Making Time to Exercise

Let’s Work Out the Tabata Way

The age-old question “When do you find time to workout?”  Well, ladies the answer is really quite simple I make the time!  Over the years my husband and I have had a pretty good system in place I would get my workouts in while everyone still slept (5:30am-6:30am)!  However, our children are growing up and my husband is getting in on the workout band wagon.  So now we have to find the time for both of us to get our workouts in while juggling two kids in school, after school activities and work schedules.  Which leads me to our new set-up!  On Sunday afternoons my husband and I sit down with our beloved Google calendar and look at the empty spaces to decide who is going to work out and when.  The weeks may never look the same but that’s okay and we are willing to be flexible as long as we still get in our workouts.  Some days I go in the morning before everyone wakes up and other days it is after school drop off and before I meet with a client for a 1:1.  For my husband, occasionally he has to do the dreaded early morning workout (he is not a morning person) or he squeezes in a workout after work.   It does leave for some chaotic-long evenings when he is not home right after work but I know he needs to get in his workouts.

The next piece to the puzzle is how long do I workout for?  Most days it is somewhere between 45-60 minutes.  Tuesday and Thursday mornings are a little shorter because I have to get home quickly to wake, dress and feed our two kiddos before welcoming our sitter at 7:15 am who takes them to the bus and to school for us.  While I return back to the gym to teach an 8:00 am class.  

My workouts are typically full body strength routines with small amounts of cardio.  However, that changes from week to week or depending on who is coaching the class.  But, any exercise is better than no exercise.  Aim for 20 minutes the first few weeks and if find you have more time then by all means go longer!  Don’t agonize over missing a workout or having to cut one short….heck split them up throughout the day if you need to.  Getting in a few minutes here and there is still way better than nothing.  I used to do squats in the bathroom while brushing my teeth after my first kiddo was born.  Some days I would strap on my youngest in the baby carrier and do lunges around the cul-de-sac while my son rode his bike.  Every little bit counts!

Which leads me to this quick twenty-minute Tabata workout you can do anywhere.  All you need is a tabata timer, there are plenty of free options in the app store for your phone.

20 Minute at Home Tabata Workout

A Tabata workout consists of 8 rounds with 20 seconds of work followed by a 10 second rest.  So you complete the exercise for 20 seconds rest for 10 seconds continuing on by either alternating sides or exercises. 

Round 1 – Reverse Lunges with a Twist – Staying on one side at a time and alternating between sides with each round until 8 rounds have been completed.


Round 2 – Squat to Heel Raise super set with Inchworms – alternating between the two for 8 rounds.


Round 3 – Knee Tuck Glute Bridges – alternating sides each round for a total of 8 rounds.



Round 4 – Side Plank Reach Throughs – alternating sides each round for a total of 8 rounds.

Round 5 – Tricep Dips super set with Push-Up – alternating between the two for 8 rounds.

Reverse Lunge with a Twist – Keep your core stable, and take a large step back with your right foot, planting your foot and then lowering your body until both legs are bent in right angles. As you sink into the lunge, twist your torso to the left. Bring your torso back to center, and exhale as you straighten your legs. Bring your feet back together, and then step back on your right leg again, twisting to the left.

Squat to Heel Raise – Stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart, feet parallel. Hold your hands out in front of you for balance. Bend your knees, lowering your hips deeply, bringing your thighs parallel with the floor if you can, keeping weight back in your heels. Then rise back up, straightening the legs completely, squeezing the glutes and raising your heels up off the ground for a second.

Inchworm – Standing straight up, bend to touch your toes, keeping knees straight. Crawling out with your hands, keeping your knees stiff, so that you’re stretching glutes and hamstrings. Walk your hands out to a plank position.  Then walk your hands back slowly, stand up and stretch toward the sky.

Knee Tuck Glute Bridges – Lie on your back, and bring your left knee into your chest with your hands clasped just below your knee. Lift your right toes up, and press your right heel into the floor to lift your pelvis and torso off the floor. Gently lower your torso back to the ground to complete one rep.

Side Plank Reach Throughs – Come into a side plank on your right side, with your feet stacked one on top of the other and your weight on your right elbow with your fingers reaching away from your body. Place your left arm straight up into the air, and inhale to prepare.  Exhale and pull your navel to your spine to engage your deep abs and rotate your left ribcage toward the floor. Stay there for a second and deepen your abdominal connection pulling your navel in toward your spine even more. Return to starting position to complete one rep.

Tricep Dips – Position your hands shoulder width apart on the floor.  Straighten your arms, and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to always keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.  Now slowly bend at your elbows, and lower your upper body toward the floor until your arms are at about a 90-degree angle. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position.

Push-Ups – Come into plank position with your arms and legs straight, shoulders above the wrists. Take a breath in, and as you exhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the ground. Stop as soon as your shoulders are in line with your elbows. Inhale to straighten the arms. This counts as one rep.  If this is too difficult, do this exercise with your knees on the floor.


Be sure when you work out, you wear proper shoes and workout gear and always have water with you in case you need a quick break to hydrate. Click here for shoe recommendations. 





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Meghan Ritchie

Meghan is a busy mom of two children, Holden 6 and Nora 4. She is the Program Coordinator, a Personal Trainer and Conditioning Coach at Starting Line Health and Fitness. Health and fitness has always been a very important part of her life, and, in the past, to a fault. After struggling with her own health and fitness goals she learned quickly that life is all about balance. Nothing more drove that point home more than her children. She soon learned that it was possible to take care of her growing family and herself. When she took care of herself, she found herself taking better care of her family.

She wants to share her success of raising a family and staying in great shape with those around her. She strives to show families how important it is for parents to be interested in their own wellness. Because through their interest in health and fitness their children can see first hand the importance of fueling and using their bodies in the right way!

Meghan wishes to teach, help and coach people to achieve their fitness goals and improve their lifestyle by finding balance.

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