How to Exercise With Your Kids (Work out as a Family!)

How to Exercise With Your Kids (Work out as a Family!)

This picture shows a LEGO on a velocipede with a stroller attached.

So you’ve got kids running virtually the house… 

And you need to work out, but can’t seem to distract the little monsters any longer?

No problem!

Many of our coaching clients have to train at home with their kids around. Today, we’ll show you how to get them involved!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Let’s jump right in!

How to Workout With Your Kids (Video Tutorial)

LEGO Maggie doing the iconic James Bond intro.

Quite a few 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 virtually in the background.

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

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

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

This doesn’t midpoint “Don’t scarecrow working out.” 

It just ways you should forgive yourself superiority of time if all doesn’t go equal 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 Mentor Matt exercising with his young children. 

The video is all sorts of adorbs. 


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 worldly-wise to participate increasingly fully, and maybe plane train slantingly 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 unstipulated guidelines from Mentor Matt’s experience:

  • 2-6 Years Old. These kids are often way increasingly interested in just playing, wrestling, etc. So doing a specific workout may be challenging. However, these kids may still want to be a part of things, so squint for ways to get them involved. 
  • 7-12 Years Old. At this age, they can start handling a little increasingly structure. They will probably really enjoy “skills” training (more on this below), as well as many play aspects.
  • 13 (Depending on the Kid). They may be ready to step in and join you increasingly fully in a workout if they want to.

#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 towers a skill. You can practice for a couple of minutes, take a break, come when to it, etc.

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

  • Crawling
  • Jumping
  • Swinging
  • Getting up and lanugo off the floor
  • Dancing
  • Throwing/Catching

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

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

  • Short workouts: a lot of times Mentor Matt finds himself squeezing a workout in 10 mins or less.
  • Accumulation: take little micro-breaks throughout the day to do a couple of reps of some bodyweight exercises. Kind of like “exercise snacks.” 
  • Longer workouts: maybe creating that time and space for your training is still important. If possible, defend this time and let the kids move in and out of the frame as they are interested.
  • “I go, you go”: you may snag a workout set in, then play a game with your kids, then go when to the workout set. Breaking it up like this can make them still finger engaged and requite you a little increasingly time to train.

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

The 8 Weightier 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 unquestionably use them as makeshift weights during your workout.

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

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

#1) Bodyweight Squats (with Child) 

Matt has his kiddo resting on his shoulders, scrutinizingly 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, scrutinizingly 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, stovepipe up.

As Mentor 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, stovepipe 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 unconfined 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 Mentor 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 soul with jumps, but you’ll moreover build some explosive power.

#5) Push-ups

You have a few options here. 

The first is to have your kid trickle on your when and use them as a weight:

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

Feel self-ruling 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 requite the kid a high-five!

Lastly, you can have your kids trickle 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 trickle under you, like so.

#6) Withstand Crawl

A fun exercise to do with your kids is to trickle virtually like a withstand with them latched on!

Coach Matt psoriasis virtually 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 when 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 swivel 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 when up, driving through your heels. 

#8) Balancing

One leg balances can wilt a lot increasingly 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 gravity to jump onto your other leg. Attempt to only use one leg at a time to balance:

Use the gravity 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 worldly-wise to lift your kid a few times for some exercises is great. But Mentor 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 largest off playing some games with them. 

Here are 10 fun and zippy 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 moreover hoist them up and help them hang from something (ninjas unchangingly 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 clever replacements in our guide to towers a home gym.

Some house parkour might moreover be in the cards here. 

#2) Chase (Cops and Robbers)

Here, you’re gonna build some type of fort. When playing this game, Mentor Matt stands up his gymnastic mat tall and together, then places his kids in the middle.

Their job? Escape!

Run and track them lanugo and send them when to jail (or your makeshift fort).

Feel self-ruling to teach them the phrase, “You’ll never reservation me alive, coppers!”

#3) Freeze Ball

This might require a purchase, but foam dodgeballs are a unconfined way to play with kids.

