We’ve all seen those workout at home with kids memes. You know the ones where you’re doing your Goddess pose around the laundry basket. Hey, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, right? But, working out at home with your kids doesn’t have to be stressful or boring or involve laundry. You can make it exciting and, dare I say it, even have fun too.
Here are some of the best ways on how to include your kids in your workouts, keep them busy, and have fun as a family too. Divided by age-group so you can find the best activities for you and your littles.
Note from Verv: We, at Verv, hope you find this guide helpful during the global coronavirus pandemic, when we’re all trying to follow the best recommendations on social distancing. For more information on the best ways to stay healthy during these troubling times, see our articles on keeping loved ones safe while social distancing, resetting your circadian rhythm, keeping kids busy at home in general, and other ways to stay fit at home.
There might not be much your little one can do yet. But that’s no reason not to get them involved in your workout.
New-born stage tip: Don’t worry if you’re not feeling up too much yet. Try to get your body moving a little during the day, and most importantly, focus on that precious time with baby.
Whether you go on a long walk, spend some time in the garden, or even if it’s just your living room, stroller lunges are a great way to kick your legs back into action.
- Hold the stroller with one hand.
- Lunge forward as far as you can with your right leg.
- Dip into the lunge and hold for 3 seconds.
- Stand up again and switch legs.
- Repeat at least 5 times for each leg.
Your tummy muscles are less than toned these days, and that’s ok. But, now’s the time to gently rebuild them. This is vital to your overall body strength and helpful when lifting your little one.
- Plant one foot on the ground.
- Push your stroller outward with one hand as far as you can go.
- Kick the other leg back.
- Hold this position for a couple of seconds. Try to feel the tightness in your stomach.
- Switch legs and repeat at least 5 times on each side.
Note: If you’ve had a C-Section, this exercise is not advisable until your wounds have healed.
It might not seem exciting, but a walk in the fresh air (even if it’s around the garden) could be just what the doctor ordered. It will refresh your mind and give your body a boost too.
- Get dressed.
- Dress the baby and make sure he or she is well fed.
- Put the baby in the stroller and get outside.
5 months plus
Right now you’re hitting your groove as a new Mama! So it’s time to step it up with your workout routine and add in a few new moves.
5 Months Plus tip: Don’t stress if it doesn’t go to plan. Your workout is supposed to make you feel good, not give your extra stress so take it at your own pace.
Once you’ve been given the all-clear by the doc, you can start working those abs again. These sit-ups get your little one engaged in your routine.
- Lie on the floor with your knees up as a bridge.
- Place your baby in a half seated position against your knees.
- Hold your baby in place.
- Lean up, raising your shoulder slightly off the ground.
- Make funny faces to keep your little one entertained.
Super baby lifts
You always knew your baby would be a superhero, so best get them started early. Super baby lifts are one of those fun workouts at home with kids that will leave them giggling.
- Lie flat on your back on the floor
- Bend your knees and raise your lower legs so they are parallel to the floor.
- Place your baby on your lower legs. Make sure they are secure. Remember to keep a hold of them here.
- Bring your legs in towards your chest and push them back out.
- Keep an eye on your little one’s smiling face and they come closer and get further away.
Forget about getting the dumbbells out, kids are the perfect accompaniment for a weightlifting workout.
- Lift your baby and hold them securely against your chest.
- Squat down while still holding the baby.
- Rise up again slowly.
- Repeat this exercise 5-10 times depending on your fitness level.
3 years and growing
Now your little ones are a little older, you’re probably getting lots of questions like what’s exercise for and having to explain to your kids why muscles are sore after a workout. But, that’s what being a parent is all about. While you’re handling the hard questions, here are 5 great activities to do with your big little kid.
3 years and growing tip: No doubt your kid has high energy levels and you’re wondering how you’ll keep up. A workout will help boost your energy and leave you feeling healthier too.
Dance it out
If you’re in the mood for having fun, moving your body, and getting your little one involved, it’s time to hit play and get in on this awesomely good cardio workout for kids and adults alike.
- Create a fun playlist – mix it up with slow and fast songs. Mom needs a breather after all.
- Hit play and dance it out.
- Get your little one involved. You can even try to teach them some new moves or let them take the lead.
Put that spring back in your step. There’s nothing kids love more than jumping, maybe they’re evening jumping with excitement at this workout. But aside from being a way to express excitement, jumping is a great way to work out and get your body moving.
- Get your little one to hunker down with both legs together. Do the same.
- One the count of 3, spring up into the air.
- Legs should be apart, and hands should clap above your head.
- Repeat 5 times.
You always wanted to do that 28-day planking challenge to a new body? Well, now’s a good a time as any to start. But as it’s not just about you anymore, here’s how to get your littles involved.
