25 At-Home Workouts to Do With Your Kids. If you’re a parent, especially of small children, your workout time is limited. So, it’s valuable to find ways to work in solo exercise time, whether it’s early in the morning, late at night, at a gym with a childcare facility, or when a partner, grandparent, or sitter can take charge of the kids. But let’s face it: That doesn’t always happen. But don’t let that derail your fitness goals. You can still exercise while your children are around. Try these kid-friendly activities. Little ones can join in, help out, or just play nearby. Don’t forget to start with a warm-up!
As you juggle work and family, be mindful that research shows active parents raise active children. Fitness should always be a priority in a family’s daily schedule. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy children stay active throughout the day. Children should get at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity every day. This will help them maintain a healthy weight and keep their hearts, brains, and bodies healthy. So including your kids in your workout is beneficial for both them and you. One of the most important things to realize with kid’s fitness is that it’s okay to move at your own pace, and it’s okay to adjust things in order to make them work best for you. Move as fast or as slow as you need to. It’s also crucial that exercise is fun, this way you are more likely to keep doing it.
1. 25 At-Home Workouts to Do With Your Kids
Snag a fitness timer from the app store on your phone to time your workout. Aim for 40 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Alternate through the activities above and aim for a 30-minute workout. A good warm-up exercise can consist of almost any light to moderate aerobic activity.
Something that gets your child’s body moving but isn’t too physically taxing. A slower, gentler version of the sport she’s about to play is always a good option: brisk walking or jogging to warm up for running. Benefits of a good warm-up include injury prevention and improved performance. That’s thanks to increased blood flow to the muscles, as well as improved range of motion and body temperature control.
Besides being an exercise, stretching is also imperative before starting any other physical activity. How to: Sit with the back straight, then stretch both the legs as wide as comfortable. Then hold the right knee with the right hand. Then lift the left hand to the top of the head and leaning towards the right. While leaning rightwards, stretch the left part of the body as much as you comfortably can.
Remember to Keep breathing normally. Repeat it on the other side. Possible benefits: It increases the range of movement in your joints. It reduces tension in your muscles. It improves muscle coordination, and it enhances blood circulation in the body.
Bridge lift works the thighs, abs, and hips. How to: Lie flat on the back; keep the hands on the sides, and the knees bent. Then place the feet shoulder-width apart. Then, pushing the body with the heels, lift the hips off the ground while keeping the back straight. Breathe out and hold the position for about a second. Come back to the initial position while breathing in.
Possible benefits: It reduces lower back and knee pain. Strengthens the glutes and improves body posture. It also strengthens the core, stretches the chest, back, and spine. As well as enhancing flexibility and improves balance.
The child’s pose of backstretch is a mat exercise. Make sure your kid has a padded mat surface. How to: Kneel on the mat with the hips on the heels. Keeping the toes together, open the knees hip-distance apart. Lean forward and drape the body over the thighs, so that the forehead rests on the floor. Stretch the arms straight to the front. While maintaining this pose, breathe deeply and relax.
Possible benefits: It helps to stretch the thighs, ankles, and hips. It reduces stress and fatigue. Helps to relax the upper body muscles. Aids digestion and elongates the lower back.
Push-ups target the chest, shoulders, and triceps and work your core, back, and legs. Start in a high plank position. Place your hands firmly on the floor with an engaged core and flat back. Bend your elbows to lower your body toward the ground, keeping your back flat and your body in a straight line. Keep your arms close to the body with your elbows facing backward. Exhale as you push back up to starting position.
Great push-up form starts with a rigid plank. Your arms should be fully extended, with your hands, elbows, and shoulders all in line, and your feet should be no more than 12 inches apart—the closer together, the more difficult the push-up, because it requires more core activation for stability. Throughout the push-up movement, your spine should be neutral, so that your body forms a straight line from your feet to the crown of your head. Remember to engage your core and thighs to keep your hips flat and level.
Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups. Also, Planks can help improve your posture. By strengthening your back, chest, shoulders, neck, and abs, this exercise makes it easier to keep your shoulders back and your lower back in a neutral position while sitting or standing — two vital components of good posture.
Begin flat on the ground. Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms to make a 90-degree angle between your shoulder, elbow, and hand on each side. Engage your core to form a straight line from head to toe. Hold this position.
The mountain climber is a classic ab exercise, and we love it because it will strengthen your core as you simultaneously get a cardio workout. Mountain Climbers are a killer exercise that gets your heart rate up fast while also firing nearly every muscle group in the body: deltoids, biceps, triceps, chest, obliques, abdominals, quads, hamstrings, and hip abductors. It’s truly a full-body workout!
Start in a high plank position, then bring your left foot forward directly under your chest while keeping your right leg extended. Keeping your hands on the ground and your core tight to jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind the body with the right knee forward. Repeat continually with a quick rhythm.
By increasing your heart rate with regular star jumps, you strengthen your aerobic capacity and your heart. Adding this exercise into your routine will improve your stamina and train your body to move oxygen and blood to your muscles more efficiently.
Start off down in a crouched position with your feet at hip-width and your arms by your sides. From this position jump up explosively as high as you can. As soon as your feet leave the ground, open your legs out to the sides, and lift your arms up and out to the sides at the same time. Bend your knees as you land and end in the squatting position in which you started. Repeat this motion with a quick rhythm.
Wall Sits work your entire lower body – your glutes, your hamstrings, and your quads. The main purpose of this exercise is not to increase muscle mass, but to increase muscular endurance. You will notice that you will be able to hold a wall sit for longer and longer periods of time over time.
How to do a proper Wall Sit. Make sure your back is flat against the wall. Place your feet firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Slowly slide your back down a wall until your upper legs are parallel to the ground. Make sure your knees are directly above your ankles and your back is straight. Hold this position.
The inchworm exercise offers a little bit of everything. It helps strengthen the muscles of your anterior chain (the front half of your body) while stretching the muscles of your posterior chain (the back half of your body). And because it targets your entire body in some capacity, it gets the blood flowing.
Stand up tall with your legs straight and your knees lose but not locked. Then bend forward so your fingertips touch the floor. Slowly walk your hands forward. Once in a push-up position, start taking tiny steps so your feet meet your hands. Repeat this movement and remember to maintain an engaged core to relieve stress on the back.
The Plank to Low Squat is one of the best bodyweight exercises around because it works on multiple muscle groups at the same time. It effectively works the core, glutes, and legs and requires no extra equipment except your own body weight, so you can do it anywhere!
Begin in a high plank position. Jump your feet to the outside of your hands, coming into a deep squat while leaving your hands on the floor. Quickly jump back to plank. Repeat this movement with a quick rhythm.
Reverse lunges activate your core, glutes, and hamstrings. They put less stress on your joints and give you a bit more stability in your front leg. This is ideal for people who have knee concerns, difficulty balancing, or less hip mobility. Stand tall with your hands on your hips or overhead.
Take a large step back with your left foot. Lower your hips until your right leg is parallel to the floor with your right knee positioned directly over your ankle. Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor with your left heel lifted. Return to the starting position by pressing your right heel into the floor and bringing your left leg forward to complete one rep. Repeat this movement, alternating sides.
The burpee is a full-body strength training exercise. With each repetition, you’ll work your chest, arms, front deltoids, thighs, hamstrings, and abs. Trust me. Your legs will feel like they’re pumping battery acid after you complete a set of burpees. Burpees have a reputation for a reason. They’re one of the most effective-and crazy-challenging-exercises out there. Love them or loathe them, burpees are one of the most effective exercises for losing weight, including shedding stubborn belly fat. They involve no equipment, so you can do them anywhere.
Start out in a low squat position with your hands on the floor. Next, jump your feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible, raising your arms overhead and then returning to the low squat position when you land. Repeat this movement as quickly as possible while still maintaining proper form.
