Tag Archives: 20 Minute Workout

Magic Five Workout – Exercises for Busy Moms

Five moves you can do on even the busiest of days!

My clients are busy moms like you with almost zero personal time.

I’m often asked, “What are the best exercises to do when I can’t fit in a full workout?”

I’m happy to share some speedy actions you can take to improve your fitness, even when you’re juggling all the responsibilities of motherhood and beyond.

Magic Five Exercises:  I recommend these moves for maximum calorie burn as they hit major muscle groups, keeping your heart rate up.

Wall Squat: works quads, glutes, hamstrings

  • Back against wall, arms up in goal post, lower down so legs are at 90 degree angle, weight in heels.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds
  • Advanced: Lift 1 foot off ground and straighten leg out (30 sec)
  • Both feet on ground (30 sec)
  • Lift other foot off ground (30 sec)
  • Both feet on ground for final push – how long can you hold it?

Push-Ups: works chest, arms, core

  • On toes, knees or even on the wall, complete as many as you can to fatigue

Lunges: works legs, butt

  • Stand with one leg forward, put weight on the front foot
  • Bend knees keeping front knee over the ankle
  • Repeat bend and straighten for up to 15 reps – you can add a static hold in the bent position for more challenge
  • Rest 30-60 sec. then complete reps on the other side

Plank:  works core

  • Lie on belly, place forearms on floor and lift body off the floor so you’re in a straight line from head to toe
  • Keep knees on floor to make it easier
  • Hold for as long as you can, aiming for 30-60 sec.

Bird Dog: works core

  • On hands & knees, R arm extended + L leg extended & hold for 20 seconds.  Switch sides. Repeat each side again.
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Spring Tune Up 20-Minute Workout

  • Warm-up for 3 minutes before starting the workout.
  • Do 10-15 reps of each muscle conditioning move.
  • Move quickly to your cardio boosts between muscle conditioning moves to keep heart rate elevated.
  • Cool down and stretch for at least 3 minutes at the end of the workout.

1. Wall Squat: works legs

  • Arms in goalpost position, stand against wall
  • Walk legs out so you’re in a sitting position, pressing back against wall, knees bent at 90 degree angle
  • 30 sec. (option to add: lift R leg 30 sec. + lift L leg 30 sec. + 30 sec. both legs on floor)
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2. Cardio Boost: Jumping Jacks (30-60 seconds)

3. Lunge & Power Glute Lift: works legs, glutes

  • R leg forward in lunge position, keeping knee at 90 degree angle over ankle
  • Lower into lunge, pulse at bottom x3 then push off front foot, extending back leg & squeezing glute
  • Lower back leg to floor and move back into low lunge/pulse • Complete R side then L
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 4. Cardio Boost: Kick Bum Run (30-60 seconds)

 5. Push-up Series: works chest & cardio endurance

  • 8 push-ups + 30 sec. plank jacks
  • 8 push-ups + 30 sec. mountain climbers
  • 8 push-ups + 30 sec. squat thrusts
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 6. Cardio Boost: Jump Twists (feet jump corner to corner while arms swing opp. way) (30-60 seconds)

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 7. Side Tri Push-up: works back of arm

  • Lie on side, hips stacked, top arm 90 degree angle at chest height, pushing palm into floor
  • Bottom arm reaches under to hold top tricep
  • Push-up on bottom hand to lengthen arm and lift torso off floor. Release.  Do reps then switch sides.
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 8. Cardio Boost: Knees Up (30-60 seconds)

 9. Inner Thigh Squat with Scapula Squeeze: works legs, upper back & shoulders

  • Wide stance, toes pointed out, push knees to back wall
  • Arms out to side
  • Bend knees, lowering into squat, bring arms into body, squeezing shoulder blades together
  • Release out of squat, moving arms back to side
  • 2 counts down & 2 counts up (option w/ tube or weights)
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 10.  Cardio Boost: Frog Jumps – Inner thigh squat low, jump forward 2 x’s and back 2 x’s, staying low in squat.  Take off and land on balls of feet (30-60 seconds)

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 11.  All 4’s Boost:  works arms, legs & core

  • Start on all 4’s, lift knees so shins off ground
  • Straighten legs as if moving into downward dog, while lifting R leg off ground & pushing up to ceiling
  • Head comes between arms and hips are lifting to the sky. Do reps and repeat L
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 12.  Scissors: works core

  • Lie on back, hands under low back to support. Lift straight legs off ground a few inches
  • Alternate crossing feet at ankles and pushing legs out into wide V, while keeping legs straight & off ground
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 13.  Bicycles: works abs – Lie on back, crunch knee into opposite shoulder.  L & R = 1 rep.

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14.  Stretch

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Weight Loss Group Fit – Eat, Track & Be Merry!

The most meaningful things are never quick and easy, but they end up being the most gratifying!

I want to inspire you to commit to your weight loss goals.  See success for yourself and visualize what that looks like, how your body, mind and soul will feel.  Anticipate your feeling of accomplishment as you see the scale drop each week.

It will be tough, but you can do it!  You’ll have to focus each day and push past mental and physical discomfort.  Know in your heart that you really want to make these changes and you can overcome any obstacle.  Be prepared for small setbacks, because we all know that Life Happens.  You may be faced with unbeatable cravings, you or your kids could catch the flu and suddlenly you can’t make your workout.  If the weight doesn’t budge one week, don’t give up – just start back up again with renewed vigour.

