10 Crossfit Moves for the New Dad

The neighbors called to tell you that they could hear the crying from here. Your wife hands over the phone with one eyebrow raised and a scowl that would boil water. It’s not the new baby they are calling about; instead it’s your crying. They don’t want to hear about why you thought it was okay to throw on a spare tire and lug around an extra 20 lbs.

So you decide to stop the belly-achin’ and lose the “Dad Bod.” Today, you are going to get fit, and being the epic dad that you are, you are going to do it while spending time with junior – thus liberating your wife to watch another episode of (insert your wife’s favorite HGTV program here).

Brownie points abound when you incorporate what is sure to be the newest fad in working out – The New Dad’s Crossfit. So, let’s get the party started with 10 basic movements that will be the core of your WOD’s.

WOD’s for the uninitiated are Workout Of the Day.

These are real exercises, that when actually done with live human beings should be practiced in an über safe and secure environment. Your fitness comes in second to baby health. With that in mind, let’s have some fun!


1. The Toddler Dance Step – aka front squats

This is called the Toddler Dance Step because this is how toddlers dance – they do a squat. You could just do a regular squat, sure, and get fit. But doing it with a baby, that’s what the New Age Crossfit Dad’s do. The good news, as you get stronger the weight goes up so the degree of difficulty increases automatically.

2. Standard pushups

The requirement here is a pack and play, or a toddler that is old enough to not run underneath you when you are doing your pushups. Squashed babies = no es bueno. There is no reason on this earth why you can’t be on baby duty and do a couple dozen pushups. No siree! Start pushing.

3. Toddler Toe Touches – Aka Russian twists

This “fun” sit-up is merely the old school Russian Twist, weighted with a squirmy baby for an added degree of difficulty.

BONUS! You get to teach your whipper-snapper how to count. Won’t the soccer team be impressed when you show up with six-pack abs and an 18 month old who can count higher than your goalie?

4. Baby Weighted situps

Sure, any dad can do situps and toss the youngster in the pack and play, but a SUPER Dad is one who involves the young spawn to be your weight. The key here is modeling. Your son/daughter sees you doing situps, they are going to assume that that is what they are suppose to do. Man up Gents, time to weight your situp and power up to level 2.

5. The Baby Lift

Commonly referred to as a push press. Every dad should already be an expert at lifting their child off the ground. The question is can you do it 50, or even 100 times? Feel free to do this flat footed for a higher degree of difficulty, or with a little bounce to get in a rhythm. The flat footed version would be labeled a “strict press” vs the mini squat version which would be a “push press.” Semantics…

6. Standard Pull ups

Not all that exciting Dads. This is just a pull up. There are weighted pull-ups that can be done with barbells and chains – let’s not go there with children, eh? A pack-and-play or a toy comes in handy for this staple movement.

Now… moving into the Jack LaLanne – “you gotta be tough” category.

7. The Baby Toss

WARNING – This gets “the most advanced exercise of the day” award. Proceed with caution and withOUT torn rotator cuffs. This barnburner would be your standard wall ball equivalent exercise. For the uninitiated, Wall Balls are when you take a medicine ball (20lbs usually but could be scaled down) and throw it in the air 10 feet. Please don’t actually throw your child more than 10 feet. In fact stick to a couple inches.

8. The Baby Thruster

Thrusters are the same as wall balls, and similar to the baby press, but the weight never leaves your hands. A much “safer” version than the aforementioned baby toss. And much less painful for you, Dad. Do a proper squat with these, though, big poppa! No cheating!

9. Weighted lunges

Can you feel the burn? 50 steps with your baby hitting each knee to pavement? You outta.

10. The Chiropractic Money makers

Weighted Back Extensions would be the “other name” for these smile makers. Called Chiropractic Money Makers because once your toddler goes up and down a few times, you are guaranteed to call your local chiropractor and tell them how much you love and miss them. Just 10 of these may do the trick for you for a couple weeks.


These movements are all well and good, and banging a couple of them out is perfect. However, to make life more interesting and to push yourself harder, you can Tabata It.

Tabata is when you do one of the above exercises for twenty seconds counting reps as you go. Then you rest 10 seconds. Repeat this SAME exercise seven more times for a total of 8 intervals. This means you did, say pushups, for 4 minutes total. Tabata workouts are done using 4 movements at a time.

Sample Crossfit Workout, Tabata Style:

8 intervals of Pushups (record total reps for the 4 minutes)

+8 intervals of Baby Thrusters (record total reps again for these 4 minutes)

+8 intervals of Weighted Baby Sit-Ups (record reps)

+8 intervals of Toddler Dance Steps (again record your reps in 4 minutes).

Total score is the total reps you did in 16 minutes of time. 

There is an alternate universe where you write down the lowest reps you did in each round as your score, but really wouldn’t you rather push yourself to count total reps?


Have fun, be safe and enjoy being a fit Dad! Soon the neighbors will be calling to join you.

The neighbors that don’t come over might be in their backyards working on their “Dad Bods.” Not sure what a Dad Bod is? 
Check out 7 Reasons a Dad Bod is in.
Still not into the Dad Bod? Stay tuned for a workout guide for the top 10 ways to avoid the Dad Bod.

Photo Credits: Happy Dads Inc.

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Jay Breitlow

A former pessimistic nuclear engineer turned optimistic and enthusiastic Chiropractor, author, Coach/Consultant, Blogger, wellness speaker and a very happily married husband and a very Happy Dad of 1.5 Children. "My passion is to help people find the authentic greatness that is already inside them - just waiting to be unleashed." Dr Jay can be found at his blog HappyDadsInc.

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