Whether you’re spending time at a playground with your kids or just pass one in a local park on your way home from work, the playground isn’t just for kids anymore. Rather, make it a regular stop in your workout routine to get toned and fit – and have fun! It’s perfect for women who have a tough time fitting in gym-time as well as for those of us looking to interval train during our park runs.
5 Playground Workouts
Static Pull-Up. Exercise your shoulders, biceps, triceps and upper-back on a pull-up bar! Just grab an overhead bar with either an underhand or overhand grip and pull yourself up so your chin is above the bar. If you need to, jump a little bit (or step onto something nearby) to get up but try to really pull yourself up in a traditional pull-up (with an overhand grip) or chin-up (with an underhand grip). Once up, fret not, because you don’t need to continue to pull yourself in middle school gym class style. Rather, hang in place as long as you can, trying to increase your stamina. Switch your grip and repeat.
Bench Push-Up. If you’ve been reading our fitness tips for a while now, you know that we’re huge proponents of push-ups. In fact, if you do just one exercise, this should be it! If full-on, hitting-the-floor push-ups, though, are too hard (or if you’re just looking for something to do while at the park), try a bench push-up instead. Keep your core engaged and place your hands on the edge of the bench with your legs straight our behind you as you lower your body down and push it back up. Vary the width of your hands to engage different muscle groups as you try to increase the number you can do without resting. Try to do 2 sets of 10.
Slide Sit-Ups. Take your decline sit-ups at the gym and bring them to the park with slide sit-ups! Laying on the slide with your head towards the bottom so that your feet are above your head, bend your knees so your feet are flat on the slide and put your hands one on top of the other at the base of your skull. Keeping your elbows wide, lift up into a crunch. Try to do 2 sets of 10. If you need to start off a bit easier, cross your arms in front of you.
Pole Climbing. Kids may use the fireman’s pole to slide down at the playground, but we think you should climb up it instead. Starting at the bottom, use your arms and legs to pull yourself as far as you can before jumping (or sliding) down and starting again! Repeat as many times as you can.
Hanging Knee Raise. Hanging from the monkey bars with an overhand grip, arms straight above you, shoulder width apart, bend your knees in front of you so your feet are off the ground and you’re hanging. From this position, lift your knees straight up in front of you towards your chest. Slowly lower your knees back down (only allowing your toes to gently touch the ground, if needed) before lifting them back up. Repeat 10 times.