To Try This Week: tracking your food.  Studies show that people have more success with weight loss when they log what they’re eating.  It will keep you accountable and show you where you need to make changes – scaling back portions or adding more fruits and vegetables, for example.  Write down what you eat and when, as well as any exercise you do each day.  Some tracking techniques:

  • Use a notebook you can take with you or an online system that provides more info (nutritional breakdown of food and approximate calories consumed through different types of exercise)
  • The Weight Watchers Points program is easy to follow and gives you a guideline of your points “budget” for the day so you know exactly how much you can eat in order to lose weight.  I’ve had great success following the Points program, as have many of my clients.  They also have a paid subscription-based online food diary.
  • My Plate on www.livestrong.com is a free online food diary.  After you’ve used it a few times, it starts to remember the foods you eat a lot and it becomes faster to click and add them to your daily log.  You can easily add custom foods/meals and the database is full of every product imaginable (Supperworks entrees!  President’s Choice!)  It also has an exercise tracker, graphs and a water counter.  One of my clients downloads her tracking into excel and emails it to me to help her stay on track.
  • www.eatracker.ca is a free food and exercise log that is produced by the Dieticians of Canada.
  • www.myfooddiary.com is a subscription based log that another one of my clients loves.  It costs $9 US/month.
  • www.myvictoryplan.com is a complete program including shakes, supplements and a armband (like a Body Bugg that they use on the Biggest Loser TV show) that tracks your calorie expenditure.
  • A heart rate monitor is great to help you track how many calories you burn during your workouts.  I love my Polar monitor.

Other Tips Discussed at today’s Weight Loss Group Fit Session:

  • Doing workout videos at home is very convenient if you’re finding it hard to get out of the house to exercise (baby’s sleep schedule, picking up older kids from pre-school, etc., etc.!)  You can borrow them for free from the Toronto Public Library – go to www.torontopubliclibrary.ca and search for fitness videos, place them on hold and they’ll call you when they come in.  You can also borrow and swap with friends or check used stores for older titles.  I love Jillian Michaels’ “30 Day Shred” video because it has 3 different 25 minute workouts.  They’re intense, but you don’t have to spend an hour exercising and you get great results.  www.amazon.ca sells them for as low as $9.99.
  • You can do my Fitness In A Flash 20-minute workout on your computer – click here!
  • Rogers on Demand has some free videos – yoga was suggested.
  • Eating voluminous foods that are low in calories will help you fill up.  Try cabbage (make a slaw with a little light dressing/mustard/chopped apple/sprinkle of raisins/seeds), soup (Today’s Menu on Gerrard, Knorr and PC Blue Menu were recommended) Chili (PC Blue Menu brand is good).  Drink water before every meal and snack.

Weekly Challenge: Mountain Climbers – 30 seconds everyday

See you next Tuesday morning (6:30-7:30 am) for the Weight Loss Group Fit session: weigh-in, group meeting and 30 minute power workout!  Now go do your Weekly Challenge!

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Fitness In A Flash – 20 Minutes to Feeling Great Over the Holidays

  • Warm-up for 3 minutes before starting the workout.
  • Do 10-15 reps of each muscle conditioning move.
  • Move quickly to your cardio boosts between muscle conditioning moves to keep heart rate elevated.
  • Cool down and stretch for at least 3 minutes at the end of the workout.

1. Ballet Squat & Scapula Squeeze: works legs, glutes, back, shoulders
• Wide stance, toes pointed out, push knees back, arms out to side
• Bend knees, lowering into squat. Squeeze arms into body, shoulder blades together, elbows behind back
• Release out of squat, moving arms back to side. 2 counts down & 2 counts up (option w/ tube or weights)

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2. Cardio Boost: Jumping Jacks (30 seconds)

3. Squat with Side Leg Lift: works legs, glutes
• Lower into squat & lift R leg to side as you straighten up.
• Repeat, lifting L leg to side = 1 rep (option step on tube, hip width apart)

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4. Cardio Boost: Jump Rope (30 seconds)

5. Lunge & Torso Twist: works legs, glutes, obliques
• R leg forward in lunge position, keeping knee at 90 degree angle over ankle
• Lower into lunge, pause and twist torso to R side
• Release twist and push through front leg to standing. Complete R side then L

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6. Cardio Boost: Side Glides – big & low step touch, arms arc overhead (30 seconds)

7. Push-ups: works chest, shoulders, arms

8. Cardio Boost: Squat & Kick Front (30 seconds)

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9. Tricep Dips: works back of arms
• Sit on edge sturdy chair or stairs, hands at hips
• Lower hips below chair by bending at elbows. Keep elbows tucked in
• Push hips back up and repeat

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10. Cardio Boost: Repeater Knee – arms reach & pull down. On R leg 15 seconds then L leg

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11. Bridge & Leg Extension: works glutes, hamstrings, quads, core
• Lie down on back, feet planted on floor and push hips up. Hold for 30 seconds
• Advanced: Lift 1 leg off ground & hold parallel with supporting leg, while continuing to push hips up. Switch legs

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12. Cardio Boost: Mountain Climbers – plank position on hands, bring alternating knees into chest as quickly as possible (30 seconds)

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13. Superwoman: works core
• Lie face-down, hands stretched overhead
• Lift chest & feet off the ground and hold 4 counts, feeling back muscles engage. Release and repeat

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14. Plank: works core
• Lie face-down, lift body into table top position on forearms. Hold for 30 seconds on toes or knees

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15. Seated Pikes: works abs
• Sit on floor, place hands behind your back, lean backwards to engage abs.
• Bring knees up and into chest, crunching abs. Next, lengthen legs out (keep off floor) while leaning backwards.

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