If you’re a parent of young children, you already know it’s a full-time job and often, a full-time workout. However, if you are looking for a more traditional workout that incorporates the little ones, here are a few ideas.
Let me preface this by saying I am not a trainer – just someone who likes to workout and has had to come up with creative ways to stay active while working from home with a 5 year old and almost 2-year old running around ????.
Most days, I don’t have time to get a workout in by myself so I have had to find ways to get my kids to be a part of my workout. There is plenty of content out there on workouts to do with your kids, and I have tried them all. My kids have never been able to get through 5-10 minutes of any of them (although that may be because they like to torture me). If you are lucky enough, or perhaps have older kids that are a bit more cooperative, you should definitely try a more structured routine. But, if you’re like me, here are 5 exercises that I have found to have better success with younger kids.
The added benefit of the below circuit is that it is a workout of the body AND the mind because it requires extreme amounts of coordination and patience.
There are few exercises my kids will participate in consistently, but two that I have found to work are jumping jacks and running around. For your warm up, do 50 jumping jacks and run around your house (or small NY apartment) screaming “catch me if you can!” for 2-3 minutes before going into the 5 moves below.
Move 1: Squat to Child Lift
If you have a kid that is under 30 pounds, this move is for you. Grab your baby/toddler and get into squat position and thrust them overhead. Do 15-20 reps of this.
Move 2: Horsey Push Ups.
If my one-year-old sees me on all fours, she immediately screams” horsey!” and jumps on. Rather than fight this, I have embraced it as an added challenge. Do your push ups (I do mine on my knees but works either way) with an added weight on your back. Do 12-15 reps of this.
Move 3: Sit-ups to High Five
Good for a slightly older toddler (who are at that age where they like to be “helpful”). Have them sit on your feet to help you with your sit-ups and each time you come up, high-five them and have them count with you (bonus: numbers practice). Do 25-30 reps of this.
Move 4: Walking Lunges
This one is fairly straightforward. Get those lunges in with some extra weights. Do 10-12 reps of walking lunges.
Move 5: Hide Under the Bridge
Hold a plank and allow them to see if they can crawl under once you are in position and “hide under the bridge”. Hold for 30 seconds-1 minute. Simple and somehow entertaining for them.
Repeat the circuit 3-4 times and, voila, workout done and fun had by (almost) all.
For the best results, end with your favorite drink/cocktail of your choice – because hey, you survived another day and found some time to get moving.