In the late 1970s and 1980s gym memberships became more common for the average American, where formerly they were mostly havens for fitness extremists and athletes. Originally marketed to younger people, today’s gyms are comprised of people from various age groups. However, rather than aerobics classes and weight-training, the most popular trend in fitness are functional fitness exercises from a variety of proprietary brands.
All of these workouts are built around the same idea, that one does not need elaborate machines to get fit. For parents, who often struggle already to balance their work and home lives, these sorts of workouts can be ideal. They also can be something one does with his or her kids.
Jumping Rope is a great aerobic exercise and is an activity many kids already enjoy. With a rope for each person, they can play while you work out. Although, many popular workouts suggest a “double under” or that the rope makes two revolutions each time you jump, so your session will be far more intense than theirs.
The Push-Up is a classic upper body workout used by serious exercisers from athletes to soldiers. While this is not exactly a game kids play already, it can be fun for them. Also, if you can handle the added resistance, they can take turns sitting on your back while you knock out sets. For the advanced, try the Handstand Push-Up, which is exactly what it sounds like.
The Lunge is an old gym class and football practice classic that simply works. It’s another great exercise to do with kids, because it seems so simple and, frankly, it looks so silly. With the right attitude, this could turn into a kind of game and workout combination that kids will enjoy.
The Box Jump is also exactly what it sounds like, where one jumps from the ground onto a box. The higher the jump, the more intense the workout, so if you plan to involve kids have some small ones handy. Again this is something that kids do anyway—jumping on things—and might hold their attention long enough for you to complete your workout.
The Pull-Up is a fantastic upper-body exercise that works the same muscle groups as climbing on monkey bars. Even if your kids have can’t or don’t want to do pull-ups themselves, there has always been something fun about hanging from something by your arms. You can also hang from the bar and try to bring your knees to your elbows to work your core, another exercise that kids will almost certainly want to try if only to see if they can do it.
Working out with kids can be distracting, but involving them in your workouts can set up great fitness habits for them later on. Workouts like these require very little equipment and not that much time, which make them ideal for fitting in while with your children.
What functional fitness exercises do your kids enjoy already? Ever think about joining them?