Preschool workout
January 19, 2011 6:45 PM   Subscribe

How best can I include my three year old in a strength workout?

My son decided today that perching himself on my leg while I did this exercise was the funniest thing in the world. I would love to figure out a whole workout that uses the goofy little 3-foot tall 30-pounder instead of gym weights. Any tips out there? What are all of the ways you can imagine this working?
posted by umbú to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Squats while cradling him in your arms. Bench press the little guy while lying down on the floor. Do push ups while he sits on your back. Pick him up under his arms and lift him above your head. Have him sit on your feet or hold him to your chest while you do sit ups. Bicep curls. You might want to get a big soft mat or make sure there are soft pillows everywhere just in case for some of these.
posted by smokingmonkey at 7:04 PM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Put him on your shoulders and do single-leg squats. Grasp him by the seat of his pants and snatch or clean and press him like a kettlebell. Put him in a harness on your back and do pullups/chinups. Have him sit on your back and do pushups. Use him to do turkish getups.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 7:06 PM on January 19, 2011

Having kids sit on your back while you do pushups is not a good idea. A better thing would be for him to lie on your back. That way he is more stable and his weight won't shift.
posted by dfriedman at 7:12 PM on January 19, 2011

Best answer:

This should answer all your questions.
posted by unixrat at 7:15 PM on January 19, 2011 [5 favorites]

Best answer: My four-year-old daughter loves to stand in front of me, grab onto my hands, and have me lift her up in the air, sort of a front shoulder raise. For younger kids, I'd suggest lifting with your hands under their armpits to minimize the strain on their wrists and shoulders. She's close to forty pounds and it gets difficult after a bit. (Her six-year-old cousin loves it, too -- that's quite a bit more difficult of a workout!)

She also loves to sit in a laundry basket and "swing" -- I can grab the handles and raise it to my left side, then down, then to the right -- kind of like side raises.

If I ever try to do pushups with her around, she decides that it's the best time EVER to climb on my back.

You could try cradling him in your arms as you do lunges (front or side) or squats. (Or let him get on your back)

Basically, anything that seems like a fun ride to them can do double-duty as entertainment and fitness. :-)
posted by jdwhite at 7:16 PM on January 19, 2011

Response by poster: All of these answers are really helpful. Thanks! That video is hilarious. I'm going to try out a bunch of these suggestions with the little guy tomorrow morning.
posted by umbú at 8:51 PM on January 19, 2011

Best answer: My three year old like to play "crane", which ends up being a hell of a stomach workout for me: I lie on my back on the floor, and he sits on my stomach facing my feet. He grabs my thumbs, and uses them to "control" my legs: make them go up, down, left, right, etc. So I'm basically doing leg lifts for as long as he thinks it's fun. Also, with his weight on my stomach, I'm supporting him and keeping my back flat on the floor, which adds to the effect.
posted by holterbarbour at 9:14 PM on January 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

All bench presses involving toddlers should also involve kisses when he's in the down position. That is all.

(I did pushups OVER my baby when he was too little to move away and he thought this was the most HILARIOUS thing in the world as I got closer ... and closer ... and closer ... and KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS. Repeat.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:15 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on floor. Kid stands near your feet, facing you. Start the exercise by raising your legs, flex your feet and have him sit on your feet with his chest lying along your legs and his head should be sticking out above your knees. Hold his hands out like superman and lift/lower your legs to make him fly.
posted by CathyG at 8:24 AM on January 20, 2011

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