Father’s Day Workout: Forget the Pipe and Slippers, Get Fit!

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

father's day workout

We're all about fathers, and what better way than to celebrate being a dad than a fun Father's Day workout with the family?

Being a father means always being there for your kids and family, and that means making your health and fitness a priority.

This is also the perfect time to teach your kids the importance of staying in shape, and the numerous benefits of exercise.

Your kids will be much more apt to want to join you in a workout if it is something that is enjoyable.

A fun circuit exercise is a great way to make this happen.

Not only can you demonstrate a number of different exercises, but you can also make it a fun competition to keep them motivated.

And by keeping the exercises simple, this Father's Day workout is one they can even do on their own later on!

Get everyone outside and active with this awesome backyard workout!

A Father's Day Workout for the Whole Family


This is a great opportunity to teach your kids the importance of having a proper warm-up at the beginning of any workout.

Do 3-5 minutes of light cardio, like jump rope, jumping jacks, or some easy jogging.

Follow this up with the dynamic stretches listed below.

Your kids may think that stretching is “boring” so this is the perfect time to explain to them the benefits of this part of the workout.

Dynamic stretching during a warm-up has been shown to increase power output when compared to static stretching and will make workouts more effective.

Arm Circles

  • Stand tall with your arms outstretched to your sides and parallel to the floor.
  • Make small circles with your arms going forward for 10 reps, then backward for 10 reps.
  • Then make larger circles forward for 10 reps, and backward for 10 reps.

Arm Cross-Overs

  • Stand with your arms outstretched to the sides and parallel to the floor.
  • Move your arms across the center of your chest and let them criss-cross each other.
  • Steadily move them back out and repeat, but this time cross them with the opposite arm on top.
  • Continue this for 10-20 reps.

Leg Kicks With Arm Reach

  • Kick your left leg out straight in front of you while reaching for your toes with the right hand.
  • Then kick your right leg out and reach to your toes with your left hand.
  • Repeat for 10 reps on each side


  • Start on your hands and feet with your hips in the air in an inverted V position.
  • Walk your feet as far forward as possible while keeping your legs straight.
  • Then, walk your hands out, extending your body into a plank position.
  • Then raise your hips up again into an inverted V and repeat 5 times.

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Main Workout

Keep the workout short and fun so that the kids don’t see this as “work” but rather as something that they can enjoy with dad!

These moves are great at improving your kids' fitness and getting them interested in different types of exercises.

You can modify the moves depending on your kids' ages and levels of fitness.

Let them know that it is okay to rest during the intervals!

Demonstrate the exercises for them so that they can see the proper form.

And when they see you having fun working out with them it will keep them motivated to want to exercise.

Set 1

Burpees for 30 Seconds, Rest 30 Seconds

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat down and place your hands on the floor.
  • Kick back into a push-up position.
  • Do one push-up.
  • Jump your legs back to a squat and jump up, throwing your hands above your head.
  • Land and repeat.

Jump Rope for 30 Seconds, Rest 30 Seconds

You can do standard two-footed hops, or if your kids are a little more advanced try switching it up with alternating one-legged hops.

Mountain Climbers for 30 Seconds, Rest 30 Seconds

  • Start in a push-up position.
  • Bring your right knee forward under your chest, then return the leg back.
  • Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward.
  • Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.

Push-Ups for 30 Seconds, Rest 30 Seconds

  • Start in a plank position, with your shoulders over your wrists and legs out behind you.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles and keep your back straight.
  • As you lower and exhale, bend your elbows outward to the sides.
  • Your kids may not be able to do a standard push-up to start, so you can also have them start on their knees.

Repeat that circuit three times. Rest for one minute. Then move on to Set 2.

Set 2

Alternating Jump Lunges for 40 Seconds, Rest for 20 Seconds

  • Start in a split stance position with your hands on your hips and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle with your right leg forward.
  • Lower your left knee toward the ground while bringing your right thigh parallel to the floor in a lunge position.
  • Push off the ground, jump and switch the position of your legs while in mid-air, landing into the lunge position with the left leg forward.
  • Repeat, switching legs on each jump.

Side to Side Push-Ups for 40 Seconds, Rest for 20 Seconds

  • Start in a push-up position.
  • Move to the right with your right arm and right leg while bending at the elbows to lower your chest to the ground in a push-up.
  • Extend your arms to return to the top.
  • Then repeat to the left side.
  • Continue alternating sides.

Jump Squats for 40 Seconds, Rest for 20 Seconds

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hinge at the hips to push your butt back and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Explode off the floor and jump as high as you can.
  • Allow your knees to bend 45 degrees when you land, and then immediately drop back down into a squat, and jump again.

Tricep Dips for 40 Seconds, Rest for 20 Seconds

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet in front of you.
  • Place your palms on the floor behind you.
  • Your hands should be underneath your shoulders, with your fingers facing toward your body.
  • Extend your arms to lift your butt.
  • Then bend your elbows to lower yourself back down without bringing your butt completely to the ground.
  • Extend your arms again to come back to the top.

Repeat this circuit three times. Then cool down for 5-10 minutes.

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Cool Down

Just like with the warm-up, this is the time to teach your kids how important it is to cool down after a hard workout.

Research in school-aged children has shown that static stretching following exercise improves flexibility, which in turn will help prevent injury.

This is especially important if your kids are learning new exercise moves.

Glutes Stretch

  • Sit on the floor.
  • Bend your left leg while keeping your right foot flat on the floor.
  • Cross your left leg over your right thigh.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides.
  • You can pull your legs in for a deeper stretch.

