Firm it up Momma!

I’ve been waiting to find an article in Parents magazine where I could ask some of my expert friends their opinion and the April 2012 issue has supplied me with a PERFECT one… 15 minute Firm Up techniques!  I asked a friend who is a personal trainer, Heather Balajadia, to weigh in on Parents magazine‘s suggestions.

As you can see, Parents magazine’s writer, Meghann Foye, put together some ideas for the busy mommy to be able to firm up in 15 minutes with the help of Fred Hahn, “creator of the Slow Burn fitness routine and owner of”.

The article states “the secret is to perform fewer repetitions of your usual strength-training moves at a slow-motion pace (five seconds up and five seconds down, minimum ) until you feel like you can’t possibly do one more rep.  This steady, controlled motion better engages all of your muscle biers to tone and strengthen in a shorter amount of time says Hahn”.

So I sent the article over to Heather to have her weigh in on these techniques.  Heather is a certified yoga instructor, Personal Trainer and Whole Foods Nurtitionist.  She has been in the industry for 14 years and loves helping her clients be successful and feels blessed to do something she loves everyday.  Heather is also a mommy to two young children, so I felt that she is a great person to comment on these mommy firming moves.  Heather said “in my opinion all of those exercises are great and target some good areas but if you’ve only got 15 minutes to workout and only 2 times per week I would say you need to be doing more full body movements; and for that short span of time go HARD and get out of your comfort zone.  Using full body movements incorporates more muscles (upper, core, lower) and gets the entire body more metabolically active to burn more calories in a short amount of time.”

Here is what Heather recommends to get firmed up in two 15 minute sessions a week…

#1  Burpees: fold forward reaching to the floor; hop (feet together) back to a plank; push up; jump feet forward; and then jump up!  *To modify step the feet back/forth rather than hopping and push up on knees.

#2  Plank twist: drive knee toward opposite elbow; alternating sides

#3  Squat press: down then up with weight

#4  Side step/Chest press: push arms forward as you take a full step out/bring weight to chest as you take a HALF step in.  Keep tension on the band always; travel 10+ steps in one direction and then back until time is up.

#5  Renegade row: hold plank position; alternating arms, pull weight up, squeezing shoulder blade toward the spine.

The intensity of continuous movement for 45sec each exercise with 15 sec to get set for the next exercise is essential for making this an effective 15 min exercise routine.

Heather’s workout moves have an added suggestion of “do as many reps as you can get done in 45 seconds (with 15 sec to get set for the next exercise) repeat the group of 5 exercises 3 times”…. and she ends with a simple saying of “breath, sweat, push, DONE!”

She also goes on to add that “to make a real change in the body – especially under these circumstances – the diet needs to be addressed.”

So there you go readers… Parents magazine contributors challenged by one of us, Heather Balajadia, a Yoga instructor/Personal Trainer/Nutritionist and mother of two!  You can find out more about Heather HERE.

This article didn’t work for mommy by itself, but with a little research and some help by my professional parent network… it ended up working for me, hopefully Heathers ideas will help you get FIRM in 15 Minutes too!

Thanks to Fitness Forward for the use of their gym for our photo shoot!  Check out all their wonderful trainers and teachers if you live in the Seattle area!


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