Tag Archives: mommy fitness

iGnite Simple 7 Park Workout

“Simple 7” Total Body, Body Weight Circuit in the Park

Even though school has started, having a quick and simple total body, body weight workout that can be done at the park while the kiddos are playing is always handy to have in your back pocket. Having recently moved to San Diego, iGnite Founder Neissa Springmann, shows us just how simple that circuit can be in beautiful Mission Bay Park.   All you need is a bench and some playground bars…and a bay breeze doesn’t hurt either!

Following a 3-5 minute warm-up (brisk power walk or jogging,  jumping jacks, jump rope — anything to get your heart rate up and body warm), perform a set of 10-20 reps per exercise and repeat the circuit 2-3 times.

1) Squats / Squat Jumps

Squats: iGnite Simple 7 Park WorkoutComplete 10- 20 reps

Benefits: Strengthens the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps.  When adding a jump, the core and calves are strengthened.

Steps:

  1. Either place your hands behind your head with your arms at a 90 degree angle by your waist, or with gently place your hands on the back of a chair
  2. Stand with feet hip-width distance apart (6-12 inches)
  3. Squat, while keeping weight in the heels, eyes forward and chest open. Lift your toes while squatting to keep your weight in your heels. I like to have a bench under me, as I try to tap my glutes on it.  This way I know I’m not cheating my glutes and hamstrings!
  4. Stand and firm your glutes.
  5. * Bonus Upgrade* iGnite Your Exercise: Add a jump at the top of your squat for a squat jump to add more of a cardiovascular and explosive component.
  • Important note on form:  To protect your knees, keep your weight in your heels. While squatting, avoid allowing your knees to come together and keep them at a hip-width distance apart.

2) Push Ups

Push Ups: iGnite Simple 7 Park WorkoutComplete 10 – 20 reps

Benefits: Strengthens chest, arms and core

Steps:

  1. Position arms wide at a 90 degree angle
  2. With control, lower your chest between your ams, tightening your core and firming your glutes to protect your lower back, and look 6 inches in front of you to keep the neck in neutral alignment (do not allow your head to droop).
  3. To decrease difficulty, drop to knees.

3) Split Squats

Split Squats: iGnite Simple 7 Park WorkoutComplete 10 – 20 reps per leg

Benefits: Improves core strength and balance, as well as agility because it isolating legs; strengthens the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings; Reduces risk of injury by minimizing strength and muscular differences between your left and right side

Steps:

  1. Elevate one foot on a step or bench behind you.
  2. As you lunge and bend your front leg to a 90 degree angle, focus on moving your torso up and down, not pushing it forward. Keep your weight balanced evenly through your front foot and press into the floor with your front heel to come back up to the start position, which works and tones more lower-body muscle
  3. Do not lean forward or let your front knee extend past your front toe.

4).  Assisted Pull-Ups

Assisted Pull Ups: iGnite Simple 7 Park WorkoutComplete 10-20 reps

Benefits:  Strengthens all of the back:  latisimus dorsi, rhomboids;  Strengthens all upper body and core:  chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders

Steps:

  1. Find a low bar and walk your body carefully underneath it.
  2. Grab the bar with an overhand grip, keeping your core tight and your body straight (no sagging).
  3. Draw your shoulders away from your ears, engage your glutes and core, and slowly pull your chest up to the bar, engaging your back muscles.
  4. Slow and with control, lower down.  Going slow is more difficult, but it’s more effective and safe!

5). Step Ups

Step Ups: iGnite Simple 7 Park WorkoutComplete 10-20 reps per leg

Benefits:  Strengthens glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and core

Steps:

  1. Place one foot entirely on a bench (letting your heel hang off de-emphasizes the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings and can cause injury to your knee!)
  2. With athletic arms, a tall and upright posture, abs engaged and eyes forward, press through the whole foot of the standing leg.  With power, lift the opposite leg to a 90 degree angle.
  3. With steady ease and control, lower the lifted leg to softly touch the ground.
  • Important note:  If you have weak quads, hamstrings, glutes or knees, find a shorter bench. Your leg length will determine how tall the bench should be.  Ideally, you want the leg that is on the bench to be at or below a 90 degree angle.   An angle more than 90 degrees can lead to knee injury and does not benefit the hamstrings, glutes or quads.

