Their sneaky workout tips will inspire you to get sweaty no matter what it takes.
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Last-resort exercise routines will save your strength and sanity, and no one knows them like these moms—they are top fitness pros who have honed each tactic by sweat testing it themselves.
“Find ways to include your children in your workout, and it will increase the odds of getting it done—plus, as they grow up, it’s just as vital to get them moving too. You can start very early to lead by example. My daughter, who’s 8 now, has been doing yoga with me since she was about 2 1/2. I’ve taught her a bunch of poses, and now she enjoys doing the routines I do.”—Laura Kasperzak, Acrovinyasa instructor in Lincoln Park, New Jersey
Have a Plan A, B, and C
"Life with kids is unpredicatable—I've got two of them—so give yourself options. If you miss your class, be up for trying something new. If you can't make it out the door, have a HIIT routine memorized so you can break a sweat in 20 minutes flat while they nap. If all else fails, I do the 100-burpee challenge. Love them or hate them, burpees are calorie-torching total-body exercise, especially 100 of them!" —Heather May, master trainer at Burn 60 studio in Los Angeles (Or sign up for 30-Day Burpee Challenge with Jen Widerstrom.)
Know Your Goal
"Set how many workouts a week you're aiming for. Since I have two kids, my number is three. If I can't hit the gym, I create a circuit on my stoop: five moves—I do core and arms, run stairs with a plyo exercise at the top, then do lower body and a wild card—for one minute each, three rounds. Rest 30 seconds after rounds." —Mary Onyango, group fitness manager at Equinox in Brooklyn, New York
Cue Your Go-To Videos
"As a mother of four—the youngest is 7 months—I can't always exercise at the gym. On-demand workouts, like Burn Live, that I can do in the living room have saved me time and again. I start with a 20-minute target, and if the kids are happy and the baby is sleeping, I go for an hour. As tempting as it is to finish laundry or do dishes, I prioritize myself, because I know everyone will benefit from me being a healthy mom. Also, taking walks around the neighborhood helps the kids get the wiggles out and gets my blood pumping, especially racing the big kids up the hills."—Lana Titus, master trainer at Burn 60 studio in Los Angeles
Pen It In
"My husband and I share a calendar, and we use it to schedule our workouts. I make sure he or our babysitter can watch out 1-year-old during my slots. When I get off schedule, I use resistance bands at home to do a quick workout alternating upper-body exercises (push-ups, rows, presses) with squats and lunges."—Amanda Butler, instructor at Fhitting Room in New York City
Related: Try these Bodyweight Exercises for Women of All Pregnancy Levels
Mix It Up
"I’ve got two boys, ages 7 and 4, and I’m pregnant with my third child. So my go-tos are swimming, which I can do with the kids, and body-weight exercises that I can do throughout the day. My favorites are stationary lunges (start with your back knee on the floor, raise up to a split stance, then lower), rhomboid push-ups (start on all fours, bring shoulder blades in toward each other, then press the ground away), single-leg bridges (lying faceup on the floor, one leg bent with foot at and the other leg up, lift and lower hips), and bird dogs (from all fours, alternately extend opposite arm and leg)."—Nicole Radziszewski, trainer in River Forest, Illinois, and founder of Mama’s Gotta Move