Akbar Gbajabiamila, father of four, former NFL athlete, and host of “American Ninja Warrior Junior” on Universal Kids, recently talked with Fox News to share tips to keep your kids moving with easy-to-do exercises for the whole family.
Akbar Gbajabiamila, father of four, former NFL athlete, and host of “American Ninja Warrior Junior” on Universal Kids explains exercises need to be fun to keep children engaged.
(Evans Vestal Ward/Universal Kids/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Image)
“I always start my kids — and myself — with a body-weight cardio sequence,” Gbajabiamila said.
Of the routine, he said to program a timer to three minutes and move through the following exercises for 30 seconds each: jumping jacks, high knees, butt kickers, body squats, jumping jacks (again), and finally mountain climbers.
Depending on the age of your child, Gbajabiamila likes to use “animal movements” to keep his kids “distracted and moving around.”
“I always integrate different animal movements into the exercises with my kids to keep it fun and educational,” he said.
Two of his favorite animal movements to do with his family are crab walks – where you place your hands behind your hips and lift your glutes off the floor, walking forward and back on your palms and heels – and bear crawls – where you crawl forward on hand and toes, letting your knees hover a few inches off of the ground.
As a father with kids who “love timers,” Gbajabiamila said he’ll get his children to do “one-minute circuits with different planks,” holding each a high plank, a forearm plank, and then “up-downs,” where you alternate between high to forearm planks for one minute.
But more than just getting out the at-home restlessness, Gbajabiamila says workouts are supposed to be fun.
“I have four kids, so I love to do relay races with them. It’s basically the same thing we did in football called ‘suicide drills’ but I get my whole family into it,” he said of his family’s routine. “One kid starts and runs to the end of the driveway, comes back, tags the next, and so forth. We make it a fun competition to see as a team how quickly the four can complete the drill.”