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Busy Parent Fitness Challenge – Day 7: Core

by Karen Ung
Many years ago, I had abs. I think they’re still there somewhere, somewhat shrunken and blanketed in post-baby pooch. I can feel them when I do belly workouts, so I know they’re still alive. Hopefully they will throw the covers off and wake up soon. I think this will help:
1) Opposite arm and leg raises: Get on all fours, extend your right arm straight out in front of you and extend your left leg straight out and up. Your arm, leg and trunk should make a straight line. Reach, reach, reach for a few seconds, then bring your arm and leg in. Repeat on the other side – with left arm and right leg. Do 30 (15 per side).

Start on all fours
Extend left arm and right leg (then alternate sides)

2) Cobra / Upward Dog: After your arm and leg raises, it’ll feel good to lie on your belly. Put your hands at boob/pec level, press into the floor, and lift your upper body off the floor until your arms are straight (even your hips should be slightly off the floor). Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 2 seconds, lower to the floor. Do 10-15. Roll onto your back and hug your knees into your chest to stretch out your lower back. Another good stretch is Extended Child’s (yoga) Pose.

Cobra / Upward Dog
Extended Child’s Pose is great for your lower back

 3) Yoga Plank Pose: Make like you’re going to do a (full) pushup, but don’t lower yourself down. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds. If you’re a plank pro, go for 2-3 minutes. Do 5.


Fat burning exercise is necessary to reveal strong abs. Combine this workout with a brisk walk or jog. If you need to be in one place to mind the kids or wait for a bus, try skipping, jumping jacks, marching, or bum kicks. Aim for at least 5 minutes of moderate to intense cardio before each workout to warmup, and work up to 20 minutes of cardio 3 times a week.

Good luck!


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