Best Workouts to Do With Your Family


Many of us share a goal of wanting to be more active and fit. Staying in shape is often pushed aside by other responsibilities, such as spending quality time with your loved ones. Exercising together with your family is one way to meet your fitness goals without cutting down on family time.

No worries if your toddler can't keep up with your teenager or if you can't lift quite as much as your partner. Working out together doesn't mean you have to do exactly the same number of reps. "When a family spends time together doing a physical activity there is an individual goal, which each person is responsible for completing, but there is also an underlying shared goal of family success," says Nina Moore, a founding trainer at FORME.

It's easy to make accommodations for everyone's abilities if you choose family-friendly workouts. Even a tiny baby can come along strapped to your chest or lying in a stroller.

Working out together sets a positive example for your children too. Kids ages 3 to 5 need about three hours of physical exercise each day, and older kids need at least an hour each day, with more vigorous exercise three days a week. No matter how many times you tell them that it's good for them to stay active, what you do has the greatest impression on them.

Ahead, we share a variety of workout ideas that you can do with your family, including free activities, streamable activities, and classes you can attend.

Benefits of Working Out as a Family

Exercising is a positive way to spend time together. It is fun and healthy, and it promotes fitness as a family value. "Especially for children, this small moment of interdependence creates a lasting memory that strengthens the family bond and their sense of identity within the family," says Moore.

We feel good when we spend time together, and the exercise itself promotes even more positive emotions. "Working out releases endorphins, and doing endorphin-releasing activities with others is a great way to feel closer to them," says Caroline Grainger, ISSA, a certified personal trainer at FitnessTrainer. "It's a big part of the bond that develops among teammates."

Exercising together benefits kids of all ages in different ways. Toddlers just love to imitate what you do, and they are building their strength and mobility. "Things like jumping jacks, burpees, sit-ups, and static stretches are all going to be a ton of fun to do along with their parents, and help to develop important mobility skills they'll need," notes Grainger.

For school-aged kids, working out is ultimately a form of play. If you can make it into a game, you might be surprised by how much stamina they have. As they get older, you can talk about the importance of physical activity and help them set their own goals. Older kids may also be motivated by some friendly competition.

Free Workouts You Can Do as a Family

You don't have to shell out a ton of cash to get fit together—there are plenty of ways to workout as a family that don't cost a dime. Following are a few free ideas, including both indoor and outdoor options.

Indoor Ideas

Activity Stations: Create stations in your home that your family can rotate through. "Designate a space for jumping jacks, crawling under a rope or table, planks, or squats," suggests Moore. "Simply set a timer and have each person rotate through the stations."

Freeze Dance: All you need for this one is music! Put on some rhythmic tunes and dance your hearts out. When the music stops, everyone freezes. But don't take anyone "out". Instead, keep everyone dancing the whole time, and keep a score of anyone who moves. The winner has the lowest score at the end.

"We always do it this way because the kids who are out aren't moving," says Ange Meilani, a San Francisco-based mom of two very active boys. "They're either bored or complaining, so we switched to keeping everyone in."

Mirror Mirror: Partner up your family members, and make a group of three, if you have an odd one out. One partner does any kind of movement while the others copy them. After a few minutes, switch.

This activity is good for families with mixed abilities. A parent can do all the pushups or squats that they need during their turn, while a toddler does their best (and cutest) impression. Having their own turn to lead keeps the toddler engaged.

Relay Race Obstacle Course: If you can clear some space in your home, set up an obstacle course using couch cushions or other objects found in the home. Go over how it's supposed to be run, and then take turns. If you have a larger family and enough space, set up two courses and do a relay race. "The competitive aspect keeps my boys excited about this one," notes Meilani.

TikTok Dances: Try out the latest TikTok dance trend. Practice over and over to perfect your routine, so that you get plenty of time to move. Perfection is not required—all that matters is that you have fun and get some movement in.

Outdoor Ideas

Hiking: Enjoy the beauty of nature while trekking along the trail together. Babies can join family hikes in a carrier, and there are toddler carriers that you can wear like a backpack, too.

If your little one can walk, allow them to walk as much as they can before putting them back into the carrier. It can also help if you are able to let your toddler lead the way, at least some of the time. Toddlers can cover a lot of ground when they are setting the route and the pace.

Hula Hooping: Hula hooping is a skill that your family can learn together. Put on music while you hula to help keep young kids from getting bored or frustrated. It's also wise to have an alternative activity like blowing bubbles or doing jumping jacks for kids who are not ready to master the art of hula hooping.

Walking Together: Taking a brisk stroll has many health benefits, and it's one of the simplest workouts out there. Babies can ride in the stroller or carrier for this one. You can keep your walks interesting by setting a step goal or having a specific place to end up, like a playground or ice cream shop.

Relay race: Head to a college or high school track for this one. The goal is to pass an object, like a stuffed animal, around the track. "You can decide how far each person is going to run, and everyone doesn’t need to run the same distance," notes Moore.  

Workouts You Can Virtually Stream as a Family

If you need a little more guidance for your workouts, look into streaming services. A lot of these came about during the pandemic and they are still popular. Streaming workouts are a good option for rainy days or days you just can't get outside.

FORME, a physical mirror workout platform and streaming app, offers Family Yoga, Family PE, Family Recess, Family Boxing and Family strength. These classes range from 15 to 30 minutes and they are all designed for parents and kids to do together. FORME is a unique way to workout because it's projected onto a mirror where you can view yourself in action.

Nike Training Club on Netflix has a variety of training programs to stream. It's not specifically designed for kids but there's no reason you can't try it out with yours. Since the classes are more advanced, this would be a good choice for families with older kids or teens.

Peloton Family allows you to stream yoga, cardio, and even meditation classes that you can do at home, together with the kids. There are even Disney-music-themed classes!

Head to Trainer LJ's YouTube page for a dance cardio class that you can do with your baby in a carrier. If your kids are older, try Cosmic Kids Yoga (parents can definitely do it too!).

Workout Classes You Can Attend as a Family

If in-person classes motivate you the most, know that there are a few that you can attend with your littles in-tow. "I have to be in studio to get excited about exercise," says Corinne Horsey, a mom of one. "I did a postpartum workout class with Every Mother and we all brought our infants and let them rest on bean bags."

Fit4Mom offers several family-friendly stroller workouts, including Stroller Strides, a full-body workout that you can do with you little one in the stroller. The workouts include interactions with your baby as well. They also offer Stroller Barre and Run Club, a guided stroller run.

Pure Yoga offers baby and me yoga classes for different ages and stages. There's the Baby and Me class, which you can attend with young infants and Babies on the Go for crawlers. They also offer a babywearing barre class.

The YMCA offers group exercise classes like bootcamp, tennis, and aquatics that are perfect for families with older kids. There are also baby and me swim classes available at some YMCA's or other gyms.

4 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Making Physical Activity a Way of Life: AAP Policy Explained.

  2. Sukys, Saulius, et al. “Do Parents’ Exercise Habits Predict 13–18-Year-Old Adolescents’ Involvement in Sport?Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, vol. 13, no. 3, Sept. 2014, pp. 522–28.

  3. Harvard Medical School. Exercising to Relax.

  4. Hanson, Sarah, and Andy Jones. Is There Evidence That Walking Groups Have Health Benefits? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 49, no. 11, June 2015, pp. 710–15. (Crossref), doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-094157.

By Elisa Cinelli
Elisa is a well-known parenting writer who is passionate about providing research-based content to help parents make the best decisions for their families. She has written for well-known sites including POPSUGAR and Scary Mommy, among others.