Quadriceps Stretch

  • Stand upright and hold onto a door or chair for support.
  • Grab your left foot with your left hand and pull your heel up towards your butt.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Arm/Shoulder Stretch

  • Stretch your right arm across your body while pulling into your body with your left arm.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Triceps Stretch

  • Raise your arms overhead and bend your left elbow.
  • Use your right hand to pull your left elbow behind your head.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

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Dads-Only Father’s Day Workout

While exercising with the kids is an excellent way to bond with the family and stay active, chances are you may want to get in your own, slightly more intense, Father’s Day workout.

This is a great full-body workout that you can do to start your day, or after a fun day of family time.


Start with 5-10 minutes of light jogging or walking, followed by some dynamic stretching to get your muscle loosened up.

Then start into the main circuit set.

Main Set

Complete this 8-move workout as a circuit.

Do each exercise for 10-12 reps.

Pick a weight that will make the last rep feel hard, but not impossible, to complete.

Then move to the next exercise without resting.

If you don’t have weight, you can use resistance bands or complete the moves as bodyweight exercises.

You can increase the number of reps if you don’t have weights available to still keep the exercises challenging.

Dumbbell Front Squats to Shoulder Press

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a set of dumbbells near your shoulders and close to your sides.
  • Sit back into a squat.
  • Then press back up to the top.
  • At the top of the squat, press the weights above your head then slowly bring back down to your shoulders.
  • This completes one rep.

Bent Over Rows

  • This can be done with a barbell or dumbbells.
  • Begin by bending down and hinging at your waist with a slight bend in your knees.
  • Let the barbell (or dumbbells) hand in front of your shins with your fingers facing your body.
  • Pull your shoulder blades together as you row the weight up.
  • Then slowly lower back down to complete one rep.

Medicine Ball Slams

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a soft medicine ball over your head.
  • Slam the ball into the ground as hard as you can in front of you.
  • Catch the ball on the rebound or pick it up off the ground if it does not bounce back far enough.
  • This is one rep.

Dumbbell Step Ups

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides while you stand in front of a box or bench.
  • Step up onto the bench with your left foot, then follow with your right foot so that you are standing with both feet on the bench.
  • Then step backward down, first with the left foot, then with the right.
  • Now repeat by leading with the right foot.
  • This is one rep.

Arnold Press

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your forehead.
  • Your elbows should be bent to 90 degrees with your palms facing you.
  • Open your arms wide so that your elbows are still at a 90-degree angle but your palms are now facing out.
  • Then press up into a shoulder press.
  • Bring the weights down and reverse the move to return to the starting position.
  • This is one rep.

Strict Curl

  • Stand with your back against a wall while holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in.
  • Do alternating curls by first rotating your forearms and flexing at the elbow.
  • Keeping your back against a wall will force you to only use your biceps for this exercise.

Skull Crushers

  • Lay on a bench or the ground while holding a dumbbell in each hand, extended above your chest in a bench press position.
  • Bend at the elbows and lower the dumbbells down towards your forehead.
  • Then contract your triceps to straighten the elbows and raise the weight back up to complete one rep.
  • Focus on keeping your elbows in line with your shoulders during this movement to really work the triceps.


  • Lie with your legs straight out and your arms above your head.
  • Slowly lift your torso and legs and try to touch your toes.
  • Your body should form a V shape.
  • Then slowly lower.
  • As you build strength in your core, you can even hold a light dumbbell above your head while you do this exercise.

Rest for 3-5 minutes and repeat the circuit 1-2 more times depending on your level of fitness and the amount of time you have available.

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Cool Down

A review of exercise studies has shown that while a warm-up with dynamic stretching can help decrease delayed onset muscle soreness, the cool-down does not really have an effect on muscle soreness.

However, foam rolling can substantially improve muscle tenderness following exercise.

So if you have a foam roller available, this is a great way to cool down after a tough workout.

With a foam roller, you can target the upper and lower body to improve range of motion, decrease neuromuscular exhaustion, and decrease post-exercise soreness.

Foam Roller Exercises


  • Sit with your right leg on the foam roller and your left knee bent with your hands on the floor behind you.
  • Roll up and down from your knee to just under your right butt cheek.
  • Roll back and forth 8-10 times then repeat with the left leg.


  • Lie facedown on the floor and place the foam roller under your hips.
  • Roll up and down from hip to knees 8-10 times.


  • Position your body on your right side, with a foam roller under the right side of your chest.
  • Extend your right arm out on the floor with your right leg straight on the ground, and your left leg propped in front of your body with your knee bent.
  • Rotate back slightly so your right lower shoulder muscle is in contact with the foam roller.
  • Slowly roll foam roller a few inches closer to legs, then a few inches closer to head 8-10 times.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

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Father’s Day Fitness

Health and fitness never need to take a day off, and a great Father's Day workout is the ultimate gift.

You can spend time with the family and teach them all about the benefits of exercise at the same time!

Father’s Day is a great reminder of the blessings of being a dad.

Staying healthy and in shape is one of the best ways to honor yourself and your family on this day.

Keeping fitness a priority will allow you to spend countless enjoyable years with your family.

And that’s really what the Fit Father Project is all about.

Holly Smith, M.D. B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Holly is board-certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly is a keen runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast. She has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, Olympic distance triathlons, half marathons, and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on a Father's Day workout.

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

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