Oh, girl. It's that time again – cramps, aches, bloating, the mess and the complete lack of motivation. Hitting the gym sounds worse than sitting through "Titanic" with your dad. On the other hand, you don't want your period to rule your life, so don't let it rule your workouts! Check out these awesome exercises that you can combine for a total-body workout without upsetting your flow.
Speaking of flow... go ahead and try a sequence of your favorite yoga moves to get the body warm. You can easily modify poses and hang out in them as long or as little as you want. Check out the workout below that aims for a tighter core (and click here to add it to your favorites):
Who has time for isolated exercises these days?! The easiest way to combine exercises is with one upper body and one lower body movement. Keep the individual exercises simple so that once combined, you can masterfully push through them.
1. Reverse Lunge and Press: All right, if you're going to work out, you might as well do two exercises at once. This coordinated move primarily works the butt, thighs and shoulders while recruiting the ab muscles (without too much pressure). Get more details here. Keep the chest lifted and send one leg back for a lunge, bending the knee at 90 degrees. Repeat on the same side several times before switching.
2. Squat and Tricep Extension: Keep one dumbbell in your hand for a tricep extension as you burn up the quads and glutes in a narrow squat. You've got to pull in the abs to protect your lower back. You can hold the squat or move in and out of it as you lift the weight. Your choice! Check it out here.
>> WATCH: 2-for-1: Compound Moves for the Busy Mom
3. Fly with Bridge: Instead of pushups, work the chest in reverse with a floor fly. Simultaneously tone your tush with a glute bridge. Keep your elbows soft during the fly with your palms facing each other. As you lift for the bridge, drive through your heels and squeeze your butt together, keeping the labor out of your lower back. See more on it here.
STICK WITH STRENGTH
Owning a pair of dumbbells opens the door to so many beneficial strength training exercises. With just a little resistance, the simplest movements are transformed into butt-kicking workouts. The next few exercises are focused on your backside, which is one of the easiest muscle groups to work when your cramping like whoa.
1. Step-Up: This underrated move requires power from the legs and control from the core. Pick a heavy set of weights and a high step. Drive through the muscles in the back of your leg, keeping the chest lifted and looking straight ahead. Hold the weights at your side with shoulders dropped from your ears. Alternate the legs, or repeat on the same side for a mega burn! Get the breakdown here.
2. Lying Leg Abduction with Resistance Band: Go ahead and lie on the floor for this one. The focus is on your inner and outer thighs. Just wrap the band around your flexed feet and go to work! See how simple it is here. You should feel this mostly in your outer glutes. Make sure you're not arching your lower back – pull the belly button down and in for control.
3. Romanian Deadlift: Any time you see the word "Romanian" that means the move is abbreviated. When you're on your period, it can be tough to find your full range of motion. With this move, you can work your entire backside, from your heels to your shoulders. Weights stay super close to your body. Push yourself up through your heels and hinge/unhinge at the hips as you go. Get a closer look here.
>> WATCH: Lazy Day Workout