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Sentara Martha Jefferson Orthopedics and Spine


How to Work out With Kids of All Ages

Whether you’ve got one child or five, a baby or a teen, finding time to work out can be challenging for busy moms. The calendar can only hold so many events per day!

But if you include your kids in your workout, you can gain a lot of time, and have fun with them, too. Here are some suggestions based on the ages of your kids.


Be sure to wait until your baby has good neck control and old enough to “work out” with mom. Decide on the right number of sets for you and work up from there.

Here are some ideas:

Crunches – Lie on your back with your ab muscles pulled in and knees pulled up with feet on the floor. Hold your baby sitting up on your lower abdomen. Do a crunch up to your baby.

Reverse crunches ­– Lie on your back and pull your knees up with your shins parallel to the floor. Have your baby lay on your shins, facing the floor (not the ceiling). Hold your abs in and bring your knees closer to your chest.

Overhead press – Sit on the ground with your legs crossed. Hold your baby facing you close to your chest. Straighten your arms upward without locking your elbows and lift our baby up and back down. Your baby acts as your weight.

Bench Press – Lay on the floor, knees bent, feet on the floor. Hold your baby like he’s flying like Superman. Lift your baby up and down.

Lunges, squats – Hold your baby securely around her chest or wear a baby carrier. Use the extra weight to make your lunges or squats more challenging. Watch your form. Don’t let your knees reach over your toes when you bend.

For images of many of these exercises, visit Fit Pregnancy. (

Stroller Workout
Need to get some fresh air with your baby or toddler? Once your doctor clears you to exercise, you can begin to use your jogger stroller to get fit, not just for cardio, but also stopping for resistance training using your own body weight. 

Your community may have a stroller workout club for a guided workout with other moms, but here are some ideas to do on your own or with a friend.

Once you start your walk and warm up, you can add stop in intervals for these exercises:

Squats ­– Hold the stroller bar and do some squats. Aim to get your thighs parallel to the ground. Keep your knees from going over your toes, like you are sitting back in a chair.

Lunges ­– Hold the stroller bar with one hand and step one foot back into a lunge, stretching the other arm straight out in back of you. Again, don’t let your knee reach over your toes.

Push-Ups –  If you come across a park bench, park your stroller next to you with the brakes on. Hold the seat of the park bench with your arms shoulder-width apart. Tighten abdominals and do a set of pushups.

Tricep Dips – Work out your triceps, by reversing your position, facing forward like you are going to sit on the bench. Brace the park bench behind you, flexing your arms and dip down, lifting your body weight up and down

See pictures of these exercises in Fit Pregnancy (

Older Kids:

You’ve got a lot of options with older kids! Take a bike ride. Sign up for a 5K together. Walking it is OK! Take your dog for a walk together. Play tennis. Swim laps. Dance!

Instead of sitting in your car and checking your phone at a sports practice, use the time to run or walk. Get to know the nearby neighborhood or take laps around the field or park. Make it more fun by going with another mom on the team or your spouse.

If you’d like to do some resistance training with your kids (ab work, lunges, squats, pushups), use dice and label each face a different exercise. Roll the dice to see what it tells you to do.

Ask your kids to set up an obstacle course in the backyard. Time each other doing the obstacle course.

Yes, you’re swamped, but don’t let your health move to the back burner. Exercising is good for your body, mind and bones. You’re guaranteed to feel healthier and better about yourself afterward.