As much as we all are missing the gym, (goodbye child care while I work out) it seems like a whole new world has opened up for fitness lovers: the realm of at-home workouts. Always around but often ignored by some, there is a major rise in the amount of content and types of workouts to do while home. And working out at home is a must for busy moms.
The big advantage here is being able to exercise on YOUR time, whether that’s before the kids wake up or while they are playing or watching a movie.
Expect to be interrupted a few times, but this fitness lover loves the fact that my kids see me working out and want to take part as well.
No matter how busy we are as moms, it’s important to make our health a priority—especially now. From mental sanity from burning off stress and doing something to make me feel good to keep off quarantine and post-pregnancy weight while gaining strength and muscle, exercising regularly is a must.
For this fitness lover, I have been doing lots of running since the spring and been using the summer months to focus on strength training and HIIT workouts.
My workouts have helped me improve my endurance and average pace while leaving me slimmed down and enjoying those muscle gains.
*I am a certified running coach, but keep in mind my workouts are tailored for my personal fitness level. Consult your coach, instructor, or reach out to me for more personalized training plans!
Before every run, I do a series of dynamic stretched to get my muscles warmed up and ready to work.
Frankensteins —> duration: 30-seconds
With a straight leg, use your core to raise it out in front, using the opposite arm (straight out) to touch the toes. Alternate sides. Stand tall and don’t bend at the hips.
Butt Kickers —> duration: 30-seconds
Jog in place, but aim to get the heel back to reach the glutes.
Walking Lunges —> duration: 30-seconds
Just like a standard lunge, but more forward instead of staying in place. Make sure to engage the hamstring and glutes instead of relying on the quads.
Jump Squats —> duration: 30-seconds
Follow proper form of a traditional squat, keeping back flat, hinging at the hip and pushing the butt back and down as if taking a seat. When raising up, pushing from the heels and jump up in the air with a straight body then lower back into a squat. These are great for power.
Hip Flexor Stretch —> 10 reps on each side
Standing up straight, flex the hip so that the knee comes up to the chest while swinging the alternating arm upward. Lower the leg and repeat on each side.
Side Shuffle With Touchdowns -> duration: 60-seconds
Shuffle to the left a few steps, then touch down to the ground. Shuffle to the other side.
Run #1: Half Mile Repeats
Total miles: 3
Start off with a mile at conversational pace. I often do these runs with the double jogging stroller, so I use the time to ease into the workout and loosen up.
Then I do 1/2 mile speed work, running 5k pace for half a mile then back to conversational pace for 1/2 mile. Repeat x2.
Then cool down at conversational pace for 1 mile.
*Tip! Use your Garmin to program this workout so you then when to push the pace!
Run #2: Fartlek For Fun
Total time: 45-minutes
These are my favorite types of workouts to do with the kids in the jogging stroller. Instead of focusing on mileage or pace, I aim for time. I keep these to 45-minutes because that’s the ideal time to be able to push the pace, yet not too long where the kids get bored or I’m out of energy.
Start with a conversational, easy pace for a mile. I like to do my fartlek runs unstructured so I basically just run fast (fartlek means “speed play”) to a random object like a neighbor’s mailbox or sprint to the end of the dead-end street. Then back to easy pace and speed up again. I try to have at least 4-5 bursts of speed within 10 minutes, with each speed increase lasting 30-60-seconds depending on how I’m feeling.
Then cool down for a few minutes—usually the last 5-minutes of the workout.
Run #3: Intervals
Running intervals is one of my favorite workouts. These mirror HIIT full-body workouts that I also love that are done to get your heart rate up and body to burn fat. The idea is short intervals done at a higher speed with short recovery time. These are my favorite to do on the treadmill as the kids play in the playroom (where my treadmill is stationed) because these are quick workouts.
Total time: 25-30 minutes
Warm-up for five minutes at a comfortable pace. Then start the intervals.
- Interval 1: 2-minutes at 5k pace, recover for 1-minute at tempo pace
- Interval 2: 2-minutes at 1-mile pace, recover for 1-minute at tempo pace
- Interval 3: 2-minutes at 1-mile pace, recover for 30-seconds at tempo pace
- Interval 4: 3-minutes at 5k pace, recover for 30-seconds at tempo pace
- Interval 5: 4-minutes at 5k pace, recover for 30-seconds
- BONUS: 1 minute at 1-mile pace
Treadmill Speed For Beginners
HIIT At-Home Workouts
HIIT workouts are great because they can be done anywhere and even without equipment. This makes it perfect for an at-home workout.
HIIT workouts raise heart rate which then produces excess post-oxygen consumption, which then increases metabolism so that you are burns more calories during and post-workout. Because these workouts are anaerobic, the body taps into its fat stores for fuel.
For runners, it also helps the body to learn to get rid of waste like lactate acid, increasing VO2 max which increases running performance.
Always start with a warmup of at least 5-minutes, and a 5-minute cooldown.
