Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
If you’re a stay-at-home mom, or even a mom home with the kids on a weekend or day off, it can be pretty tough to find time to go running. So strength training is usually out of the question—small kids and dumbbells don’t exactly mix. But there are plenty of ways to sneak in some strength training during a day at home, even with your little ones around. Try a few of these tips and get ready to tone up with your tots.
Give your kids a deck of cards and let them act like your trainer. Assign a strength move to each suit in the deck (hearts are squats, diamonds are pushups, etc) and let them pick cards from the deck. If they throw down the ten of hearts, do ten squats. Let them work through the deck and you’ll get a killer workout, while they get a kick out of being in charge.
Fresh air fun
If the weather is cooperating, head outdoors for some family fun. Set up a mini obstacle course for yourself while they play. Use stairs for box jumps and calf raises, scatter a few frisbees in a row and squat-jump over them or use the end of a slide or the seat of a swing to rest one foot while doing lunges on the other. Even a classic game of leapfrog is a great way to sneak in some plyometric action, and freeze tag becomes a tough workout when you hold a squat each time you get tagged.
Related: Easy Workouts You Can Do From Home
If your kids are allowed a little screen time, join them in the living room and work on your core and arms. Crank out some crunches and planks, use the couch or a chair to do some tricep dips, and finish off with some wall pushups. Your kids will enjoy a little TV and you’ll enjoy your tight abs and arms.
Straighten and strengthen
When it’s time to clean up the mess at the end of the day, tackle the toy room and tone your lower half at the same time. Do a deep lunge for each toy you pick up and a squat when you put it away. You’ll be left with a spotless room and a spot-on pair of legs.
At bath time, bust out some wall sits while you watch your water babies. Let them practice their counting skills by timing how many seconds you can hold the position. You can even bring a pair of dumbbells into the bathroom and try some bicep curls while the kids are at a safe distance from your equipment.
Wind down for the night by teaching your kids a few of your favorite yoga poses. Walk them through a few sun salutations or relax into child’s pose. The stretching will finish off your day of strength-training and help them ease into sleep.
Related: How To Build A Better At-Home Gym