Mom’s Out, Guns Out!
Madonna, Michelle Obama and Jennifer Garner aren’t afraid to lift more than just their children and their beautifully sculpted arms are proof it's a good thing! I should start by saying: “weights won’t make you bulky”. This is a common concern that I hear from a lot of mothers and it’s actually far from the truth.
Although I typically talk about bodyweight moves that you can do at home, I do love to lift! Resistance training is a great way to help you tighten and tone, so don’t shy away from picking up those dumbbells if you have them.
5 Benefits to Lifting Weights
Improves your ability to perform day-to-day tasks including carrying your baby and grocery bags
Increase your strength. We know strong is the new sexy … and we also know car seats are heavy AF!
Improve your quality of life. Being stronger physically goes hand in hand with becoming mentally stronger, which also leads to enhanced self-confidence.
Improve bone density. As we age we naturally lose muscle and bone mass. Strength training can help control bone loss.
You’ll look (and feel) better … not bulky. Period.
Trust me, there are more than just the five benefits listed here, but at least you have more reason to wipe the dust off those dumbbells hiding in the basement. Here is a great workout circuit to start you off:
When you see something like A1/A2, this is meant to represent a set of paired exercises. So you would do a set of A1, rest what is indicated in the Rest column, do a set of A2, rest what is indicated in the Rest column and return to A1. You'd do this until all sets of the A1/A2 pairing are complete and then you'd move onto the B exercises and so on.
Standing Overhead Press
Start with two dumbbells at a weight you can safely lift over your head for 12-15 reps. Start with a lighter weight until you know which weight is right for you and until you become comfortable with the movement.
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and hold the dumbbells at your sides. Lift up your weights until they are at your shoulders, palms facing forward, with elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
Raise your arms until elbows are extended, moving the dumbbell until they almost touch above your head.
Return to starting position and repeat for reps indicated, making sure you keep your form correct.
Note: Don’t forget to breathe and keep your spine neutral and core engaged throughout the exercise.
Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart and hold the dumbbells at your sides. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. This will be your starting position.
While keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale and curl the weights while contracting your biceps. Continue to raise the weights until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief pause (squeeze your biceps).
Then, inhale and slowly begin to lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart from each other. Slowly use both hands to grab the dumbbell and lift it over your head until both arms are fully extended.
The resistance should be resting in the palms of your hands with your thumbs around it. The palm of your hands should be facing up towards the ceiling. This will be your starting position.
Be sure to keep your upper arms close to your head with elbows in and perpendicular to the floor. Begin to lower the resistance in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms are close to biceps. Note: your upper arms should remain stationary and only your forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the dumbbell. Breathe out as you perform this step. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Stand straight with feet about shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms out to each side, parallel to the ground.
This will be your starting position. Now slowly start to make circles of about 1 foot in diameter with each arm. Breathe normally as you perform the movement.
Continue the circular motion of the outstretched arms for the number of reps and then reverse the movement, going the opposite direction.
If you have any questions on your form, be sure to consult a trainer or expert in person for demonstration of the move at hand. You can also reach out to me at email@example.com for further clarification. To learn more about my 4-Week Kick-Start Program that includes only bodyweight moves, click here. This is an awesome way to reignite your fitness goals before progressing to weights.