A Bear Crawl is a bodyweight mobility exercise that uses strength in the shoulders, quads, and abdominal muscles. It appears very similar to a baby crawl but requires you to bear the weight on your hands and toes rather than your knees. A bear crawl is an excellent exercise in core control and focused breathing. It is one of the most effective exercises for any individual to add to their workout of the day, regardless of training level.
Start on all fours and lift your knees so they’re at a 90-degree angle and hovering an inch off the ground. Move one hand and the opposite foot forward an equal distance while staying low to the ground. Switch sides, moving the opposite hand and foot. Repeat the movement while alternating sides. Palms and feet flat on the floor, arch your back so that you look like a big bear. Race your kids across the room. Add some fun by having a competition! Who can “roar” the loudest?
The sit-up is an abdominal endurance training exercise to strengthen, tighten, and tone the abdominal muscles. It is similar to a crunch, but sit-ups have a fuller range of motion and condition additional muscles.
Another classic. Feel free to tuck your toes under the sofa or coffee table if you need a bit of support, or ask your kids to hold your feet and vice versa. Lie down on your back. Bend your legs and place feet firmly on the ground to stabilize your lower body. Cross your hands to opposite shoulders or place them behind your ears, without pulling on your neck. Curl your upper body all the way up toward your knees.
They don’t just help you achieve wonderful, toned legs. Squats promote body-wide muscle building by creating an anabolic (muscle building) environment in the body. They work up your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abdominal muscles, lower back, and your butt too.
Kids are naturally born squatters. See who can get the deepest squat or the most squats in 60 seconds. To do this one, stand with your feet shoulder’s width apart, and do deep knee bends. Make sure you keep your knees behind your toes and your arms out straight.
Butterfly kicks are an exercise that works the muscles of your core, specifically the lower rectus abdominal muscles, plus the hip flexors. They mimic a swimming stroke but are performed on dry land. Lay flat on your back and extend your legs straight out. Imagine a swimmer and begin to kick your legs without bending at the knee.
Start with your feet high off of the floor, as the moves get more difficult the closer the action is to the floor. But… If you experience lower back pain, doing butterfly kicks may irritate your back more. It’s important to follow the safety instructions and never lift your lower back off the ground or arch the back during the exercise. Your hip flexors may become tight as a result of doing butterfly kicks.
A proper lunge posture can help you achieve a stronger and more stable core. This workout engages your core and abdominal muscles. It helps you build stability when you move your hips up and down. A stronger core allows you to deal with lower back pain and improves your balance and posture as well.
Step forward and bend your front knee to a 90-degree angle. The goal is to have your back knee touch the ground without letting your front knee extend past your toes. To make it harder, carry (small) children in each arm and lunge as you walk across the room.
With many variations to the classics, this one can go on and on. From standard to reverse, this one will keep your heart rate up. A jumping jack, also called side-straddle hop in the US military, is a physical jumping exercise performed by jumping to a position with the legs spread wide and the hands going overhead, sometimes in a clap, and then returning to a position with the feet together and the arms at the sides.
Like most cardio exercises, jumping jacks offer cardiovascular benefits. It balances out your heart rate, increases blood circulation all over the body, controls and maintains blood pressure, helps in doing away with bad cholesterol levels in the body, prevents the onset of stroke or heart attacks.
As well as working your lower abs, the leg raise also improves the strength and flexibility of your hips and lower back, which is a considerable benefit for anyone who spends a lot of time sitting at a desk. Read on for our complete guide to how to pull off the perfect leg raise.
Lay on your side or on your back and lift your legs without bending at the knee. Try to hold at the top. This works your lower abdominals, but be careful to not let your lower back arch.
This is an upper-body exercise that might help in improving agility. Crunches can be performed at an early age. How to: Lie flat on the floor with feet hip-width apart. Keep the knees bent. Interlace the hands behind the head, with the thumbs behind the ears. Tilt the chin slightly up. Start pulling the abdomen inwards gently. Curl up by lifting the neck, head, and shoulder blades off the ground. Hold the posture for a moment and lower the body to the ground, slowly.