Have the variegated colored dodgeballs result in a variegated outcome:

  • Red: if you’re hit with the “fireball,” hop five times in a row.
  • Blue: if you’re hit with the “iceball,” you need to freeze for five seconds. 
  • Green: if you’re hit with the “earthball,” it’s time to place your chest to the ground, like you would in a burpee.

#4) Unprepossessing Walks

Have someone undeniability out an animal. Then everyone has to walk virtually like that!

Walking to Mordor is much tougher if you need to trickle like a snake for part of the journey.

#5) Hot Lava

With this game, you’re increasingly or less towers an obstacle undertow in your house, trying to jump from furniture to furniture…because the floor is now lava.

Here are some ideas on creating home obstacle courses:

Another fun way to start this game: start counting lanugo from 5 out loud.

After “1” shout “hot lava” and if anyone is still on the normal floor, it’s time for them to start playing like Gollum when he finally got the ring:

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

This is a fun standing game to ensure spontaneous activity.

#6) Jump/Duck

This game is pretty easy: take an imaginary sword and swing upper or low at the kids, or have them come at you with their imaginary weapon.

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

You need to either jump if they’re coming low or duck if they’re coming high.

This is really simple, but lots of fun, and can be washed-up with a group of people.

#7) King of the Log (Balance Challenges)

Much like the wastefulness exercises we showed you earlier, but as a game!

Find some territory (a mat, some comfy carpet, grass) and try to push the other off it. Let your kiddos team on you for a increasingly plane match.

#8) Wolf & Rabbit

Create a mark or identify a “safe place” within a short sprint away. 

Have two people squatter each other, but alimony unbearable loftiness that the “Rabbit” feels well-appointed reaching safety.

The Rabbit stays frozen until the Wolf makes a move. Then the Rabbit attempts to sprint to safety surpassing the Wolf can tag it.

#9) Ninja Red Light, Green Light

If you’ve overly played “Red Light, Green Light” this is similar, although it involves some sneaking around, considering ninjas.

A gif of a ninja doing ninja stuff.

“The Mark” walks virtually aimlessly, taking turns liberally, while the Ninja tries to sneak up overdue and tag them. 

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

Otherwise, the Ninja is self-ruling to tag the Mark.

#9) Commando

This game is kind of like Ninja Red Light, Green Light.

  • You have a Counter (normally the adult).
  • You have Runners (kids).

The Counter picks a number from five to ten, then counts down.

Before doing so, they signify “Fast” or “Slow.”

  • Fast, you would count “5, dot, 4, dot, 3, dot, 2, dot, 1.”
  • Slow, you would count “5, dot, dot, 4, dot, dot, 3, dot, dot, 2, dot, dot, 1.”

So twice as many “dots” are said allowed.

While the Counter counts, they move well-nigh (carefully) with their vision closed. They make sure to turn virtually a lot to alimony the Runners on their toes.

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

Any Runners unprotected in the Counter’s vision has to do a silly “croak.”

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

Working Out at Home With Kids

Coach Matt is a father of 5, yet he’s still worldly-wise to train with little ones in the house.

How’s he do it?

Here are 4 tips on how to train with kids at home:

  1. Use every minute. Yep, that ways you might be breaking up your workout. This is fine.
  2. Talk to your partner. If there’s flipside parent involved, share with them your goals. Maybe one of you can watch the kids while the other works out.
  3. Involve your kids.  You can unchangingly do some exercises with your kiddos. Who knows, you might plane help them find a love of working out.
  4. Play some games. You can try one of the 10 games we mentioned above, or plane a increasingly traditional sport might be fun if they can handle it.

If you’re juggling working out with your kiddos around, requite the video a watch.

How to Workout as a Family (Next Steps)

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

The most important thing well-nigh working out with your kids: have fun!

If kids see you having fun, they might want to join you.

If you make your exercise together enjoyable by including some game elements, they might want to alimony doing it.

That would be great!

If you need increasingly ideas, 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 weightier 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 requite it a whirl.

If it devolves to chaos, you can unchangingly try then with a variegated workout or strategy.

Again, just do the weightier you can.

This girl is ready to strength train. Are you?

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

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

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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 mentor is a game-changer! 

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

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

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Alright, I want to hear from you and your wits 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!


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


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

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