How to Exercise with Kids (8 Workouts to Try) | Nerd Fitness


So that you’ve bought children working round the home… 

And you could work out, however can’t appear to distract the little monsters any longer?

No drawback!

A lot of our teaching purchasers have to coach at residence with their children round. As we speak, we’ll present you the way to get them concerned!

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

Let’s soar proper in!

The way to Exercise With Your Children (Video Tutorial)

LEGO Maggie doing the iconic James Bond intro.

Fairly a number of of our Nerd Fitness Coaches are parents, so they know firsthand how challenging it can be to train while you have a three-year-old running around in the background.

When I asked them for advice for this guide, the most common response I received went something like: 

“Training with kids running around is going to be chaos. That’s okay. Do the best you can.”

In other words, it might be challenging to hit personal records (PRs) in your deadlift while also watching over a four-year-old.

This doesn’t mean “Don’t bother working out.” 

It just means you should forgive yourself ahead of time if all doesn’t go according to plan.

A funny scene of a disaster with Leslie Nielsen.

If you want proof of how working out with kids can be “a hot mess,” watch Coach Matt exercising with his young children. 

The video is all sorts of adorbs. 

THE BEGINNER BODYWEIGHT WORKOUT (KIDS EDITION):

When working out with kids, remember:

#1) Meet kids where they are. For young kids, invite them to be a partner. Maybe they can count your reps, tell you when to start, etc. 

On the other hand, older kids might be able to participate more fully, and maybe even train alongside you. 

No matter what, it’s a good idea to invite kids to join when and IF they want, without requiring it. 

#2 ) While every kid is different, here are some very general guidelines from Coach Matt’s experience:

#3) Consider a focus on skills/practice. It can be really frustrating to have a timed exercise or workout interrupted. 

A gif of Stewie from Family Guy shouting for attention.

Instead, consider thinking of it like “practice time” of building a skill. You can practice for a couple of minutes, take a break, come back to it, etc.

Kids might respond better to “skills” training instead of “exercises” too. Together, you can practice:

This might go over better than “let’s do squats” or “push-ups.”

#4) There are lots of different ways to get workouts in throughout the day:

#5) Whatever happens is okay! Remember, do the best you can, and it’s perfectly fine if your workout gets cut short because your kid starts drawing on the walls.

The 8 Best Exercises to Do With Young Kids

A kid holding himself up with one arm on a jungle gym.

If your kids are light enough, you can actually use them as makeshift weights during your workout.

Just be careful, and if anything feels unsafe, don’t do it.

But if things DO feel good, here are some exercises you can do along with kiddos (or using them as weight).

#1) Bodyweight Squats (with Child) 

Matt has his kiddo resting on his shoulders, almost like a safety squat bar would.

This is much like a normal bodyweight squat, but with your kids sitting on your shoulders.

Coach Matt recommends having your kid’s legs come forward, and for you to grab them, almost like you would with a safety squat bar.

Before attempting this, make sure you can do squats with comparable weight! 

#2) Lunges

Much like the bodyweight squats above, but instead do a lunge:

Same idea as our bodyweight squat, your kid will rest on your shoulders as you do your lunge.

Since you’re engaging one leg at a time, this can be really challenging with a kid on your shoulders.

#3) Touch the Sky

This gif shows both Matt and his kid going from a squat to standing tall, arms up.

As Coach Matt explains, getting young kids to do squats and push-ups might be tough.

But kids do like to jump! 

For “Touch the Sky,” sit in a squat or frog position. Then stand up tall, arms reaching towards the sky.

Bonus points if you jump up!

This will train many of the same muscles as you would with squats.

#4) Jumps

Coach Matt performing jumps with his kids, a great exercise to try.

Another good squat substitution to try with kids is long jumps!

You probably want to try this on some type of soft surface (or in your backyard), like the tumbling mat Coach Matt uses. As long as it’s safe, jumping can be really fun with kids.

Make a game out of it, by pointing to a line (or marking one with a soft object) and seeing who can jump over it. You’ll not only train your lower body with jumps, but you’ll also build some explosive power.

#5) Push-ups

You have a few options here. 

The first is to have your kid crawl on your back and use them as a weight:

This is a gif of Matt doing push-ups, with his kid attached to his back.

Feel free to do knee push-ups here too if it’s a little too challenging.

The next option is to include your kid in the workout by giving them high-fives between reps:

At the top of your push-up, stick your arm out and give the kid a high-five!