Benifits: Like situps, crunches help you build muscle. But unlike situps, they work only the abdominal muscles. This intense muscle isolation makes them a popular exercise for people trying to get six-pack abs. This also makes them ideal for strengthening your core, which includes your lower back muscles and obliques.
Children make surprisingly good running partners and might change the way you look at your own exercise routine. Have your child accompany you while you run, walk, bike, or in-line skate. Babies, toddlers, and young preschoolers can ride in a jogging stroller, bike seat, or bike trailer. While you walk, jog, or run, older preschoolers and grade-schoolers can get their own workout on scooters, tricycles, bikes, or in-line skates.
If you are a cyclist, consider a trail-a-bike that turns your bike into a tandem-style your child can use. At a young age, running should be more free-form and fun, with goals that are easily attainable. Doctors recommend that children should exercise vigorously for a minimum of 30 minutes, three or four times per week. This can be anything from running to playing tag, to riding their bikes.
Introducing your children to yoga at an early age can help them learn healthy lifestyle habits and set the foundation for a fit future. Yoga can be especially beneficial for kids with ADHD. Many have found that the breathing, meditation, and physical exertion that are all part of yoga are effective at calming and centering ADHD children. That being said, it is also beneficial for children who are not hyperactive as well.
Teach your child a few simple poses and she can stretch or twist alongside you. Many kids are quite adept and flexible but let her take the lead and go at her own pace. “Have your child get into the pose by herself—never push,” says Ferrara, who is also the founder of Dancing Dreams, an adaptive dance program for kids with physical and medical challenges. “Kids tend to get overzealous. Err on the side of gentle.”
Dancing is a highly physical activity, and kids who take dance lessons regularly should expect to see a significant improvement in their overall physical health. According to Pro Dance Center, regular dance practice can increase your child’s flexibility, range of motion, physical strength, and stamina. The repetitive movements involved in dance can improve muscle tone, correct poor posture, increase balance and coordination, and improve overall cardiovascular health. Dancing is an aerobic form of exercise. For children who are overweight, it can potentially help them to lose weight and improve their eating habits.
Dance is a form of aerobic exercise that has physical, mental, and emotional benefits. It’s great for both kids and adults. It is a great form of exercise and builds a love of dance from an early age can help motivate kids to stay active as they grow into adults. This may be one of the easiest ways to exercise with children. Pump up the music and dance. Use kids’ music or your own, and kids’ moves (the hokey pokey, say) or your own. Dance vigorously enough and it gives you a cardiovascular workout. You can even play an aerobic dance workout video and call it a dance party—you follow the instructor’s moves, and the kids just do their own jams.
No time to hit the gym? No problem! You can do a full-body workout at the playground. From park-bench dips to swing planks, there’s nothing like working out at the playground with the kids right in your line of sight! All moves can be modified to fit your fitness level and best of all, it’s free!
Playground equipment is fun for kids and can be a great workout for moms and dads, too. This circuit routinely offers options for beginning exercisers, more advanced athletes, and even parents and kids working together.
26. Don’t give up on Exercise. Share it with your kids!
Here are some more ideas: Enjoy the great outdoors! Schedule a time each day for an outdoor activity with your children. Hike a local nature trail or ride a bicycle path. Schedule family playtime. Take a walk or play a family game of tag after dinner each night. Choose activities that require movement, such as bowling, catch, or miniature golf.
Choose toys wisely. Give children toys that encourage physical activity, such as balls, kites, skateboards, and jump ropes. Limit screen time. Experts warn that one to two hours of screen time a day should be the limit for children, but some are logging more than double that amount. Set boundaries, keep the television and electronic media out of your child’s bedroom, and limit computer usage to school projects.
Plant a garden. Caring for plants gives your children a reason to get outside each day. Learning how to grow a garden teaches the food system while sampling the harvest encourages healthy eating habits. Chip in with chores. Rake leaves, shovel snow, and do other home-maintenance projects as a family. In the end, your home will be better off and so will your family’s health.