect of high-intensity interval training on cardiovascular function, VO2max, and muscular force. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26(1), 138-145.