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I must admit it… I enjoy working out! But as a Mama Bear with 5 littles, it is sometimes hard to find the time! My go-to is during nap time, but lately, Baby Bear has been taking naps in short bursts and inevitably I am finding myself interrupted after about 10 to 15 minutes into my work out! What am I to do?

My Inspiration

One of my favorite work outs is Burn Fat and Boost Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. I love the kick boxing elements, the circuit training, and the fact that short bursts of high intensity moves with rest (High Interval Intensity Training) are so effective when it comes to burning fat and boosting your metabolism. It is a win-win situation.

I do also intersperse my workout routine with Pilates style workouts- mainly Long and Lean Prenatal by Susanne Bowen. She has a postpartum ab segment I enjoy as well as the surprisingly challenging prenatal segments. I like the change of pace, but she also uses circuit training in her routine as well.

So when I was faced with the dillema- quit working out or find a shorter routine- I knew what I must do. I pulled from my two favorite DVDs (as well as from my husband’s favorite workout- You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren) and set to work making my own 15 minute workout. It was fun to create and equally fun to execute!

The Work Out

I decided to make 15 circuts. Each Circuit is 1 minute long. We do a movement intensely for 20 seconds then rest for 10. The movement is then repeated for another 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. The work out starts standing with weights, moves to the mat, and finishes with standing work. I found that the back and forth helps to break it up a bit, and repeating each movement twice keeps it at a sane pace.

Circuit 1- Side Leg Lifts with Shoulder Raises

For this circuit I hold my small 1# weights to add just a bit of extra resistance. Standing with feet shoulder width apart, Lift your right leg while raising both arms straight out up to your shoulders. Lower and repeat with alternating legs. Continue for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, repeat circuit and after second rest, move directly to Circuit #2.

Circuit 2- Step Ups

Again holding my weights, I step up onto a stool/ottoman etc, leading with my right leg. Step up and down for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for 20 seconds, this time leading with the left leg. After 10 seconds of rest, move on to Circuit #3.

Circuit 3- Squats

With weights in hand and feet about should width apart, squat down low and then raise back up. Repeat for 20 seconds. After your 10 second rest, repeat the 20 seconds of squats. Following the 2nd set of 10 seconds rest, it is time for #4.

Circuit 4- Mountain Climber

This circuit takes us to on the floor/mat. Mountain climbers… basically they are a sprinting movement on the floor with alternating legs. Continue intensely for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat and then move on.

Circuit 5- Plank Twist

Starting in a plank position, twist your right knee up to the left side (kinda aiming for your armpit). Return to plank and twist your left knee to the right side. Continue alternating legs for 20 seconds. Take a 10 second break and repeat. Breathe deep and take your 10 seconds to prep for #6!

Circuit 6- Push ups

To be honest, this is one of my least favorite circuits. Begin with normal pushups- hands shoulder width apart. Either on your knees or your feet (if you can). Do as many pushups as you can in 20 seconds. Take 10 seconds to breathe and prep for diamond pushups. With your hands forming a diamond, do as many pushups as you can in 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds (you earned it!) and move to circuit 7.

Circuit 7- Donkey Kicks

Donkey kicks are when you raise your leg full range of motion. While in hands and knees position, kick one leg out and draw back in (knee to your chest). Start with your right leg and continue for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and then switch to the left leg for 20 seconds. Breath for 10 seconds while moving into plank position.

Circuit 8- Walking Planks

From a plank position move to your forearms. One arm down then the other, and then back up. Repeat for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat walking planks, this time leading with the other arm. Continue 20 seconds and rest for 10.

Circuit 9- Bridges

Move to your back. Plant your feet hip width apart. Slowly raise and lower your abdomen/hips up and down for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. For the 2nd set of 20 seconds, I like to reverse plank it… hold the “bridge” for 20 seconds, keeping abs tight. Rest for 10 seconds and move on to #10.

Circuit 10- Ab circles

With your hands behind your head (and feet still planted), slowly raise your head/upper body and circle it around. Continue for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and then repeat the reverse direction for 20 more seconds. Take your 2nd 10 second break while get ready for the last standing sections.

Circuit 11- Burpees

The beloved burpees! From a standing position, drop to a crouch. Jump your feet back into a plank. Jump them forward into a crouch. Jump up to a stand. (If you are able, do a jump at the top before going back into your crouch). Keep repeating for 20 seconds. Breathe for 10 seconds and then back into it for a second round. Move on to #12.

Circuit 12- Skaters

I love these… they are a breeze after burpees! Swinging your arms with your legs, “skate” left and right. Jump/hop from side to side with the alternating leg swinging behind the leg to whose side you skated. 20 seconds active, 10 rest. Repeat then proceed.

Circuit 13- Knee Crunch

As Jillian says “An oldie but a goodie”. This one we do 20 seconds with one leg and switch the 2nd 20 seconds on the other. Reach your arms to the right with leg in a side lunge. “Crunch” your knee up to your elbow and your elbow to your knee. Repeat for the 20 seconds then switch sides.

Circuit 14- Step Back Crunch

For this one, your arms are raised above your head and one leg steps back. Crunch the leg up into your abdomen as you pull your hands down. Reset and switch with other leg. Continue intensely for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat. Move to last circuit.

Circuit 15- Jog in Place

Perhaps the easiest of them all… Jog in place for 60 seconds. And then take a deep breathe…. you are DONE!

I’m short on time!

If I am REALLY short on time, I will often only do the first 10 circuits and drop off the last 5 circuits. This allows me to still get a decent workout in and fits more easily into severe time crunch situations. Find what works for YOU and simply DO IT!

In Summary

That is it! 15 minutes of intense training to fit into a busy mom schedule! Now, DISCLAIMER, I am not a doctor or licensed medical professional. This is MY routine that I use. If it works for you great! If not, find what does work for you!

My biggest take away for you is to be ACTIVE! Find ways to keep moving! IF you don’t have time for a dvd or the gym, then just be sure you DO SOMETHING! Take one day and one moment at a time and make the best of it!

Next week we will be at 16 weeks postpartum… get ready for my next journey update! You can read about my previous postpartum weight loss update HERE. Until next time- keep on you Mama Bears!

1 Comment

Postpartum Weight Loss Journey- Week 16 - Mama Bear Motherhood · December 21, 2022 at 2:27 pm

[…] Has anything changed in my exercise? Yes… walking has stopped because of the cold winter weather (can’t take baby out for a walk in the cold and wind). He also hasn’t been cooperating with my lengthy workouts so I have had to start doing more short burst/HIIT workouts. You can read about my new routine HERE. […]

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