Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Home family workout

The government has decided to close our schools due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Parents may be sent home from work or have no customers to provide for, which leaves the whole family at home.

This is a perfect opportunity to keep the kids active and enjoy some family time together.


I have a 10-year-old son and being off school to him is ‘Xbox on and I’ll be fine if you feed me’.

The problem for my son is that he has a dad who places a huge amount of importance on being active.

He doesn’t have to worry too much as I’m not going to see how many push-ups he can do in 24 hours.

Even though I may not be able to coach in schools, I still have a business to run from home so my time is limited.

So it is in the interest of both our health and wellbeing that I schedule some time to play and be active with my son.

For me it comes natural and easy to come up with games and activities. However, because I’m his dad and not his coach, I really have to make sure it’s fun and engaging for him.

Below are a few ideas which will take little or no equipment that will help you keep you and your kids active.


Bin Basketball
Clean out your bin and get a pair of folded socks, set the bin on the floor or on an evaluated surface like a chair.
Take turns trying to throw the socks into the bin. Set up a friendly completion, for example the first to five baskets wins. I did this the other day with my son for an hour and we even recorded a slow-mo video of him scoring a basket.
This really took up to 20 minutes from me trying to get the camera to work right and him scoring a basket at the same time.

Foxes and Rabbits
Use a small towel, like a tea towel and place it down the back of your child’s bottoms so it is hanging out like a rabbit’s tail.
Depending on how many people are in the house, ask them to do the same apart form one person who will be the fox.
The fox has to catch the rabbits by pulling their tail out. Once they are caught they have to do five star jumps or any other exercise before they place their tail back in and run again.

Animal Movements
Use your child’s toys or just ask them what is their favourite animal and the whole family has to move like that said animal. This is a great way for exploring movements in a small space. You can also ask them to name different animals that move in different ways. For example a bear crawls, frogs jump and pigs roll in the mud.

Crabs and Scorpions
Sticking with the animal movement theme show your family two movements. The first one is the crab where your body takes the shape of a table by placing your hands and feet on the floor with your belly facing the roof.
The scorpion is the opposite shape with hands and feet in on the floor but with the bum raised towards to roof. Pick one person to be a scorpion and the other a crab. The scorpion has to catch the crabs and when they do the crabs then turns into a scorpion and the scorpion changes into a crab.

The Chair Workout
I posted this workout on our CORE NI social media platforms. It showed Josh doing five reps or five exercises by five sets. I called it the 5-5-5 chair workout, I know what you are thinking, genius, right? Anyway the five exercises where;
• Squat – get your child to touch their bum on the chair and stand back up.
• Tricep Dips – facing away from the chair place your two hands on the seat, legs straight out in front and bend the elbows while lowering the bottom.
• Press Ups – Place your hands on the seat so your face is facing the seat. Bring your legs back and make sure your body is line. Press by bending at the elbows bringing your face close to the seat and back to the start position again.
• Bent Over Row – Crab and lift the chair by the seat, hinge over by softening the knees and pushing the bum back. Row the chair towards your chest and then straighten the arms back to the start position.
• Hinge – Stand behind the chair with your bum facing the back of the chair. Soften your knees and push your bum back until it touches the chair. Think about how you would close a car door with your bum. Same movement.

Daily Exercise Challenge
Depending on the number of days you and your family may be off, set a daily exercise challenge for you all to complete. This could be doing a number of certain exercises, or complete a number of steps before lunch time. Be creative and better still, get the kids to pick their daily challenge.

What trumps doing any form of movement inside is doing the same, if not more outside. Use the opportunity to get your kids outdoors. Much sure you are following government guidelines if they have any recommendations put in place.

Stay safe, wash your hands and keep moving.

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