Here's Your Go-To Dad Bod Workout

man in gym doing pushups with a boy on his back
A strong upper body can help dads lift and carry their kiddos without breaking a sweat.

by Mary Lambkin

A recent Planet Fitness study confirmed that the majority of women think the dad bod is the best bod. And if that isn't good news enough, we've got more: Achieving and maintaining the dad bod physique isn't all that difficult.

Below, we've detailed a dad bod workout that can help you build the full-body strength and stamina required of an active dad. The best thing about this father-friendly exercise regimen? It's adapted to meet the needs of the dad lifestyle — it's flexible, fun, and can fit into your everyday life!

1. Deadlift

New dads will appreciate the lower back benefits of the deadlift, which can help them gently lower a sleeping baby into a crib. And seasoned fathers — whose backs may feel stiff from years of carrying kids and cargo — will also appreciate this exercise, as it works the arms, legs, and core. These are the muscles most often used by fathers everywhere. If your weekly duties include managing heavy barrels of trash or moving furniture, it's all the more important to get those deadlifts in!

2. Push Press

As a dad, you need to do plenty of overhead lifting — whether it be throwing your kid off your shoulders into the pool or packing everyone's bags into the airplane's overhead compartment as you head for summer vacation. Be prepared for these inevitable experiences of fatherhood by building strength in your shoulders, upper back, and core as you complete each push press.

If you don't have hours to spend at the gym mastering an exercise, this one is easy to learn. It's a strong and simple go-to that will still get you home in time for dinner!

3. Burpee

Explosive power is essential for dads who need to quickly harness their energy for an intense game of tag or a spur-of-the-moment foot race. This calorie-crushing movement can help you tackle everyday life with more endurance. If you need to scale back the intensity a bit, remove the jump and pushup.

4. Sit-Ups

Dads can't afford to be injured or sidelined, so it's important to maintain solid core strength in order to avoid injury and keep your parenting abilities going strong. A simple set of sit-ups will activate the abdominal muscles you need to push the lawn mower, assemble nursery furniture, and keep your energy high during a game of hide-and-seek.

If you're new to exercising, start with a crunch and work your way toward a full sit-up. If you want to boost the intensity of your dad bod workout, try completing a set of sit-ups on a stability ball.

5. Bear Crawl

Fathers need to be ready to get down on the floor at any moment, whether it be to crawl around after a 6-month-old or scramble into a pillow fort with their 6-year-old. The bear crawl builds the full-body strength needed to maneuver around at all angles and will keep joints feeling nimble.

These moves combined are an effective, total-body workout that will have you in shape for the challenges fatherhood throws your way. Try doing three sets of 10-15 reps each (call a bear crawl "set" one complete back-and-forth across the room). If you're pressed for time or don't have the equipment handy, the body weight exercises alone will get your heart pumping and tone a number of muscles, providing a "dadtastic" workout!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.