"I call this workout On the Floor for Core and More. It's one of those workouts that strengthens our running muscles - the ones we don't really see in the mirror but that keep our parts running smoothly." -- Janet, another mother runner (find her at Run Jan Run and on Twitter @janetlovestorun
Equipment Needed: One pair light dumbbells, one pair moderate weight dumbbells, ankle weights (optional)
This is a circuit, so you move quickly from one exercise to the next.
1. Plank Rows - Start in prone plank position with each hand on a moderate weight dumbbell. Staying in plank, do alternating one arm rows. 12 reps.
2. Pushups - 12 straight leg or knee pushups. Keep hands on dumbbells to protect the wrists or move them aside and place hands flat on floor.
3. Side Plank with Overhead Press - While holding a side plank, do a shoulder press with a light dumbbell using the opposite arm. Do the presses slowly so that it takes at least 30 seconds. 12 reps.
4. Staying on that side, come out of plank and do 20 leg raises keeping your leg straight. Use your hip muscles to lift the leg.
5. Staying on the same side, bend knees to 90 degrees and do 20 clamshells.
6. Without changing sides, straighten the bottom leg and do 20 inner thigh raises.
7. Roll over to a seated position. Sitting up as straight as possible, bend one knee and keep the other leg straight. Do 20 straight leg raises. Now do the same with the other leg.
8. Lay on your back, keep one knee bent and cross the other ankle over your bent knee. Do 20 glute raises and squeeze the working glute as hard as possible. Repeat on other side.
9. Roll over to the unworked side and repeat #3-6.
Now you're ready to start over again. Go through entire circuit 2-3 times. Should take about 20 minutes. To make the leg raises harder, use ankle weights.
This circuit works the abs, back muscles, shoulders, hips, glutes, quads and chest.