This copycat scene is absolutely adorable, but is it safe for young kids to be lifting weights? We asked fitness experts to find out.
Kate Hudson on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / Rich Fury / Staff

Like mother, like daughter holds true for Kate Hudson and her 3-year-old Rani Rose.

The pair share a love for cooking—watch them team up to make WW-approved Watermelon-Cucumber Skewers with Feta and Mint—and now the actress, author, fashion designer, entrepreneur and WW rep invited her mini me to join for a short snippet of her personal training session.

"She did it!!! #startemyoung #healthypatterns," Hudson proudly captions the video.

Trying to be just like mom, Rani Rose holds a small dumbbell and mimics Hudson's squat and single-arm shoulder press motion. (ICYMI, Hudson is no newbie at this move…check out her top two ways to level up standard squats that she shared back in August and try out her best at-home workout for toned legs.)

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that adults accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. But how about for kiddos?

"Kids need exercise just like adults, especially as they grow up in today's sedentary world. A child can join a workout with a parent as young as 4 to 5 years old depending on the exercise, structure and intensity," explains Jessica Mazzucco, CPT, founder and head trainer of The Glute Recruit in Scarsdale, New York.

For children under 4 (like Rani Rose, for about 10 more months), Mazzucco suggests "free moving" exercises, such as running, playing tag and dancing. Children over age of 4 can participate in more structured physical activities, such as sports, she adds.

"If a parent's workout doesn't really look like fun to the child, they may have no interest," says Randy McCoy, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based vice president of product and curriculum for The Little Gym International, an enrichment center for kids 4 months to 12 years old. "With that in mind, 2 to 3 year olds love to copy mom and dad during parts of their workouts."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) begins their exercise recommendations at age 6, noting that "children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years should do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. It is important to provide young people opportunities and encouragement to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety."

They suggest a mix of aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening (weight-bearing exercises like jogging or jumping rope should do the trick!), hitting each of those three categories three times per week. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), just 21.6% of American youth between 6 and 19 reported getting 60 or more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on at least five days per week.

But even if they don't hit that exact level, every little bit of movement counts. Especially when they perform it for the "right" reasons. (Translation: Not to lose weight or look like someone else.)

"Regardless of the age, I encourage parents to exercise and partake in daily physical activity with their children," Mazzucco adds. "Children will mimic what their parents do, and it's more than likely if your child sees you working out, they will identify that as something good that [they] should be doing too! Teaching children that exercise is important for their health (say, the fact that it helps increase bone and muscle strength and density) will help your child to understand exercise is more than just for your looks. Associating exercise with just weight loss can create a negative relationship with the child and exercise in the future."

We love to see Hudson working hard, yet slipping in a smile between deep breaths during the video. It's clear she's proud of not only Rani Rose, but also herself for staying active and challenging her body—within reasonable limits.

As far as safety goes, it is probably best for parents to leave the weights to the grown-ups, but Rani Rose rocking those squats is picture perfect, Mazzucco says.

"Start your child with bodyweight exercises and always watch their form. Parents can begin to incorporate weight training exercises into their workout programs with their son or daughter once the child begins puberty."

McCoy agrees: "Refrain from having children under age 10 use weights or dumbbells. They aren't necessary."

Otherwise, the most important component is to keep things light.

"The key is to make sure that the child's perception of 'exercise' is of a positive nature. It should feel FUN. Whether they are watching it, joining in or being pushed in a jog stroller, If they and their parents are having fun, it will 'stick,' McCoy says. "Also, if children are able to see their parents work out and exercise on a regular basis—and have it be part of the family's daily lifestyle, rather than a work ethic—the kids may be more apt to adopt this lifestyle as they get older."