20 Minute Workouts for Busy Moms

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Between work, kids our marriage and household duties our lives as moms are hectic.  We struggle to fit everything into our busy schedules.  If we want to stay healthy and fit working out needs to be a priority.  But, how do you fit that into a crazy life of a mom? My readers ask me this all the time.  In reality, all you need is to spend 20 minutes, 5 days a week on physical fitness in order to reach your goals.  As a mother of five very busy children with a husband who travels for work, I know first-hand that 20 minutes a day is all you need.  Below are my secrets to staying physically fit while maintaining my busy mom lifestyle.


America’s toughest fitness trainer, Jillian Michaels, always says that in order to burn fat you must do a combination of cardio, strength training and abdominal training.  I use her tips as a guide when planning out my workouts because she is absolutely correct.  You can either break them up into separate 20 minute workouts on different days, or do what I have found works best; 6-8 minutes of each in a single workout.

Equipment You Will Need for a 6-8 Minute Home Workoutfitness-equipment-for-busy-moms

If you are really pressed for time I recommend that you set a timer on your phone for each circuit.

First Circuit Cardio 

Pick one of these options and chose another one for a different day.

A. Go for a mile run. If you can run a mile under 6 minutes run a little further. If the weather is bad, hop on your elliptical or treadmill.

B. Jump Rope for 6-8 minutes. You can do this indoors if you have high ceilings or outdoors if the weather is nice.

C. Punching, high knees, butt kicks, burpies combo.  Set your timer for 6-8 minutes and rotate 10 reps of each of those until your timer goes off. If you have trouble doing burpies leave that one out.


Second Circuit Strength Training

Just like the cardio circuit you can choose one of these options and then pick another one for a different day.

A. Arms, shoulders and chest.  With your dumbbells alternate hammer curls between left and right arm for 20 reps. Still using your dumbbells do triceps extensions starting with one arm and then the other for 20 reps each.  Lay down on your back and keep your dumbbells in your hands, bring your dumbbells together to work your chest muscles for 20 reps.  In a standing position lift your dumbbells over your head to work your shoulder muscles for 20 reps.  Keep repeating hammer curls, triceps extensions, chest floor press, and shoulder press until your timer goes off.


B. Glutes and Back. Lay down on your back and lift your buttocks into the air. Do this for 20 reps. If you want to challenge yourself you can place a kettle bell on your lower abdominal muscles. Stand up and do 20 squats with your kettle bell.  Using 2 kettle bells or dumbbells, bend over and lift your arms up alternating each arm for 20 reps. This is called a kettle bell or dumbbell row. Keep repeating butt lifts, squats and dumbbell rows until your timer goes off.

Third Circuit Abdominal Training

For moms this is especially important because we all want to lose that momma belly.  If you have a diastasis you should use a proper maternity sling or waist cincher when doing abdominal training.  Doing crunches alone can make your diastasis worse.

Lay down on your back and do 20 bicycle crunches.  Make sure you suck in your tummy at the naval when doing crunches.  Still on your back take your fitness ball and pass it from your feet to your hands meeting above your mid section (fitness ball pass)  for 20 reps. Hold a front plank for 20 seconds.  Flip over to your right side and do a side plank for 20 seconds. Repeat over to your left side for another side plank for 20 seconds. If you can handle a challenge bring your bottom leg into your chest bending at the knee while you do your side planks for 20 reps. Repeat bicycle crunches, fitness ball passes, front planks and side planks until your timer goes off.

This simple and effective 20 minute workout will burn calories and fat, and turn you into a healthy, strong and fit momma.

Do you have some fitness tips for busy moms? I would love to hear you suggestions in the comments.

Check out this Ultimate guide to an intense ab workout.

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20 Minute Workouts for Busy Moms
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  1. There are a lot of great workout videos out there that are between 20 – 30 minutes long as well. I like to have someone “guide” me through a workout so that I don’t have to think about what I’m doing or what I need to do next. I can just focus on doing it. Your workout routine is great and I agree that all it takes is 20 minutes! Thanks for linking up to the Balanced & Healthy Living Link Up Party!

    • I’ve done so many 30 minute workouts on video, DVD and online that I have most of the techniques memorized so I no longer need to depend on a video or DVD. I could probably make my own workout videos for others to use. But, yes I agree with you if you need a little extra help and guidence a workout DVD or video helps. Thanks for stopping by, Quirky Homemaker. Have a great weekend!

  2. Great post, Cascia. I love to do a quick cardio while watching my favorite TV show in the morning. It motivates me somehow.

    • That is a great idea! I usually don’t watch TV until later in the evening. I should hop on my eliptical while I watch TV. Thanks for stopping by, Nerline. Have a great week!

  3. I used to enjoy all the cardio workouts, running and finding stairs as a challenge, but now with torn rotator cuff, I like easy on me Yoga, more stretching to get out the kinks and walking everyday. I really miss the cardio and running though.

    Thank you for stopping by #OMHGWW to share your posts, they are all wonderful!
    Hope you have a great week!

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