Each year, you are going to change one child's dirty diaper up to 1,800 times. Between that and feeding schedules, naps, work, playtime, and everything in between, the life of new parents leaves time for very little else. It doesn't get any easier as the children age, either. As they grow, you're just as busy with teachers, extra-curricular activities, and friends, instead of poopy diapers and bottle feedings. Most parents can't even find time for a shower, let alone a workout routine. We are here to tell you that's no excuse for ignoring things entirely. You can easily find an abs workout that will fit your routine; you just have to know where to look.
Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or one that works full-time, we found an abs workout that will work for you. You may be thinking, "yeah right, I didn't even wash my hair last week," and we get that. However, we found some exciting ways that you can work your abs, even while you are sitting in your car or office. We only warn you that after you read this, you won't have any more excuses not to work that core.
Why an Abs Workout Is Important to Overall Health
According to the Mayo Clinic, adding an abs workout to your day is essential for many reasons outside of a sexy six-pack. Other than just a nice flat tummy, here are a few more reasons to work your core:
The Many Different Types of Abs Workouts
As we said, there are a ton of ways that you can add an abs workout to your day without losing a second of that precious time. You can work your abs while you are at home, at work, at the office, in a chair, at the playground, with a baby, and even while walking. In our research, we found pro-tips and unique exercises that will allow you to add an abs workout to even the busiest schedule.
How We Chose the Best Abs Workouts for This List
For our list today, we didn't pick anything off of top 10 lists for the "best abs workouts." Instead, we found the best abs workouts while keeping busy parents in mind. We picked things that you can do during your hectic schedule. For these workouts, most of the time you won't even need to change clothes or your location. It's easier than you think to keep your tummy toned up and looking awesome.
Equipment people use for their abs workout
Of course, you can opt to get some equipment to help speed things along. First, people that work at a desk or sit down a lot can purchase an exercise ball to sit on instead of a chair. For a cost of $10 to $ you can work your core all day with one of these balls. Second, if you want to add a little resistance to the workouts below, you can always add some weights. You can get wrist and ankle weights for $ to $ that velcro on and make every move count just a little more.
Additionally, you can add one of these resistance bands, as well. For $ to $ you can add a few of these bands to any workout for added resistance and strength. Of course, there are also a ton of expensive machines on the market. For today, though, we are keeping things simple and quick.
Top 8 Abs Workouts for Parents On-the-Go
Finally, let's get to the list. Below, you will find workouts that you can fit in nearly every aspect of your life. We included an abs workout for people of all ages, occupations, and skill levels. Remember, some people should check with their doctor before adding a new exercise regimen to their routine. Here's a guide from the Mayo clinic about who should contact their physician first. If you are a brand new mama, especially if you had a C-section, you should also definitely check things out with your midwife or doctor beforehand.
1. Quickie Five-minute Abs Workout
Of course, we realize that there are people who would rather spare a few minutes and do a fast workout. We found an excellent five-minute quickie you can do right at home. Naturally, one circuit a day won't gain you a six-pack. However, once you learn these moves, you can squeeze one in whenever you get a few minutes to spare several times a day. This routine is a circuit abs workout, so there are several moves involved. Perform each exercise for one minute.
The video above will detail each of the exercises in the circuit. You will learn the reverse bird dog, butterfly crunches, the kayak, a plank with a twist, and the rainbow. Remember, there are modifications for each exercise for those of you just beginning the process. Make sure you listen to your body and don't force it to do things it's not ready to do. Also, remember that breathing through exercise is as essential to the workout as the moves. This video is definitely an intense little workout, but it needs to be that way since it's also such a short one.
2. You Can Work Your Abs While You Are Sitting Down
Next, we are going to show you how you can work your abs while seated in a chair. Once you learn these exercises, you can do them anywhere you can find a chair. For these moves, you should have a regular chair without wheels. However, if you have wheels, lock them for safety. Ideally, the chair you choose for these moves won't have any armrests.
You will learn several exercises that work for nearly any situation in the video below including leg lifts and core strengtheners. While there are a lot of moves to pick up, even if you remember just a few to add into your day, that will help more than you might think. The whole idea is learning how to engage that core all day, and these exercises are a great start.
Some of these exercises you can do without anyone even noticing. It's easy to think that only working in a chair won't produce any results. However, remember that your core is the center of everything and working that, even a little, is hugely beneficial to your entire body. A decent abs workout is very much an "every little bit counts," situation.
