Now that the summer heat is beginning to cool off, exercising outside is becoming more enticing. One of the most overlooked places to get in an effective full-body workout is the playground. The playground can be a convenient location for a workout, plus there’s no associated cost. If you bring your kids, it’s a win-win.
A great way to warm up is by walking or jogging to the playground, assuming it’s not too far away. Once you get there, you can add in some dynamic movements or static stretches specifically geared toward your body. Once you’re warmed up, you’ll be ready to begin your playground workout with the following exercises:
Monkey Bars: The monkey bars are great for pull-ups or hangs. You can do the pull-ups with varying grips: neutral, underhand or overhand. If you aren’t able to master pull-ups yet, you can build up your strength by hanging on the bars. Increase your hang time by roughly five seconds each workout—that will help improve your grip and upper body strength.
Park Bench: Every playground has a park bench, which is a great tool for a number of different exercises. They can be used for forward and lateral step-ups, Bulgarian split sqauts, box jumps, push-ups, tricep dips (only for healthy shoulders), planks, mountain climbers and more.
Swings: Although they may not seem like a piece of workout equipment, the swings are great for a handful of full-body exercises. Starting with the upper body, push-ups can be performed by placing your feet on the swing and using it as a challenging and unstable surface. A challenging lower body exercise is hamstring curls. Lie on the ground, place your heels on the swing and lift and hold your hips up while simultaneously pulling in the swing. Knee tucks are a great core exercise and can be performed by assuming a fully extended plank position, placing your feet on the swing and pulling in your knees to your chest.
Jason DeHenzel has trained some of New York’s most prestigious clients, including high-profile lawyers, advertising executives, movie producers and musicians. Sophie DeHenzel is a Pn1-certified nutritionist and former downhill ski racer. The pair founded DeHenzel Training Systems, a 2015 Home-Based Business of the Year from the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. DeHenzel Training Systems develops customized fitness plans for clients of different abilities, experience and commitment. Find out more at dtsnova.com.