6) Tricep Dips

Tricep Dips: iGnite Simple 7 Park WorkoutComplete 10- 20 reps

Benefit:  Strengthens triceps

Steps:

  1. Place your palms, fingers facing forward, on the edge of a bench or chair
  2. Sit up tall with straight arms, eyes forward, shoulders down and back, chest out, elbows squeezed in tightly and glutes off of the chair (glutes ≤3 inches from the edge at all times)
  3. Slowly bend your arms (no more than 90 degrees)
  4. Slowly press up to straight arm position and repeat
  5. *Bonus Upgrade*  For a more advanced dip, position your legs straight or keep one leg lifted and straight while the other leg remains bent.

Important notes:

  • Avoid tricep dips if you have a shoulder injury
  • Never dip beyond a 90 degree angle. This places negative strain on the shoulder, increasing risk of injury.
  • Be cautious if dipping on rolling or swivel chairs. An ideal dip setting is on a secure and non-mobile bench or chair. If dipping on a rolling chair, place the chair on carpet and in a secure location, preventing chair movement while dipping.

7). Superman Low Back Extensions

Superman Low Back Extensions: iGnite Simple 7 Park WorkoutComplete 10-20 reps

Benefits: Primarily strengthens the lower back,  increases back flexility and stretches the hip flexors.  Indirectly strengthens the glutes.

Steps:

  1. Lying on your stomach, bring your arms to a 90 degree angle
  2. Draw shoulders down the back, firm glutes and lengthen legs
  3. With your gaze at the ground and never up, slowly lift and lower the upper body and lower body
  • Important note:  Avoid a jerking or balistic movement as this is counterproductive and can cause injury to your lower back and neck.
iGnite San Diego Coming Soon

Be on the lookout for iGnite San Diego to be starting soon!


You Might Also Like:

Family Fitness FUNdamentals

iGnite Exercise Playdate

by Alli Phillips M.Ed.

A child’s first and most important teachers are her/his parents, and just as daily reading to our children helps develop literacy, daily exercise teaches our children healthy living practices.  Furthermore, exercising on our own, with a group, with neighbors and friends, and especially with our children and families, demonstrates that we value our health, as well as theirs.  Weaving exercise into daily routines teaches kids that fitness is a way of life, how we live, and how we live well.

The Cross-Training Playdate class I teach for iGnite is offered for women with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and provides moms the opportunity to get out, exercise, and “play” with other moms, while their children enjoy a built-in playdate of their own.  And, women who attend this class, while enjoying an exercise fix and some “mommy-time,” are also modeling healthy habits for their children and creating for them a “fitness-lifestyle” framework.

DEVELOPING A FITNESS LIFESTYLE
Suggestions for Mommies of Young Children (and Daddies too!)

MAKE A PLAN
Based on your current level of fitness, your goals, your work schedule, and your family’s routine, devise a daily exercise plan by which you achieve the weekly totals below:

  1. 100+ minutes of aerobic conditioning 
  2. 30+ minutes of muscular endurance and strength training
  3. 30+ minutes of flexibility and balance work
  • Write your plan in your calendar. 
  • Expect the unexpected…. Having kids means “stuff” will come up and there will be days, weeks, even months when you are not able to exercise as much as you’ve planned….
  • Keep an attitude of gratitude for your current level of health and fitness and your families’, and enjoy any amount of time you have for exercise.
  • Be kind, patient, and gentle with yourself when/if you do not or cannot stick to “the plan.”   It takes time to develop a fitness-lifestyle, and even after exercise routines are established, they are ever-changing and evolving. So, plan to….
  • Make changes to your routine periodically, mindful of what from your original plan is working and what is not, and what activities and exercise modalities “enhance and improve your quality of life.”

