Kids can be the biggest motivator for movement and the biggest impediment to a workout. On one hand, you put in thousands of steps playing with them at the park; on the other hand, the minute you lace up your shoes to head to the gym someone spills red Kool-Aid all over the carpet. So for those days you really need a workout but seem to be getting nowhere, how about teaming up for some fun circuits you can do with your kids that will get them moving and having fun?
The best person to teach your kids the value of movement is YOU! By modeling movement as fun you are giving an invaluable, lifelong lesson to your child. Don’t let screen time take the place of movement. After all, movement is, and should remain, natural for children. These circuits are made to be fun for the kids but give you a kick-butt workout, too! And don’t worry about the moves being too hard for your child. YOU will be the one gasping for air and burning up fat. Plus, modifications based on age can be made. So lace up those shoes have some fun!
The ideal ages for this workout are between 7-10, but you know your child best. Shout out to my niece, nephew and sister who agreed to try the workout! The kids had tons of fun—and wore my sister out!
This one is just like it sounds! Face your child and start by leading the game. Tell your child to copy everything you do. Try things to help you warm up such as jumping jacks, toe touches, arm circles, foot fire, etc. Use this time to teach the game and warm your body. Then give your child a turn at being the leader and copy his/her moves.
Get your legs in shape by leaping over your child in a classic game of leap frog. Turn your leaps into jump squats by starting low and—even though your child is smaller than you—jump extremely high over them and land back in a jump squat. Tuck as small as you can while your child jumps over you or, if they are too small, they can climb over you like a mountain.
Related: 12 Wellness Tips For Busy Moms
Patty Cake Push-Up
Your child is likely unable to do a push-up properly (though you could show them how to do one on their knees) but they can hold a plank facing you for this one. While they face you in plank or kneeling plank, you perform push-ups. Each time you push up from the ground, reach one hand to your child’s same hand (right to right, left to left) and clap with them. “Push-up clap right, push-up clap left, “etc.
Stair Run Relay
Run up a flight of stairs, come back down and high five your child’s hand to indicate it is their turn. Continue for as many as you decide ahead of time. If your child is old enough, mix-up your step climbing with running up, doing walking lunges up, skipping every other step, etc.
Use various animal moves to have fun going across the living room or basement floor. Be creative and take turns with your child. There won’t be many that don’t get your heart rate up unless, perhaps, you need a break and you shout out “snail!” Try these on for size: bear crawl, crab walk, snake slither, frog jumps.
Stop Go Up Down
Have fun while one of you is the leader and one of you is the mover.
- When the leader yells “stop” the mover “goes” (running in place)
- When the leader yells “go” the mover “stops”
- When the leader yells “up” the mover squats “down”
- When the leader yells “down” the mover reaches “Up”
- Play for about 1 min and then switch roles.