My go-to naptime workout circuit

Hi friends! Happy Monday! How was the weekend? Ours was a great one. We had lots of time together hanging out as a family, we went to our usual movie night at the pool, met up with friends for gelato, and Tucson had its first *real* summer monsoon. It dropped the temp 30 degrees (!!!) so here’s hoping there’s more where that came from. It gets super hot here during the summer but I don’t tend to mind the scorching temps. We usually hide in the AC or the pool during the hottest times of the day, and monsoon season is my favorite time of year. (I have to admit that I absolutely miss this time of year in Valdosta! It was humid and there were SO.MANY.BUGS but the afternoon storms were so amazing.)

P is still napping most days of the week, which is an equal blessing and a curse. It’s great because she often needs a little catnap after camp, but it’s unpredictable. Sometimes she stays awake the entire day (which = early bedtime, which is glorious) but sometimes she ends up falling asleep on the couch at 6pm which just throws off the rest of the evening.

I used the days she does nap as an extra 45 minutes to an hour to crush whatever lingering items I have on the to-do list, or even catch a quick workout.

I realized last week that I have a go-to circuit when she’s napping and I want to get in a little bit of strength. It gets my heart rate up, but doesn’t involve any jumping. (I try to keep things pretty quiet so I don’t wake her up!) It also works your entire body, and I can usually finish 3 rounds in less than 30 minutes.

I thought I’d share it on the blog today if you’re looking for a quick strength workout you can do during naptime, or even when you just have 30 free minutes and a pair of dumbbells.

Here’s what the workout looks like:

Naptime circuit workout

Form cues and tips:

Squat and press: Holding a pair of dumbbells, keep your chest lifted and your weight in your heels as you squat down and back. Exhale and squeeze your booty to rise, and perform an overhead press at the top.

Walking lunge with hip extension: For your lunge setup, make sure your feet are hip distance apart, and think about sinking down instead of forward as you lunge. Watch the front knee to make sure it doesn’t extend past your toes. When you lift up to come to standing and switch legs, lift the back leg up behind you (squeeze your booty!) before bringing it forward.

Bent-over row to triceps extension: Your feet will be just under your hips with a slight bend at the knees. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back flat (shoulders pulled back) and core braced. Lifting up from your elbows, bring them high and wide, engaging into your rear delts. Stop the elbows at shoulder height before carefully lowering back down. Bring your elbows in by your sides and use your triceps to straighten your arm as much as possible before bending and lowering back down.

Side to side curtsy lunges: Start with one leg forward, toes angled out 45 degrees. Step your other foot totally back behind the front, so that your foot is behind the opposite shoulder. Sink low into a curtsy lunge, rise, and then step to repeat on the opposite side. 

Push-up: On your knees, toes, or modified against a wall. Keep your hips down in line with your spine, and exhale, squeezing your chest, to rise.

Safe core work: I like to do any of the core exercises from this post, depending on how I’m feeling. If you don’t have any abdominal separation, try a frog crunch. Lie on the floor with your hands behind your head and legs straight out at an angle. Engage your abs, tuck your chin and lift your upper body as you bend your knees in, keeping your feet together, knees wide. Bring your knees and elbows together, then return to start. 

Weighted hip raise: Start on your back, with knees bent and feet pressing into the floor. Press your hips up towards the ceiling, and lower down to two inches above the floor. I like to do these using a heavy flat weight and/or a resistance band loop above my knees.

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Please let me know if you give it a try!

Do you have a go-to workout that you do when you just have a short amount of time? If you’re on a time crunch, do you usually go for strength or cardio?


More quick at-home workouts:

The quiet workout

Upper body blast workout (and video)

10 barre workouts you can do at home

At-home total body weights workout

Yoga flow strength workout


Ps. Amazon Prime Day started today! I’m not sure what we’ll be picking up, but some of my fave buys EVER from Amazon include this Ring video doorbell (this one comes with a free Echo!), the Instant Pot (my #1 most-used kitchen appliance), this cordless vacuum (so good for random crumbs and pet hair on the couch), and this robot vacuum (I use it every day). I’m going to lurk the sale and see if I can get a sweet deal on an Air Fryer and a weighted blanket. (The kids have one that I *borrow* often.)

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1 Comment

  1. Lindsay on July 15, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    I needed a new quickie workout, thanks! I tend to always fall back on a little burpee EMOM of sorts that I love (and hate ha). Each round is 5 minutes – for the first 2 minutes, do 25 full burpees as fast as possible and rest the remainder of the 2 minutes (this is the only rest period!). During the 3rd minute, do an upper body strength exercise. During the 4th minute, do a lower body strength exercise. During the 5th minute, do a core exercise. Then repeat and change up the exercises (except the burpees). It’s great b/c it has cardio and strength and you can do as many rounds as time (*cough* children) will allow.

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