How to have your very own family PE lesson in your back garden

With UK schools closed until further notice, it’s more important than ever to keep kids active and entertained during this period. For many parents who are busy working from home and contending with social distancing measures, it can be a challenge to find both the time and entertaining ways to do family workouts. The government advises that children and adolescents over the age of six need 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity per day. So why not do a family workout or a PE lesson early in the morning, on your lunch break, after work or wherever you can manage to fit it in. It will work wonders for your family!

With this in mind, our friends at intu Trafford Centre have rounded up six easy to follow exercises that you can do as a family workout, and the best bit is, there is hardly any equipment needed. Simply put on some motivational music and you’re ready to go. Thanks to our friends and family of intu for being our exercise demonstrators. Happy sweating!

High knees

Two Boys and Dad doing high knees exercise

This one’s pretty self explanatory and delightfully simple; get your little ones to run on the spot, lifting their knees up as high as possible. Why not add a fun, competitive edge by seeing who can go at the fastest pace.This one is best done on the grass (or any totally flat surface if you can) just in case anyone takes an unexpected tumble. High knees are great for your cardiovascular fitness, working your heart and getting your blood pumping.

  1. Start with one round of high knees for 30 seconds
  2. Then have 30 seconds rest
  3. Repeat this ten times for a heart-pumping workout that’ll leave you feeling energised

For a lower impact option, lift your knees up to your chest, one by one, without the jump.

Speed skaters

Speed Skaters exercise in garden

This move is great for strengthening your quads and glutes, and will raise your heart rate, too – which is always a bonus.

  1. Start with your knees bent and your back leaning forward, leap on alternating feet from side to side
  2. Stay up on the balls of your feet and use your arms to propel your jumps
  3. Swing your back foot behind the standing leg, but do not let your toes touch the floor. (Tip: imagine you’re wearing ice skates. If your back blade scraped the ice, you’d be in a heap on the floor pretty quickly)
  4. As you get into the movement, try and leap as far as you can from side to side, and cover as much ground as possible
  5. Do 20 speed skaters, rest for 30 seconds and repeat 10 times

If you’re looking for an easier option, why not take out the jump and do a step side to side instead.

Bunny hops

Little girl does bunny hops in garden

Kids love to play make-believe, so why not turn them into bunnies with this move that’ll really work your legs. You’ll need some space for this one though, so make sure you clear your garden of furniture and other things that could be in the way before you get started.

  1. Squat down and then hop forward into another squat, just like a bunny – it’s as simple as that
  2. Do 10 bunny hops, rest for a minute and then repeat this five times

For a lower impact option, simply squat down and stand up, negating the need to jump. This will be much easier on joints, and therefore suitable for anyone with knee or ankle injuries.  


You’ll need a skipping rope for this one, so if you have one, this is an easy way to really get the heart-pumping with some pure cardio. 

  1. Try skipping for 30 seconds
  2. Then rest for 30 seconds
  3. Then skip for 40 seconds 
  4. Rest for 40 seconds, repeat this until you build up to a minute increasing by 10 seconds each time

If you’re really advanced, then you can also give skipping backwards a go. There’s no low impact version for this one unfortunately, but if you have any injuries, we’d recommend you sit this one out.

Frog jumps

Little Boy doing a frog jump in garden

This one is a real full body workout and will work your arms, legs and core out simultaneously. 

  1. Imitate the moves of a leaping frog by squatting down
  2. lace your hands on the floor in front of you
  3. Jump your legs forward in line with your hands – then repeat 10 times. That’s one round. 
  4. Repeat 5 times with 30 seconds rest in between each round

To make this exercise harder over time, why not make the sets longer? Try repeating 15 times each round, with only 20 seconds rest.

Mountain climbers

Mountain climbers

Let the kids play ‘explorer’ with this mountain climbing move that’s a killer on the core.

  1. Get into a plank position with your hands flat on the floor, your toes on the floor, your stomach pointing downwards and your back level
  2. Move your knees one by one forwards into your chest, getting quicker and quicker as you get more comfortable with the move
  3. Repeat 20 times (counting one knee going forwards as one rep) then rest for 20 seconds and go again. 
  4. Repeat this 10 times

This one can be a bit tricky to get at first, but remember, practice makes perfect!


Try any combination of these six moves to get your entire family’s pulses racing – you’ll feel great for it, we promise. We’d love to see you all giving these a go with your kids, so please share with by uploading to instagram and tagging us at @intuofficial!


Head over to intu Source for more great ideas on things to do while we're all staying at home

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