We presented family fitness at last year’s 2013 Indy Family Fest in October in Indianapolis! Being active with your family is not an expensive or time consuming activity. If you’re in your back yard, at a park, on vacation, or just can’t get to the gym, these are some ideas to get your heart pumping, muscles challenged and kids engaged! As always, use safety and good form as your main focus. Being active with the family, or even while the family watches, is a great way to create memories. Keep it fun, keep it safe and enjoy an active moment together! We are not proclaiming to be fitness professionals, but simply giving you ideas of how to be active with your family. Do these activities at your own risk and ability level.
We repeat each exercise in sets of 3 with 8 to 15 reps each. Rest 1 minute between sets.
Mom decided to do some walking lunges. This can be done inside or out and nearly anywhere you have an open space.
Add some intensity by putting a kid on your back. This is a Bulgarian Lunge with the back foot elevated on the bench. The forward leg is getting the work done in the glute and hamstring. Keep the back foot stable, raising and lowering with the front leg. The torso raises and lowers, not ever moving out forward in front of the front knee.
Do a squat with or without a kiddo on back! Keep the feet shoulder’s width apart and chest up, aiming to create a table top with your legs in the lowered position. Squat slowly and squeeze in the glutes, quads and hamstrings as you push upwards for each rep.
Using our resistance bands (purchase online, at Target, or Walmart), we looped it up over the swingset and did a lat pull down to work the back.
Using a rock to draw squares on the pavement, Dad and son jumped in and out of the squares, much like a hop scotch activity. You can hop on one leg, leap forward, or jump forward and back with two legs at once.
Picnic table stepping is a great cardio activity. Step up on the bench, then to the table, down to the bench and then to the ground. Turn around and repeat. Older and more advanced ages can try jumping up to the bench with two feet and then jumping back down.
Picnic table decline push ups. For those wanting less intensity, you can do this upright against a tree or even against the table top raised up at a higher level.
Assisted swingset pull ups to work the back.
Incline bench push ups to work the chest; These can be done like the picnic table decline push ups for more intensity as well.
Kid presses! Working the chest and bicep muscles, you can press a kiddo up and down. Safely hold the child and press upward and then lower to the chest. We got up on the table to be on firm support, but the ground is a safe option as well. Drop the size of kiddo down for less resistance.
Double kid presses to work the chest and biceps! This move is more advanced for stronger participants, but he grasped a child in each hand and pressed them up and down. This is the same concept as the chest press on the table above and with a smaller child, it’s best to have them lay across your chest firmly holding their legs and arms.
Kid curls working the biceps! Again, vary the weight of the curl with the weight of the child. Use your forearms to cradle the child and then curl them upwards and return them slowly to the starting position for a full range of motion.
Upright rows working the shoulders! Using two people, have one grab the child’s arms and the other grab the child’s legs. Row upwards, carefully raising the child. The shoulder gets worked at the top of that motion and then on the slow return to the starting position. Safety and slowness are key in this (and all!) the moves!
Using the picnic bench, do a tricep dip. Grab the bench with hands facing towards you, using the triceps to raise and lower the body. The legs aim to stay table top the entire time allowing your arms to do the work, bending at the elbows. Add extra intensity with a child laying across your lap!
These are just a few ideas of ways to be active in the park or anywhere with the family! Watch soon as we post about ways to be active on the playground using the equipment there to get a workout in!