Family Fitness – Week 2 – Total Gym Family Workout

Family Fitness– Week 2:


family fitness week 2 video

This week’s family workout focuses on building a positive attitude toward exercise. Studies of adolescents by Dan J. Graham at the University of Minnesota show that those with a favorable view of exercise are more likely to exercise for five or ten years later in life,. It’s also important to understand the psychology of inactive, overweight teens. Beverly Bullen, et al, showed that obese adolescents believe overeating is the sole cause of their obesity. However, “abnormal inactivity is at least as frequent as abnormally high intake [eating] in this particular age group.” Total Gym can help establish healthy physical activity patterns that will continue throughout a lifetime. #family #workout


It may seem like common sense, but the best way to fit in exercise is to cut out inactive “activities.” If your family normally spends an hour or more watching TV, reading or playing video games every night, then that’s when you can exercise. Record the shows you’re missing to watch later. The workout doesn’t have to be an hour long, even 30 minutes is beneficial. Just do it five days in a row.


Kids vs. Parents

Teens don’t want to hang out with their parents, but when given the chance to prove themselves stronger, faster or more flexible than their parents, the game is on. Make a chart on a piece of construction paper and post in a conspicuous place or create a spreadsheet to track everyone’s personal best. Think Cross Fit-style. Whoever shows the most progress over two weeks wins a prize—as a family, discuss what the prize should be. Or encourage full family participation with the promise of a fun activity at the end of a productive two weeks: a trip to a waterpark, concert tickets, attending a community fair or carnival, a weekend camping trip, whale watching, paddle boarding outing, attending a professional sporting event. Group prize is a great way to promote family bonding.


Training Tips

For the following family exercises, if your family members are particularly fit, try the more advanced moves or start at high incline on the Total Gym. For parents (and kids) who are weekend warriors (couch potatoes Monday through Friday), start with the beginner exercises. As you gain flexibility, endurance and strength, take the challenge to execute the more difficult exercise options. Don’t be discouraged if you can only do one rep. Have fun by keeping track of who progresses from one rep to more as the week goes on. Try to do each exercise to the point of muscle fatigue.


Upper Body Build

    Shoulder Press with the wing attachment:
  • works the shoulders and arms. Lie face down on the Total Gym and place your hands on the wing attachment. Extend the arms and press your body weight up the rails. Keep the head in line with the spine. The lower the incline, the easier the
    • Challenge by increasing the incline.
    • Ultimate Challenge: handstand pushup against the wall.


    Reverse Fly with Rotation with pulley cable:

    works the medial and posterior deltoid and mid-upper back. Also works the core.

  • Grasp the cables with straight arms. Lift to shoulder-height and twist to look back over the shoulder. Beginners can do a Cable Row with bent elbows, adding in the rotation.
    • Challenge by increasing the incline and straightening the arms.


    Lying Triceps Extension with the pulley cable:
  • works the triceps. Lying on the stomach, grasp the cables palms down, with elbows bent and hands in front of the shoulders. Extend the arms out by the hips.
    • Challenge by increasing the incline.
    • Ultimate Challenge: start in plank and do chaturanga pushups, keeping the elbows close to the ribcage.


Lower Body Burn

These exercises can be done with a stopwatch. Whoever does the most reps in a minute (or whatever time increment you choose as a group) wins. It’s a lot of fun to cheer each other on and count out loud.

    Sit up-Stand Up:
  • Lay on your back on the Total Gym with knees bent and one foot on each side of the glideboard. Sit up and then stand up.
    • Challenge by decreasing the incline until the glideboard is flat.
    • Ultimate Challenge: start on the floor with knees bent and feet flat. Sit up then stand up, reaching your arms over your head. Return to the floor by squatting and then lying back down. You can use your hands to push yourself to standing.


  • start standing. Squat and place your hands on the floor, stepping out to plank. If a full plank is too difficult, support your weight on your hands and knees. Then return to squatting and stand up.
    • Challenge by squatting, then jumping out into plank and jumping back into a squat before returning to standing position.
    • Ultimate Challenge: squat, jump to plank, do a pushup, jump back to squat and then jump up to standing. Moving from standing to plank and then back up increases the heart rate dramatically, especially when it’s done with plyometrics.


Flex it Forward

This is one area where most children will outshine parents easily since adults often lose flexibility before they lose strength with the aging process. That being said, focus on perfect form and take it slowly. When muscles feel tight, try bending the joint to loosen the tension. Also, perform these stretches only after you are warmed up with the previous exercises.

    Toe Touch Row with pulley cable:
  • with pulley cable: Sit facing the column with straight legs extended on the glideboard. Grasp the cable handles and lean forward as far as you can with your arms extended. Do not bend the knees; instead, press the backs of the legs into the glideboard and reach past the toes, bringing the stomach to the thighs. Return to sitting up and pull the elbows back by the ribs. Beginners can try sitting on the glideboard without holding the cables and just reach for their
    toes with slightly bent knees.

    • Challenge by increasing the incline.


    Warrior Lunge to Splits:


  • start in a high lunge with plenty of space between the feet, back heel off the floor and front knee bent to 90 degrees. Align the knee over the ankle. This stretches the hip flexors.
    • Challenge by placing the back knee on the ground and extend the foot farther back dropping the thigh closer to the floor.
    • Ultimate Challenge: with the back knee on the floor, slide the front foot forward until you are in the splits.


Jodai Saremi

Jodai Saremi, DPM, BS , is a freelance writer, AFAA certified trainer, and fitness model. She has written for American Fitness, SPIN fitness, Your Health Connection magazines, and other online publications. Her articles have also been featured in textbooks. She enjoys an active lifestyle and lives in Ventura County, Calif. with her husband and two children.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I am tired of being fat,all I do is lay down and eat and watch tv, I know how to eat, but I love my sweets especially during my menstrual cycle , I work and come home to nothing but laying down, my stomach is 52 inches and Im tired of it, instead of me having the bypass surgery, I am going to invest in the total gym, I just turned 39 and raised three children and I feel soo old, I can’t even walk down a flight of steps without breathing hard and I had a CPR class yesterday and was sweating so perfusely just getting on the floor, I need help!

Leave a Reply