I’ve talked a lot about how my girls seem to never sleep through the night on the same schedule. One night it’s Evan’s turn to cry out (her imagination is going wild at this age) and the next it’s Collins’ turn (teething, crawling, climbing… need I say more?). At this point in my life, I have two choices when it comes to staying in shape: make the most of the time I do have or don’t do it at all.
Of course, I’m not choosing the latter.
I gave the BBG program a try during maternity leave and loved the circuits. It was a great way for me to get high-intensity training while simultaneously keeping an eye on the girls.
Once I resumed work, it became more and more challenging to fit BBG into my schedule. When we get home, Collins needs to be fed, Evvie wants to play and then eat and then we have to start prep for the next day. Sure, BBG is only 30 minutes, but it doesn’t allow me to be hands-on with the girls. By the time all are asleep, I’m simply too pooped to give BBG a whirl.
So with the return of the warmer weather and longer daylight hours, I incorporated running back into my life. It’s a great way to involve the girls––I get to take them in the stroller for added effort and they (and puppy girl) get time outdoors.
Our neighborhood is chalk full of hills and last summer was when I decided to make the most of them. I learned so much from my days at Shark Fitness about using your own body weight to your advantage and incorporating those exercises into my run/uphill/downhill stretches has really helped me keep my shape. The fun part is that Evvie likes to get out of her stroller when we hit the hills and workout with me. It’s been a fun new bonding experience!
For anyone else who wants to up their jogging/running game and add more high-intensity muscle challenges, here’s is my Uphill Jogging/High-Intensity Circuit.
Backward Bear Crawls
What are these little diddies? As described in the photo above, to do a bear crawl you’ll be required to get onto all fours. It’s important to keep your arms and legs slightly bent so you activate a multitude of muscle groups.
With your head facing down the hill, use your shoulders, arms, core and glutes to push your body back up the hill. I take 10 steps with each leg before jumping into my next exercise (literally).
Once I finish a circuit of bear crawls, I move into broad jumps up the hill.
Now, I’m going to be REALLY honest for my Mom friends: there is a likely chance that those Kegels don’t hold up for you (cough tinkle cough). Just be cool about it… it’s worth it.
To do a broad jump, you need to squat down and use your arms to pull you up as you jump as far forward as you can (see the photo above). It’s key to land as softly as you can to ensure stability and to keep momentum as you continue to jump forward. To challenge myself, I try to jump further than the length of a sidewalk rectangle. I do 8-10 jumps before the next exercise.
We all know how to do a pushup, right? But did you know that changing the angle of a pushup can make it significantly harder or easier? Facing downhill is more challenging, as more weight is shifted forward, thus making your upper body work harder to push up. I do 8-10 downhill pushups as a quick break between legs.
Similar to pushups, changing the angle for lunges can work different parts of your legs and your core. After a round of pushups, I like to do 10 lunges per leg uphill (I try to push the stroller ahead of me for extra effort). I then turn and do 10 lunges per leg back up the hill (either pulling the stroller or parking it and going solo).
Yes, more running, but it’s a great way to really get that blood flowing. I’ll sprint the length of 1-2 houses uphill before stopping for a serious breather.
My poor Mom Butt. I joke, but seriously, I think any pregnancy weight I’ve lost has come strictly from my behind. When I get pregnant, my weight gain centers in my behind. Nowadays, though, my butt is nothing but bone and a little muscle. To give it some “oomph,” I break out 10 fast squats with a hold at the bottom after a sprint. I’ll repeat squat holds 2-3 times before starting my entire uphill circuit over.
If your neighborhood isn’t quite as hilly as mine, you can still do this entire circuit and gain muscle. Add a few backward/forward lunges to make up for the lack of extra uphill effort. Put your feet on top of an electric box to make your pushups more challenging. The beautiful thing about high-intensity workouts is that you truly can do them ANYWHERE without any equipment.
If you have any suggestions for body weight exercises to throw into my mix, I’m all ears! Share your additions in the comment section below.