- Get in a plank position.
- Hold the pose for as long as you need to that day.
- Get your little one to run around. And let them use your body as a bridge. They’ll have lots of fun doing it, and you’ll build up your strength.
Superman/Super Woman swims
Who doesn’t want to be a superhero? I know I sure do, and chances are your kid has a favorite hero too. So what better way to keep them fit and healthy by modeling their heroes.
- Lie face down on the floor and get your kid to do the same.
- Raise your arms straight out in front of you.
- Extend your legs to the back.
- Lift your chest slightly off the ground.
- Kick your back feet.
- Hold this pose for 5-10 seconds.
Walk like a gazelle, crawl like a lion, slither like a snake. This is a fun activity game that’ll help keep you and your kids on the move and laughing while you do it. And it’s a great way to learn about what the animals do too.
- Set a start and finish line.
- Decide on what animal you will all be.
- Practice your animal moves (and sounds).
- Time to race.
- Watch out for any running rule-breakers.
5 and up
They’ve got bigger, they’ve got more curious and chances are you’re still having lots of fun, well, in between those little stressful moments, but that’s normal. These are some great activities to try that’ll keep you on your toes.
5 and up tip: Creativity and adventure are great tools to add in at this stage to make your workout so much more fun.
Round the garden obstacle course
Admit it, you’ve always secretly dreamt of being a ninja or soldier crawling through the trenches. Now’s the time to make those fantasies a reality. With a garden (or house) obstacle course.
- Set up your course. Be sure to choose a safe space and arrange your obstacles safely. You can choose something to crawl under, something to jump over and something to climb to start. But as you go on you’ll only get more creative and adventurous.
- Ready, steady, GO! Try out your course and see if it is up to standard.
- Add in new obstacles and go again.
Up and down the stairs
Ever wondered how many times it would take you to climb Everest if the great mountain was your stairs – look no further. For one boy it was a massive 2,507 times. But you don’t need to be so ambitious, choose a friendlier mountain to start off with – the Andes, perhaps? The main thing here is to get those legs working.
- Decide on your goal.
- Take a deep breath.
- Walk up and down those stairs. Remember endurance, not speed, is everything.
Ever had problems getting your little one to listen, me too! It happens to every parent from time to time. That’s why Simon says, is such a favorite. Here’s how to make it work out-friendly.
- Tell your kid the rules around Simon says.
- Round 1 – run in circles.
- Round 2 – jump on the spot.
- Round 3 – Push-ups
- Round 4 – Burpees
- And you can keep going and going until someone is worn out.
This childhood classic never gets old. Aside from practicing your balance by hopping on one leg then the other, you can also use it as a great opportunity to teach your kid numbers, colors or even letters.
- Draw your hopscotch squares with your chosen colors, numbers or letters.
- Throw the stone.
- Wherever it lands, it’s time to hop there.
Kitchen triceps dips
Just because you’re busy making a cup of tea, doesn’t mean it’s time to slack. Get your little one involved in some impromptu triceps dips. You can even make it a competition – who can do the most before the kettle boils.
- Grab two chairs. One for you, one for your kid.
- Sit on the edge of the chair.
- Dip down using your triceps for support.
- Don’t forget to count those reps and see who wins.
Teen (not) trouble
You heard about the terrible teens, maybe you even remember your own teen years, but don’t panic, it’s not that bad. In fact, once they’ve risen from their bed, your teen can become your best workout companion yet.
Teen not trouble tips: Setting a good example for health and wellbeing during your kids’ teen years can create a lasting impression and it’s great for your health too.
Who doesn’t love a little healthy competition, especially when it’s a competition to get you healthy? This is the plank challenge with a difference. But of course, you can always Instagram it.
- Set the timer.
- Get in the plank position and have your teen do the same.
- Hold the pose for as long as you can. Whoever cracks first loses.
Being a teen is stressful. There’s so much to worry about from exam stress to future plans to friendship to acne. It’s a minefield. But there is one technique you can teach your teen to help them manage better and that’s yoga.
- Get into the starting position.
- Follow a guided yoga practice.
- Remember your breathing.
- Aim to practice every day to get real benefit and spend quality time with your teen.
Walk and talk
Sounds simple, right? You might remember this one is perfect for the time your little one was really little too. But it’s so great for teens and that’s why we’re bringing it back. Walking together is a great way to spend time as a family, to refresh the mind and enjoy the world around. You can even use it for a heart to heart with your not-so-little baby.
- Turn off the phones (no distractions here).
- Find a quiet, safe outdoor space.
- Simply go for a walk and talk to one another. This will not only improve your body, but your relationship too.