Do you worry about finding the time to exercise or trying to find ways to make sure that your kids are getting enough exercise? Why not combine the two and do it together?
Keep the whole family fit and healthy, whilst having fun together at the same time. Kids don’t see exercise as a chore – they love running, climbing, jumping and movement in general. It’s hard to keep them still sometimes 😊 Let them bring the fun back into exercise and enjoy a positive experience together whilst, at the same time, helping them to build a good, healthy relationship with exercise. It’s a great excuse to spend time with your family and it will bring you closer together. There’s lots of fun stuff that you can do with little ones and if they are older, they can join in your workout with you.
Here at W Fitness if you have a daughter aged 14-17, they can come with you to do our 30-minute circuit or join in one of the many fun classes that we offer. This is a great way to get some quality time together whilst looking after your health at the same time 😊
Hannah’s daughter, Poppy is 2 this month and honestly, she keeps me fitter than ever as she loves to dance with us! We put on some upbeat music (usually Hannah’s Zumba playlist is a big hit!) and we have to copy her moves – she’s a tough instructor as she doesn’t let us have much rest lol! But this is a great way to get her interested in exercise and enjoying it, whilst keeping me fit too!
You can also try mixing and matching the following exercises to create a fun 10, 20 or 30-minute workout that you can do at home to get the whole family moving. You can either do reps or set a timer and do as many reps as you can within the time. Use dumbbells, water bottles or cans of beans. Younger children can use bean bags, ‘pretend’ weights or similar.
Take the jump out of these if you need to.
- Burpees – Start by standing. Lower into a squat and reach your hands down to the floor. With your weight on your hands, jump your feet backwards until you are in a plank position. Jump your feet back in to the start position, stand up and jump reaching your hands over your head. As you land, lower straight back into a squat and repeat.
- High Knees – Stand and lift your left knee in front of you, as high as it will go whilst raising your right arm. Switch legs, raising the right leg before the left leg touches the floor (like a jogging motion).
- Star Jumps – Start by standing straight with your feet together. Bend your knees and jump your feet out wide whilst taking your arms out to the side. Jump back to the start position and repeat.
- Fast Mountain Climbers – Start in a plank position on your hands, and with your body in a straight line. Bring each knee, in turn, towards your chest in a running motion.
- Running with bean bags. This is good for younger children too – Set 2 beanbags (or similar) at either side of a room or the garden. Start at one beanbag, pick it up and run to the other beanbag as quickly as possible. Drop the beanbag and pick up the other beanbag, running back to the start.
Upper Body Strength:
- Press-ups on knees – Start in a plank position on your hands, with arms shoulder-width apart. Lower your knees to the floor and keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Slowly lower your chest towards the floor, keeping your abs engaged and pause for a second or two and then push back up to the start position.
- Arm Circles – Stand with your arms out to the side and make 10 small circles forwards, and then 10 small circles backwards. You can alternate with making bigger circles.
- Bicep Curls – Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Keep the top of your arm (shoulder to elbow) as close as possible to your body and slowly raise both dumbbells up towards your shoulders by bending your elbows. Pause at the top and then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the start.
- Triceps Extension (Skull Crusher) – Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms reaching towards the ceiling. Bending from the elbows, slowly lower the weights towards your head (taking care not to hit yourself 😊) Slowly raise back to the start.
- Superman – Lie on your front, with your legs straight and your arms out in front of your head. Keep your head in a neutral position, looking towards the floor, and slowly raise both your arms and legs towards the ceiling. Reach as far from your body as you can, pause, and then lower back down.
Lower Body Strength:
- Frog Jumps – Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Squat down, keeping your head and chest up, then jump forwards and land on both feet with your knees bent. Jump 180° so that you are facing the opposite direction and jump back to the start.
- Wall Sit – Stand against a wall, engage your abs, and slowly slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure that your ankles are under your knees. Keeping your back flat against the wall, hold for anything between 10 seconds and a minute. One of you could stand a few feet away and throw a ball between you.
- Glute Bridge – Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms down by your sides and press into the floor with your hands. Slowly raise your hips off the floor until your body is in a straight line from your shoulders, through your hips to your knees. Squeeze your glutes and hold for a few seconds before lowering back down to the floor. Add a weight onto your hips to make it more challenging.
- Donkey Kicks – Start in tabletop position with your shoulders above your hands and your hips above your knees. Raise one leg behind you, keeping the knee bent, raising your bum, and pushing your heel up towards the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes and hold for a couple of seconds then return to the start position.
- Duck Walk – Start in a squat position with your bum as low as you can, take a step forward with one foot, then the other, then one step backwards with one foot, then the other. Continue the movement. Add in a quack for fun 😊.