Lastly, you can have your kids crawl under you between repetitions, trying to worm their way from one end to the other:

Once at the top of your push-up, have your kid crawl under you, like so.

#6) Bear Crawl

A fun exercise to do with your kids is to crawl around like a bear with them latched on!

Coach Matt crawling around with his kid on his back.

Crawling is a great functional fitness exercise that will help you stay mobile on the floor. A kid on your back will up the intensity of the workout. 

Bonus points if you make growling and roaring noises.

#7) Goat Bag Hinge

This exercise has your kid clenching onto the front of your chest, while you push your hips back.

This exercise will have you strengthening your hinge muscles, kind of like you would in a kettlebell swing or deadlift. 

Stand tall, clenching your kid, chest to chest. Have them hold onto you too.

Push your hips back, again, like you would in a kettlebell swing. When your torso is parrell-ish to the ground, come back up, driving through your heels. 

#8) Balancing

One leg balances can become a lot more challenging when your kid is trying to push you over:

A gif of Matt's kid trying to push him over as he balances on one leg.

Another idea is to stand on one leg, then have your kid push you, and use that force to jump onto your other leg. Attempt to only use one leg at a time to balance:

Use the force of your kid to jump from one leg to the other, as shown here.


10 Workout Games to Play as a Family

This picture some Stormtroopers and mini-stormtroopers play fighting.

Being able to lift your kid a few times for some exercises is great. But Coach Matt highlights that anything over 10 repetitions, probably isn’t happening.

The kids will get bored, whine, or revolt.

That’s why you might be better off playing some games with them. 

Here are 10 fun and active games to play as a whole family:

#1) Ninja Training

This is easy: just ask your child: “Want to train like a ninja with me?”

If they’re into it, start practicing some of your jumps and crawls!

You can also hoist them up and help them hang from something (ninjas always have to climb up buildings), which would work if you have a pull-up bar:

Coach Staci showing you the bar hang

Don’t have a pull-up bar? We makeshift intelligent replacements in our information to constructing a house gymnasium.

Some home parkour may also be within the playing cards right here. 

#2) Chase (Cops and Robbers)

Right here, you’re gonna construct some kind of fort. When enjoying this recreation, Coach Matt stands up his gymnastic mat tall and collectively, then locations his children within the center.

Their job? Escape!

Run and monitor them down and ship them again to jail (or your makeshift fort).

Be at liberty to show them the phrase, “You’ll by no means catch me alive, coppers!”

#3) Freeze Ball

This may require a purchase order, however foam dodgeballs are an effective way to play with children.

Have the completely different coloured dodgeballs end in a distinct final result:

  • Purple: should you’re hit with the “fireball,” hop 5 instances in a row.
  • Blue: should you’re hit with the “iceball,” you could freeze for 5 seconds. 
  • Inexperienced: should you’re hit with the “earthball,” it’s time to position your chest to the bottom, such as you would in a burpee.

#4) Animal Walks

Have somebody name out an animal. Then everybody has to stroll round like that!

Strolling to Mordor is far harder if you could crawl like a snake for a part of the journey.

#5) Sizzling Lava

With this recreation, you’re roughly constructing an impediment course in your home, making an attempt to leap from furnishings to furnishings…as a result of the ground is now lava.

Listed here are some concepts on creating residence impediment programs:

One other enjoyable approach to begin this recreation: begin counting down from 5 out loud.

After “1” shout “sizzling lava” and if anybody continues to be on the traditional flooring, it’s time for them to start out enjoying like Gollum when he lastly bought the ring:

A scene of Gollum falling into lava from Return of the King.

This can be a enjoyable standing recreation to make sure spontaneous exercise.

#6) Leap/Duck

This recreation is fairly simple: take an imaginary sword and swing excessive or low on the children, or have them come at you with their imaginary weapon.

Just swing high or low at your kid, and have then duck or jump respectively.

You have to both soar in the event that they’re coming low or duck in the event that they’re coming excessive.

That is actually easy, however numerous enjoyable, and could be carried out with a bunch of individuals.

#7) King of the Log (Steadiness Challenges)

Very like the stability workout routines we confirmed you earlier, however as a recreation!

Discover some territory (a mat, some cozy carpet, grass) and attempt to push the opposite off it. Let your kiddos workforce on you for a extra even match.

#8) Wolf & Rabbit

Create a mark or determine a “secure place” inside a brief dash away. 

Have two individuals face one another, however hold sufficient distance that the “Rabbit” feels snug reaching security.

