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A real mum exercise guide (no gym in sight).

Sick of paying for an expensive gym membership that you never use? Perhaps you just can’t seem to find the time to go for a run between you know, kids and…kids. The good news is that you don’t need to stress about your lack of exercise because it can easily be incorporated into your mum life without even realising. Here’s how.

Squats

Got yourself a toddler? Well then you, my friend, have your very own squats coach. You’ll dress them for the day, turn around to find them naked in the living room fiddling with their junk. Feel the burn as you slowly squat down to collect various items of clothes from the floor. It’s a repeat exercise because they’ll keep stripping off. Toddlers are awesome like that. 3 reps of whatever.

Helpful (istock)

Use the same wide leg stance to pick up random items of discarded food from around your house. Every time you see a rogue sultana, squat lady squat. Do you know how many of those little bastards are in a pack these days? You’ll have Instagram worthy pins in no time.

Stretching

Stretching is really important for some reason. Professional people and beach posers do it all the time. And so should you.

The best way to stretch out your upper body is to try and restrain a tantruming child in a middle car seat. Ignore the popping sound in your neck as they trash around like a possessed trout. That’s how you know you’re doing it right.

Push ups

Once again, you’ll be using a toddler or a small child for this exercise. Allow them to roam freely around the house with a food item which looks suspiciously like chocolate. Something like nutella or vegemite is ideal. Throughout the day you’ll find smears of the substance on surfaces. Assume the push up position to sniff the marks carefully to determine if it is, in fact, nutella or something else. You’ll want to really squeeze those shoulder blades back to prevent yourself from touching the floor. You know, in case it’s not nutella.

High Knee Running

Allow your children to have a pet mouse. Don’t worry, it won’t be living in a cage in their room for long. Within days (or hours) or bringing your furry friend home, someone will leave the cage open allowing the mouse to become what we call ‘free range’.

This exercise is both good for your legs, cardio fitness and reflexes. Jump and run with your knees up every time you see ‘Squeaky’ reappear in his own game of hide and seek around the house. It’s also an endurance exercise because that guy could hang around for some time.

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Planking

Pretend to play a game of hide and seek with your kids and choose somewhere they won’t be able to find you for a long time. Take your phone or a good magazine, this is probably the most alone time you’ll be getting for a while. If you’ve chosen to hide under a bed, you’ll want to assume the plank position. Be sure to keep your elbows under your shoulders which will make scrolling or page turning easier as time goes on. Draw your tummy in to your tailbone to prevent any of the dust bunnies under the bed from sticking to your gut.

Another planking option is like this. It's called 'I only got an hour sleep last night" (supplied)

Burpees

No one likes burpees, even more so when combined with locating all 2000 pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that your kids upended. Jump up high to reach the ones they chucked on top of the cupboard and back down low into a plank position to find the ones under the couch.

Circuit running

Don’t worry, this isn’t some pre-arranged circuit for your to complete. That would be too predictable. Instead your course goes like this. Home to preschool. Run kid into preschool because they are late. Sprint to school and boot other kid out of the car. Run back home to collect forgotten drink bottles/lunches/news items, jog back to preschool to deliver goods, pick up the pace for the final leg back home and get started on the washing.

Tabata training

This is a fancy phrase that I learned during my Michelle Bridges 12 week body thing. Basically it means you work really hard for a small amount of time.

The closest thing I’ve found in the mum world is the dreaded ‘pop in’ phone call. You know, the house is a bomb site. So much so that you’re not actually sure whether you were robbed in the night or not.

Michelle looks like she just got a text from Commando's mum letting her know that she's popping over. (Instagram)

You’ve just got home from the morning chaos to find a message from a mother law or a friend letting you know that they’re ‘in the area’ and thought they might ‘pop in’. Right. You’ve got three minutes. Hide the washing, shove the dirty dishes in the oven, sweep up breakfast from the floor, chuck toys in rooms and scatter random shitty gifts they’ve given you over the years around the place. Tabata!