- Ab Crunch – Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Slowly raise your head and shoulders off the floor whilst keeping your abs engaged. Slowly lower back down and repeat.
- Crab Walk – Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your bottom off the floor so that your weight is on your hands and feet and walk sideways, backwards, and forwards.
- Bird Dog – Start on all fours on the floor, squeeze your abs and draw your shoulder blades together. Raise your right arm and your left leg at the same time until they are straight and parallel to the floor. Keep your head and neck neutral and facing the floor. Hold for a few seconds then return to the start position and repeat with the other arm and leg.
- Bicycle Crunch using Legs – Lie on your back and bend your knees so that your knees are above your hips. Move your legs as though you are pedalling a bike. See how many you can do and try to add on a couple more each time.
- Flutter Kicks – Lie on the floor with your head and shoulders off the floor, your legs straight and your arms by your sides. Lift your legs a couple of inches off the floor and move one foot up and one foot down in a small flutter motion. If you have lower back problems, take your legs a little higher and rest your head on the floor if you need to.
Bear in mind, while working out as a family, everyone will have different fitness levels. You can modify the exercises so that they are appropriate for children or adults.
Fun Partner Exercises
A fun way to include exercising with children is to perform exercises using a partner. Try the following:
- Try passing a ball to each other whilst performing a sit up. Both people lie on the floor with knees bent, and one person holding the ball overhead. Both do a sit up at the same time and one person passes the ball to the other, and then both lower back down to the floor, coming back up into a sit up and passing the ball back.
- Stand next to your partner (one facing forwards and one backwards), then squat down and as you come up jump so that you are turning 180° to face the other way and tap your partner’s hand. Repeat turning at each jump.
- Lie in a push up position on your knees and facing your partner so that you are head-to-head. As you push up, tap your right hand to your partner’s left hand. Alternate hands as you continue.
- Stand facing your partner each holding the end of a resistance band so that it is taught. As one of you reaches down towards your toes (keeping a soft bend in the knees), the other one extends their arms overhead. Then swap so that you are alternating between reaching up and reaching down.
- Side shuffle with high five. Stand next to each other, then take 3 fast side steps away from each other and touch the floor. Then take 3 fast side steps back towards each other and high five when you meet.
Try some isometric holds whilst the other person works through a number of reps of a different exercise. Do the exercise then swap so that you both do both exercises and repeat all 5 exercises through as many times as you can. If there are 3 of you, for example, one person does the isometric hold exercise whilst the other two perform the reps.
- Plank and squat jumps – One person holds a plank (lie on the floor, resting on your forearms with your elbows underneath your shoulders. Push up onto your toes, and engage your abs. Make sure that your body is in a straight line from your head to your knees and that your hips are not too high or too low) whilst the other performs 10 squat jumps (lower into a squat position and power up into a jump. Land and lower straight into the next squat).
- Wall sit and plank with knee taps – One of you holds a wall sit whilst the other performs a plank with 10 knee taps (hold a plank position on your hands, push your hips up so that you are in a ‘V’ position and reach your left hand towards your right knee, come back into a plank position and repeat with the other hand.
- V-sit hold and star jumps – One person holds a V-Sit (sit on the floor, lean back until your abs are engaged and lift your legs off the floor, keeping them straight, until your body is in a ‘V’) whilst the other does 10 star jumps.
- Glute bridge and mountain climbers – One person holds a glute bridge (lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms down by your sides and press into the floor with your hands. Slowly raise your hips off the floor until your body is in a straight line from your shoulders, through your hips to your knees and squeeze your glutes) whilst the other does 10 mountain climbers (start in a plank position on your hands and bring one knee towards your chest, return that leg and bring the other knee towards your chest. Keep alternating slowly for 10 reps.
- Calf raise and walking lunges – One person holds a calf raise (Stand straight and raise up from your heel until you are on your toes) whilst the other performs 10 walking lunges (take a big step forward with your right leg, keeping the weight in your heel and lowering down into a lunge. Pause and bring your left leg forward, repeating the movement with that leg.
Finish off by doing a team workout such as 12 squats, 12 inchworms, 12 butt kicks, 12 burpees and 12 bicycle crunches. Make sure that you are performing them all at the same speed!
If you’re looking for something fun for your child to do over the October half term, we are running a kids dance camp on Wednesday 26th October from 9.30am til 12:30pm where children can have fun doing a warmup, learning a dance and then performing it for parents at the end of the session. Please email us at email@example.com if you would be interested in this.
Let’s bring the fun and family time back into fitness! 😊
Caroline & Hannah xx