3. Multitasking -- An Abs Workout With a Baby
Next, we have a few moves for a new mom. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't fit in a little workout during play time. Indeed, you will be hard pressed to find a baby that doesn't think these exercises are a fun game with mom. These moves are merely modified versions of regular activities, just changed a little to fit a baby into the mix. You will learn "row your baby," and "baby boat."
As you can see, these moves are elementary, which makes them perfect for those long hours spent playing with the baby in between naps. The best part is that the baby will truly enjoy the time with mom and act as resistance making the workout even more effective.
4. Work Your Abs While You Drive
Most of us spend a ton of time in a vehicle, especially those of us with kids. Of course, you need to pay attention to the road more than any workout. So make sure you practice these a few times before you pull out of the driveway. First, we found a handy tip about a super-cheap and easy way to help you keep that core engaged and work it a little the whole time you drive.
Also, we found some interesting tips on Livestrong.com on how to keep those abs working behind the wheel. First, you could do the following exercises called the zip and abdominal hollowing.
As you can see, these exercises are perfect for those long commutes and road trips. After you get used to doing them, you will probably start to do it without even giving it much thought. Remember, though, try these out for a while before you take them on the road.
5. An Abs Workout for People Who Hate Crunches
Next, let's be honest about something. There aren't many of us who think doing crunches is a good time. While it may be one of the earliest exercises we learn to do for our abs, that doesn't mean crunches are the best. There are even a few experts that think standard crunches and sit-ups are bad for our backs. Luckily, there are a ton of other moves that work just as well, without damaging anything else.
First up, we have an abs workout called the mountain climber. They use this move in Marine Corps boot camp, and it works wonders for the recruits. Although, that's more about keeping them in line than working on their abs. You start in the plank position for this one and pull your knees into your chest alternately, as shown below. To work your obliques, you can add a little twist to the mountain climber -- merely pull your knees up to the opposite arm instead of straight on.
Scissors and The Roll Up
Second, we have a fun little exercise for the lower abdominal muscles called the scissor switch. You do this one on your back, and there are different levels for different abilities. You extend your legs straight out in front of you, and you can go up and down or side to side. Watch the video below for more information.
Third, let's learn a popular movement called the roll up. Pay close attention to what the lady instructs you to do in the following video because this is an easy one to do wrong. However, when you get it right, it's a super comfortable way to strengthen your core and stretch out your back.
There's a whole guide to more of these exercises listed on Self.com. You can check there to add even more to your abs workout. These days, there are a ton of options that mean you can work your abs all you want and you never have to do another crunch if you don't desire to.
6. An Abs Workout You Can Do While You Watch Television
In this section, we will talk about how to add an abs workout to your television watching schedule. We know that as your kids grow, doing those baby exercises won't necessarily work anymore. Well, here's a handy idea for grabbing a few minutes while your older kids have their television time.
This abs workout includes a few semi-recognizable moves. However, these you can do right on your couch. As a bonus, you can do them during each commercial break and get quite a few reps in, without having to leave the room. Commercials make a great little timer.
7. Add An Abs Workout To Your Time At The Office
Many of us have to sit around in an office or at a desk for most of the day. Luckily, there are all kinds of things you can do to help keep fit, even there. Remember, first we talked about that ball. Only using that instead of a regular chair will have you working your core all day without thinking much about it. Plus, you get to bounce all day, and that's super fun.
Unlike the other seated exercises we learned, you can do these even in a chair with wheels. There are 12 moves in this video including another version of leg lifts, a few you have seen in other videos, and even a movement called the Kardashian Clench. Additionally, in more advanced moves you can even use your chair's wheels.
We know that a few of these exercises aren't just for abs. However, the abs workouts in this video are so great that we chose this one over the other videos. As the man in the video said, these moves shouldn't be the only thing you are adding to your routine. However, every little bit helps, especially when it comes to your core. Don't beat yourself up if these are the only exercises you manage to fit in your day.
8. An Abs Workout You Can Do While You Are Walking
Finally, we even found some things you can do while you are walking to strengthen your core. This abs workout isn't all that difficult. It's more about keeping your core active as you walk around.
As you can see in the video, it's all about activating those muscles and keeping them working -- even if it's only a little bit. If you add this, as well as the other things we learned today, into your day, you will see results quicker than you might think.
Now You Are out of Excuses -- It's Time to Work That Core
And there you have it, folks. You are officially out of excuses. If you learn just a few of these and add them to your day, you will be doing 100 percent more than you are doing right now. We know that parenthood is one of the busiest phases of your life. However, with these abs workouts, you can work your core no matter where you are in your day. Remember, a well-rounded regimen is always the best idea, but don't be too hard on yourself if you can only manage to squeeze in the little things.