Author: Lee Boxall – Business Development Manager at Clubwise
I really do hope you are all keeping safe and well.
My name is Lee, and I work in the Business Development team at ClubWise. I’ve been given the task of writing a short blog on the subject of ‘Family friendly workout tips for your members’.
As I sit down to write this ‘first time’ and probably ‘last time’ blog, I feel I may represent a large proportion of your membership base. After a couple of years of non-attendance, using work, children and married life in general as a poor excuse for not keeping on top of my physical and mental wellbeing, I decided to hit the gym hard again in January with the very best of intentions. I was going almost every day, and by the 20th of March I had started to see some great results… body fat % was down, muscle mass was up, colleagues in the office were noticing a change… Then ‘WHALLOP’, COVID-19 took its grip on the World and forced our Pubs, Clubs, Restaurants, Bars, and worst of all our GYMS to close their doors.
Working from home had already been implemented by this point so being home already by the time work had finished made it even easier to get your daily gym visit ticked off the list. But what was I going to do now? I certainly didn’t want to lose all those hard-earned gains I had sweated and grunted to acquire during the first few months of this strange new era. How was I going to keep the ‘old body’ away whilst juggling work and a crazy 2 ½ year old daughter who can only go outside once a day to exercise? The answer is I didn’t know, but thanks to my daughter, I quickly stumbled across a solution that worked for us all.
I decided early on that if we are to see any of this Summer and squeeze in a beach holiday when this is all over, I did not want to own the worst ‘Dad Bod’ by the pool. So, on day 1 of lockdown I committed to 100 press ups a day. Within seconds my daughter decided she was going to ruin this for me and bundled on my back, squashing me face first into the carpet! GREAT! That’s that one out of the window. Then I had a thought. Press ups are good but how can I make them harder, how can I push myself like I do in the Gym environment? I asked her to get back on my back, gracefully this time, and began to do my press ups. My word what a difference an extra 15kgs on my back made. I had a serious case of the wobbles in the first set of 10 and failed halfway through the next.
This got me thinking, what else can I do to maintain my fitness and keep my family sane whilst around the house? Some of you may have noticed on your 1 daily walk with the dog that family’s families have put rainbows in their windows in a show of solidarity and support for key workers. My daughter loves taking a stroll to find new ones, so I seized an opportunity for this to be fun for her but also physically exerting for us both. So, every time we see one we both do 10 star jumps then run to the next lamp post, albeit at a pace that 2 year old legs can manage! In a condensed part of the village you will be racking up those star jumps quickly, trust me!
On the subject of walking a dog, have you ever tried to catch one? We own a Cavachon, basically a small fluffy bear on legs, but she can shift! Once safe in the field we take her off the lead and chase her around, turning left, right, around in circles, not only does the dog love it but its fantastic for your CV. We are all fit for a nap after this one, even the dog.
Having more spare time on my hands has allowed me to sort through some overfilled
drawers and, in one, I found an old iPod with some questionable music choices from my youth stored inside. My little one took a liking to a song by Wayne Wonder – ‘Bounce Along’. She likes to bounce on our bed to the song and I decided that I could not only reduce the damage to our mattress but also turn this into another makeshift home exercise for myself. Holding her under the arm pits like a 4 limbed Barbell, I lift her into the air and above my head every time Wayne says, ‘Bounce Along’, I’ve googled it, it’s over 50 times! You certainly feel the burn with this one, and you can bet your last pound they are bound to say ‘AGAIN’ when the song ends. You are a better man than I if you can go once more.
I guess the point of this piece is to share with you and your members during this difficult time that equipment is not that essential. What’s important is the love and support of our friends and family and use what you can around you to make working out at home as fun and as inclusive for all as possible. With that in mind, I have put together 5 family friendly exercises that you can promote to your members:
1. Piggy Back Squats
Complete your standard squat, but with your child on your back… probably pick your lightest/youngest child first time round! Builds your lower body and core strength and you can get the child to count! Helps with their education and your fitness
2. Tunnel/Bridge Push-Ups
In the up position your kid crawls under, you then lower your body (keeping it just off the ground if you can) and your kid climbs over
3. Rocket Ship
Pick your child up from the ground (bending your legs) and lift them up into the air above your head (shoulder press). This mimics the squat to shoulder press exercise, great for full body
4. Row your boat
Complete the “Row Your Boat” song, whilst sitting feet-to-feet with your child, mimicking the rowing action
5. Plank Taps
Hold yourself in a plank position (either on hands or elbows) facing your child. Every 5 seconds release one hand and give your child a high five… Get them to try doing the same, you’ll be surprised how strong they are! Don’t let them out-do you!
Lastly, you can make a game of this by getting a dice out… Use all the numbers above, allocating each exercise to a number. Number 6 is a PASS. Take it in turns rolling the dice, this can be done as a family. Set smaller rep ranges for the kids! Get creative, add in your own exercises, or even do group workouts with other families via video calls.
Lastly, dig out some retro music and have fun!!
Wishing you all the best of luck, stay safe, Lee.