Fitness for dads – step 2

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Basic home bodyweight work out.

As we said in the last article “fitness for dads – step 1”  being a role model is perhaps a dad’s most important job and this is because our children look up to us and copy a lot of our attitudes and behaviors. Here we shall set out an approximately 30 minute routine that will help you get stronger and prepare you for greater fitness.

You won’t need any weights or equipment, just a timer such as a watch, and a strong wooden chair or stool.

Do this plan 3 x per week with 1 or 2 days between sessions to rest and grow.

Time it exactly.

If you have any doubts, are in pain or have a heart condition, check with a doctor before attempting any strenuous exercise.

Strength training.

Strength training builds and firms your muscles. This means you burn more energy or calories even when you are at rest. How good is that?!

Warm up: 5 Minutes

Begin by going for a 5 minute walk.

You can walk on the spot or go around your neighbourhood – leave the stair climbing for another day.  This is just to get you loosened up and warm to prepare your body for the rest of the workout. When they are warm your muscles are less likely to injure. It also helps you to check if everything is OK. If you get pain anywhere – you need to consider why and stop. 

Rest: 1 Minute

Squats: 30 seconds activity then rest 1 min x 3

Bend your knees until as far as you can without being in pain or losing your balance and then stand back up. Let your arms swing with the motion so their momentum aids the movement. Time it for 30 seconds then rest a minute and repeat 3 times. This works your legs and lower back but also is a great calorie burner and may leave you out of breath.

Repeat 3 times.

Rest: 1 Minute

Press ups off chair: 30 seconds activity then rest 1 min x 3

If you can do full press ups – then do so.  If not, lie down across a chair so your hips are on it and you are facing the floor and you are supported at the hip by the chair and your hands are on the floor. The further from the chair your head is the harder the movement so start maybe with the chair under your knees and see how you go. This works shoulders, chest and core.

Repeat 3 times.

Rest: 1 Minute

Palm squeeze: 30 seconds activity then rest 1 min x 3

Place your palms together in front of you like a prayer and squeeze them together.  You will feel your chest contracting.  Don’t squeeze too much at first. It’s got to last 30 seconds!  This is much harder than it sounds and gives your chest and arms a good workout.


Rest: 1 Minute

Chair pull: 30 seconds activity then rest 1 min x 3

Sit on a chair.  Make sure it’s solid and grip the seat at the side of your thighs directly under your body and in line with your shoulders. Now pull up against the chair.  Keep pulling for 30 seconds and time it so that you are just losing your strength at the end of the 30 seconds. The chair won’t move and nor will you, but you will exercise your back, arms and shoulders.

Repeat 3 times.

Rest: 1 Minute

Plank: 30 seconds activity then rest 1 min x 3

Lie on the floor and raise yourself onto your elbows. If you are strong support yourself on your toes, but if this too hard you can use your knees while you build strength.  Again hold the postion for 30 seconds. This works your core muscles especially the abdominals. You never know, you might get a 6 pack!  

Repeat 3 times.

Rest: 1 Minute

Sky dive: 30 seconds activity then rest 1 min x 3

Lie face down on your tummy, and lift your chest and legs off the floor as if sky diving. You should feel tension in the buttocks, the back of the legs and small of your back.  Arch your back and hold the position for the 30 seconds. If this is too hard just relax mid-way and catch a few seconds rest, before holding again. This is working the core muscles around the back of your body.

Warm down

Finish with a gentle 2 minute walk or stretching.

Baby Arabia will be looking at stretches next time.

Remember this is not just for you. Your children will see you getting fit and grow up knowing how important exercise is for a healthy life!


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