For the workout itself, there is a total of 3 circuits with each circuit consisting of 2 sets of the same exercises for that round. This particular at-home HIIT workout includes strength training—which is something I’ve really been focusing on this summer. Combining cardio and strength training helps to burn fat, increase endurance and power—all great things for runners.
Exercises are done with 45-seconds of work and 15-seconds of rest for each one.
- Upper Body Twists
- Jog in place
- Jumping Jacks
- Leg Extensions
- Butt Kickers
- Wind Mills
Complete this 20-minute workout then take 5-minutes to cool down by doing some static stretches and deep breathing.
*Please be advised that while That Runner Mom is preparing to take her PT exam, she is not yet a certified personal trainer. The above HIIT workout is based on common exercises I do at-home after working with my own team for proper form, and is based on my level of fitness. Always consult your doctor before starting a new workout program. Work with a trainer to avoid injury.
Preparing For The Workout
The one thing moms know is that planning is everything. This means laying out clothes the night before, knowing what park to workout in or what running route is best, and having the perfect playlist ready to go.
Staying at home so much, this mom basically lives in workout clothes. But when going for a run I need the best moisture-wicking tights that don’t slide down, running shoes built for speed, and—more often than not—my kids dressed and ready to get out there with them in tow.
Here are some of the workout gear I can’t leave home or workout at-home without:
As a runner, I am constantly on a shoe kick. Runners need to replace their shoes every 300 to 500 miles, which is why I always have a few on rotation at a given time to increase its shelf life.
I love the Adidas Solar Glide ST for both short and long runs. It’s lightweight so fast but brings its A-game in the stability department while still being comfortable for the long run.
Another great running sneaker I run in is the Adidas Solar Boost 19. These are my go-to shoes when going for a long run. It is a lightweight, but still provides the support needed with responsive cushioning for comfort. The midsole has a feature called Energy Rail that guides the foot which leads to more efficient stride.
It’s important that workout clothes are functional yet stylish for me, I like to look my best to feel my best. I also believe in buying high-quality products that are made to last. This is why I workout in options like Own The Run Tights, which are ideal for running or HIIT workouts. Hitting the pavement during the summer I wear Adidas’ Marathon 20 shorts. These are so lightweight and breathable that I can’t recommend them enough. I often wear these to the park with the kids or when running errands, too.
After some serious mileage, my feet need to breathe and relax. That’s why I love Adidas Slides. These slides are a staple for everyday wear. Plus I love a fun color and print!
My kids are often dressed the part for my workouts. My toddler lives in tracksuits that are perfect for running around the house, or soccer practice and for running with me.
I also can’t leave out the baby! I am a sucker for matching them for sports activities!
Tips For Working Out With Kids
Before I jump into the workouts, let me give some tips to making it through a run or workout with the kids.
SNACKS ARE A MUST
Runners, you need to pack snacks! I make sure to bring a few of my kids’ favorite snacks, gummies, and granola bars for my 3-year-old and teething cookies and puffs for the baby. Make sure to bring juice or water in sip cups, and I like to bring along the insulated options so that the water stays nice and cold on a hot day.
Nothing distracts better than snacks when out for a long workout.
PACK A BAG
I have a separate gym/diaper bag for outdoor workouts. This includes a large portable changing pad and diapers and wipes. It also has baby sunscreen, natural bug repellent, snacks, drinks, and some small toys. I also have my post-workout snack and water.
I also leave a pair of dumbbells and a yoga mat in my car at all times. I never know when I’m going to end up at a park and want to get a quick workout in.
A great tip a fitness mom friend shared is to spray the bottom of the jogging stroller and wheels with bug spray. This keeps bugs like ticks away without having the spray where the babies sit. This is a must for me when doing my bootcamp stroller workouts at the park.
LET THE KIDS OUT
If I’m going for a solo run with the kids in the jogging stroller I made sure to run at a park. Pre-COVID I would do my mileage then let the kids run around the playground and swing. Now I typically stay in my home’s development and used the grassy areas to let them out and run about. This allows for all of us to get some exercise in.
TIME IT RIGHT
I also time my workouts so that the kids take their nap while pushing them for a run. Or at least the baby is napping while I do a HIIT workout at home. I make sure kids are fed so they aren’t cranky and get their favorite toys out and a movie if they are awake during my workout. I learned to not stress if I have to take a break to nurse, go a diaper change, or grab something. It’s part of being a mom!
*Disclaimer: Adidas reached out to That Runner Mom for at-home workout ideas. All opinions and recommendations are my own. That Runner Mom was not paid to write this post and is not a spokesperson for the company. This blog only suggests products and brands that personally are bought and used.
All these at-home workouts are designed to be fast yet effective so that busy moms can get back to other daily tasks without feeling guilty about taking the time to work on fitness goals. I recommend runners getting in three runs a week and strength train at least twice a week. One of those workouts can include a HIIT + strength training workout, or feel free to swap one weekly run for a HIIT workout.