Back to school equals “back-to-reality,” and for the Powell Pack, that means three kiddos in school and all four in various sports (cue the eye roll and extra long sigh). Between running little Rubes to dance, Marley to gymnastics, Matix to basketball, Cash to jiujitsu, parent/teacher conferences, piano lessons, and music classes (I’m out of breath just listing these), carving out time to work out feels nearly impossible most days. And I know we’re not alone in this either. My readers (you included) have written in many times asking for advice on how to break the trend of breaking their family’s fitness routines during this time of year.

The American Heart Association recommends that adults get 30 minutes of exercise a day and kids get a whopping 60 minutes. Might seem like a daunting task (or should I say CHORE), but luckily, Chris and I have mastered the “how-to” on this and often display tips on our social media channels for the world to see. My two fave family workouts are shared below—in video form—to make it easy for you to mimic in your own home, getting your kids of all ages (toddlers to teens) and entire family off the couch and moving together.

Back to School Workout numero uno is SO good, in fact, that Good Morning America reached out, asking if Chris could share it with their audience. In true Chris fashion, he led a super fun, family-friendly circuit pulled straight from our own family in our own garage! Behold…our Back to School Fitness Circuit.

Yes, it it true that moving through various exercises at a fast pace will (1) get the heart rate up, (2) get many different muscle groups firing, and (3) challenge your skills in an incredible way. But the best part about our circuit workout is that it keeps it fun…or better put, it “gamifies” fitness (in other words, makes a game out of it!). Our kiddos LOVE this, especially the timed component to bring a whole new level of fun and competition. And PS…did you SEE all 4 kids participating?? Win-win. Ages 2-11 just in our family alone, and more often than not, this circuit is being completed by our entire neighborhood full of kids AND their parents.

To create your own Back to School Fitness Circuit, follow the steps below:

What you’ll need:

Exercise mat
Stability ball
Medicine ball
2 orange cones
A roll of tape
Agility ladder (or tape will work to create your own)
1-2 buckets
5-6 tennis balls
2 boxes (or a couple of benches/chairs)
Soccer ball
Whatever else your creative brain can come up with to make it fun!
*This is an extensive list for ideas, but if you only have one or two of these items, or even just tape, get creative with objects around the home.

What you’ll do:

2 x Over/Unders (climb over an obstacle—like a bench, then go under another—like a chair)
10 Push Ups
10-20 Walk the Lines (backward, forward, sideways “crossovers”)
10 Sit Ups
Fast Feet (through an agility ladder or tape on the ground)
10 Ball Squats (squat down to a stationary ball—you may bounce off of the ball at the bottom)
10 Ball Slams (pick up the ball and slam it!)
10 Box Jumps (jump onto a 12″-15” box then step down)
1 Successful Ball Toss (throw a tennis ball into a bucket from 10 feet away)
10 Cone Touch Shuttle Sprints (side-to-side shuffle)
Kick one soccer ball through the cones (soccer balls lined up and cones)
*Lots of ideas here—pick 5-10 of your favorites to build your own course!

Sprint to the finish and keep your times for reference. You and your kids can compete against each other or yourselves.

Another Powell Pack fave way to get our kiddos moving is through an oldie, but a goodie, and if you’ve followed me for awhile, you’ve seen us play this one a time or two. Drumroll, please…….Deck of Cards!

Yes, we are once again “gamifying” our workouts to keep them fun! A great component of this fitness game is that in addition to the classic way to play, you can actually theme the workout for different holidays or events (we did this for Thanksgiving last year!). Here’s a quick vid to show how amazingly fun it is…although burpees are always fun, right? (wink, wink)

Play Deck of Cards at home by following the steps below:

What you’ll need:

Your cute fam
A deck of cards (I bet you guessed that, didn’t you? ;))

What you’ll do:

Assign a simple movement to each suit in the deck. For example:

Hearts = push ups
Spades = sit ups
Clubs = burpees
Diamonds = squats

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Starting with the youngest kiddo, draw a card and do the movement assigned to the suit using the number on the card as reps.

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I feel like I just made that confusing… Ha! Okay, example: Ruby draws a 10 of hearts, so we all do 10 push ups! After the 10 push ups are completed, the next youngest child draws, and the family performs the appropriate number of reps for the suit drawn. Continue taking turns drawing and exercising until the entire deck is gone.

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So simple, so fun, and so draining, but the fun factor keeps it from ever feeling like anything but a game.

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Need some more ideas to get your family up and moving? Here are some of my fave family-friendly workouts I’ve posted over the years. You’ll notice there are so many different styles + ideas—it’s nearly impossible NOT to find something that suits your kiddos’ liking:

March Madness!!! A Powell Pack Family Workout
Halloween Candy Workout: Family Style!
Olympian Couch Potato Workout: Rio Edition
Easter Egg Hunt + Exercise = The Perfect Powell Pack Combo
Body and Brain Workout for Our Next Generation

What do you do to keep your family active? Share below!



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