As a stay at home mum I should have plenty of time to do things. And I do have plenty of time when it comes to studying or writing. It’s easy to do those sorts of things when nursing or otherwise holding my baby. Just like her older sister she loves to be held. A lot. And I don’t mind. It won’t last forever, I have a perfect 5 year old example for this. However, holding my baby 70-80% of the time leaves me just this much opportunity to cook and do whatever I need to do around the house. There is virtually no time for a proper workout.

Recently I’ve been managing to squeeze in short 15 minute workouts while putting my eldest to bed and leaving the littlest to crash in the crib for a while. I have a simple set of dumbbells, 4, 6 and 8 kg. And no matter how heavy I used to go with barbells and cables at the gym, a short dumbbell workout sure does give me a pump.

For each workout I choose 3 to 4 exercises, pick the heaviest dumbbells and go for 3 to 4 sets for each exercise with as little rest as possible. I pay maximum attention to my form and make sure I contract every muscle and don’t just go back and forth automatically. The following leg workout left my lower body sore for a couple of days, and boy, did it feel great!

Just 3 exercises this time, 3 sets and 12 reps for each.

Dumbbell squat

dumbbell-squat-leg-workout
source: themoderngladiator.com through Bing search

Dumbbell plié squat

20120804124127-plie-dumbbell-squats-25x3-for-7-days
source: oxygenmag.com through Bing search

Dumbbell deadlift

dumbbell-rdl
source: fitwirr.com through Bing search

If you have spare time, you can add another very good exercise to tackle your glutes:

Dumbbell hip thrusts (Bridge)

I do this one lying on the floor, but it works either way.

dumbbell-hip-thrust
source: oxygenmag.com through Bing search

So as you can see, it’s a very short workout, easy to incorporate in your daily routine, even if you have little time. The exercises can be done with dumbbells, barbells or just as bodyweight. Or you can be creative and grab something heavy(-ish) that is comfortable to hold and does not compromise your form. If you control the muscle contraction on each rep you’ll feel the burn, I promise.

I’ll tell you even more: when I went to the gym, I used to do barbell squats. I started from 30 kg and worked it up to 50 kg. I NEVER felt my glutes as much as after squatting with my two 8 kg dumbbells! EVER! That’s how big a role the proper form and controlled contraction play. If you can go heavier, it’s great! Go ahead. But never underestimate the importance of the proper form and never compromise it. Lifting with proper form will not only boost your results, it will also minimise the risk of injuries.

Disclaimer: There is always a risk of physical injury when participating in any exercise program. If you engage in this exercise regime, you do so voluntarily and at your own risk. Please consult with your doctor prior to commencing any workout regime, especially if you have any medical conditions or concerns.

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