The Rabbit stays frozen till the Wolf makes a transfer. Then the Rabbit makes an attempt to dash to security earlier than the Wolf can tag it.

#9) Ninja Purple Gentle, Inexperienced Gentle

If you happen to’ve ever performed “Purple Gentle, Inexperienced Gentle” that is related, though it entails some sneaking round, as a result of ninjas.

A gif of a ninja doing ninja stuff.

“The Mark” walks round aimlessly, taking turns liberally, whereas the Ninja tries to sneak up behind and tag them. 

If the Mark faces the Ninja, the Ninja should freeze. 

In any other case, the Ninja is free to tag the Mark.

#9) Commando

This recreation is type of like Ninja Purple Gentle, Inexperienced Gentle.

  • You’ve got a Counter (usually the grownup).
  • You’ve got Runners (children).

The Counter picks a quantity from 5 to 10, then counts down.

Earlier than doing so, they announce “Quick” or “Gradual.”

  • Quick, you’ll depend “5, dot, 4, dot, 3, dot, 2, dot, 1.”
  • Gradual, you’ll depend “5, dot, dot, 4, dot, dot, 3, dot, dot, 2, dot, dot, 1.”

So twice as many “dots” are mentioned allowed.

Whereas the Counter counts, they transfer about (fastidiously) with their eyes closed. They be sure to show round rather a lot to maintain the Runners on their toes.

When the Counter reaches “1,” they freeze and open their eyes.

Any Runners caught within the Counter’s eyes has to do a foolish “croak.”

This dog does a good "play dead" in this gif


Working Out at House With Children

Coach Matt is a father of 5, but he’s nonetheless capable of prepare with little ones in the home.

How’s he do it?

Listed here are 4 recommendations on the way to prepare with children at residence:

  1. Use each minute. Yep, meaning you is perhaps breaking apart your exercise. That is fantastic.
  2. Discuss to your associate. If there’s one other father or mother concerned, share with them your objectives. Possibly one in every of you may watch the children whereas the opposite works out.
  3. Contain your children.  You’ll be able to at all times do some exercises with your kiddos. Who is aware of, you may even assist them discover a love of understanding.
  4. Play some video games. You’ll be able to attempt one of many 10 games we mentioned above, or perhaps a extra conventional sport is perhaps enjoyable if they’ll deal with it.

If you happen to’re juggling understanding along with your kiddos round, give the video a watch.

The way to Exercise as a Household (Subsequent Steps)

This picture shows a family on the beach looking into the sunset.

A very powerful factor about understanding along with your children: have enjoyable!

If children see you having enjoyable, they may wish to be part of you.

If you happen to make your train collectively pleasant by together with some recreation components, they may wish to hold doing it.

That may be nice!

If you happen to want extra concepts, listed here are 40 ways to exercise without realizing it. 

However, if your kids are not into it, that’s okay. Just try to sneak in whatever workout you can, when you can.

Do the best you can. 

The most important thing you can do now: try an exercise or game with your kids!

You’ll never know how your kids deal with your workouts, until you try it out.

So pick one of the exercises or games we highlighted and give it a whirl.

If it devolves to chaos, you can always try again with a different workout or strategy.

Again, just do the best you can.

This girl is ready to strength train. Are you?

If you want some more help, Nerd Fitness is here for you.

We have three options on how to continue with us. Pick the option that best aligns with your goals:

Option #1) If you want a daily prompt for doing home workouts, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Try your free trial right here:

Option #2) If you want a professional coach in your pocket, who can do video form checks, provide feedback, and adjust your workouts based on the equipment you have available, check out our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program! 

For example, let’s say you find yourself stuck indoors and you want somebody to custom-build you a workout program based on the equipment and furniture you have. That’s where an online coach is a game-changer! 

Personally, I’ve been working with the same online coach since 2015 and it’s changed my life. You can learn more by clicking on the box below: 


Option #3) Become part of the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our Rebel Starter Kit, which includes all of our “work out from home” guides.

Alright, I want to hear from you and your experience with working out with your children! 

Are you a parent who is now learning how to exercise with your kids?

Any tips or tricks for training with screaming kids in the background?

Any fun games we missed?

Let me know in the comments!

-Steve

P.S. If you have older kids, they might be more into doing a workout right alongside you. If so, have them pick a routine from The 7 Best At-Home Workouts and try it together!

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Photo Source: Cargo bike family, The clones are working hard, Family looking into sunset, Untitled, Simpson…Maggie Simpson.



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