 

BREAK IT UP. SQUEEZE IT IN.
If you do not have a ½ hour or hour block of time in your day for a large “workout meal”, try to “break it up” and “squeeze it in” with shorter bouts of exercise, “exercise snacking,” throughout the day. Actually, the fitness benefits of “exercise snacking” are equal to or greater than those of longer-duration exercise if the intensity is higher. So… no time for your regular workout class? Run the stairs in your house between sets of push-ups and squats during your baby’s morning nap; after a picnic lunch with your toddler at the park, play chase between sets of lunges and dips; and/or after dinner take a family-walk in the neighborhood followed by a game of “Yoga-Simon-Says.” What a great day of exercise!… Make that a great day, period.

playdate3 

KEEP IT SIMPLE

  • Aerobic conditioning can be as simple as a walk or bike ride with your children, to/from school, the neighborhood library, or the grocery store. Or for moms of babies, “cardio stepping” on your front porch during your infant’s morning nap is a great way to get a quick aerobic-fix.
  • Muscular endurance and strength work need be nothing more than squats and push-ups thrown into your day whenever you have the opportunity.
  • And a few simple yoga poses like down-dog, warrior I, II, III, and plank, mixed into your daily routine will improve your balance and flexibility, not to mention calm your mind and open your heart.

MAKE IT FUN
As I mentioned, parents are role models and we teach our children by example, but our children teach us too! My children have taught (and continue to teach) me how to make exercise play, and vice-versa, how to make play exercise. With older kids the opportunities for “play-based fitness” are endless; sports are an obvious way to enjoy exercise with our children; but equally fun are good-old-fashioned playground games like tag, duck-duck-goose, hop-scotch, jump-rope, and relays. Also, neighborhood-public tennis and basketball courts and tracks may be available for trike-bike-and-scooter-riding; so while the kids run, ride, and/or scoot around, mommy can do the same. Finally, for moms with babies and very young kids, squats beside a baby’s crib or a child’s bed can turn into a game of peek-a-boo, push-ups with a 2-year-old on your back can become a game of “bucking-bronco,” and yoga poses can be integrated into “tummy-time” for infants or a game of “Yoga Simon Says” for toddlers.

abs

THE FUNdamental EXERCISES
These simple exercises are ALL you need for a well-rounded fitness program.  They can be integrated easily into the daily routines of women at various stages of mommy-hood, adjusted for all levels of fitness, and tailored to personal goals. And with a little imagination, creativity, and inspiration from your children, they can also be incorporated into “play.”

Lower Body 

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Step-Ups

Upper Body

  • Push-ups
  • Dips
  • Rows or Pull-ups

Core

  • Plank
  • Ab Crunches
  • Back Extensions

Flexibility & Balance

  • Yoga
  • Down Dog
  • Warrior I, II, III
  • Plank/Side-Plank
  • Twists

Cardio 

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Aerobic Stepping – on stairs, a curb, or low ledge
  • Jump Rope
  • Track, Tennis Court, or BBall Court Drills
  • Playground Circuits

plank

downward dog

…Now go play! 

alli teaching

Alli Phillips has years of experience teaching child-friendly exercise classes for moms in the Austin, Texas area, and she teaches iGnite’s Cross Training Playdate class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:45am in central Austin.

During this class, moms enjoy a cross-training opportunity while their babies, toddlers and pre-school age children enjoy the outdoors and playtime in the park. Lifting primarily body weight, this mom-specific class emphasizes functional fitness, fundamental strength training, cardiovascular conditioning and yoga-based flow. Not only does this class leave moms feeling rejuvenated and strong, but it’s a perfect time to model healthy habits and actions to our children.   All fitness levels are welcome.  View the class schedule here.

RELATED POSTS: