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10-Minute Workouts While Baby Naps

Can’t manage to “nap while the baby naps”? Tone up with one of these easy, equipment-free workouts.

Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump

Back-to-Basics Workout

Fitness expert Carla Birnberg, who founded, shows you how you don’t need a gym to get active.

What you need: Two soup cans or water bottles.

The moves:

1. Push-up
If you typically loathe push-ups, try doing them against a wall, allowing it to take most of the weight. With your hands resting on the wall in front of your chest, arms shoulder-width apart and extended, and your body making a straight line, bend toward the wall slowly and then return a little quicker, inhaling on the way “down” (or toward the wall) and exhaling on the way “up” (or away from the wall). “Think about form, form, form -- really focus on where you’re feeling your muscles work,” says Birnberg.

Do 12 reps, focusing on working your chest muscles. Rest for 30 seconds in between sets, stretching your arms behind you to open the chest. As you get stronger, you can work up to 15 reps per set.

Once the wall push-up becomes easy, try one with your knees on the floor. Got that down? Get up on your toes, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.

However you do your push-ups, remember to concentrate on your form.

2. Back Row
With a water bottle or soup can in each hand, bend over at the waist, keeping knees a little bit bent and letting arms hang down at your sides. Now, with your palms facing in, pull your arms directly toward your chest, letting your elbows bend behind your shoulder blades. Your arms should remain close to your side throughout the movement, and you should feel this exercise in your side-back muscles. Make sure your hands are grasping the bottles loosely -- think of them as hooks connecting your back to the weight. Do 12 reps per set to begin with, working up to 15 reps.

3. Plie
With your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet pointing out at 45-degree angles, squat slowly down as far as you can comfortably go. Keep your back straight and make sure that your knees don’t extend beyond your toes. (Tip: Try this in front of a chair so you have something to grab in case you topple over.)

Exhale as you rise back up, engaging the muscles in your inner thighs and keeping knees gently bent. Pause at the top and inhale as you lower slowly. Do 20 reps per set, with a 30-second rest in between.

Check out the Paper-Plate Workout now!

-- Meagan Francis

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