Playground Workout – Part A

playground-workout-video

Playgrounds aren’t just for kids… they’re for the young at heart too! You can do just about any exercise to work your entire body at a park by utilizing the playground equipment available. It’s a great way to get outside for some fresh air, it’s a total body challenge, and it’s really fun!

PLAYGROUND TOYS

Monkey bars, swings, slides, and a park bench can easily become all the equipment you need for an effective sweat session. There are so many exercise variations that can be done on literally every playground toy. Here are a few items you may find at most parks that can be game changers for your workouts!

Monkey Bars

Hang, swing, and climb your way through playful exercises that functionally strengthen and condition your entire body. Grip strength, core control, and coordination mechanics will improve with practice. Movements can be static, dynamic, move in all planes of motion and even upside down. Some parks offer a variety of bars or nets to climb on. So if you have difficulty at a certain height level, find bars that are closer to the ground to develop strength before advancing to more challenging exercises. Part B of the playground workout will provide a great monkey bar workout, so check back next week!

Swings:

Swings can easily be transformed into a homemade suspension training device that functionally challenges your balance, stability, strength, and core in so many fun ways! Amazingly, many moves can be performed for free on a simple swing set without having to buy a high-priced suspension strap. Practice grip strength by using the chains of the swing as well.  This will help transition into other exercises that require you to dangle from above such as monkey bars. Swings are an effective free training tool at almost every park!

Slides:

A great tool for step-ups, dips, push-ups, climbing, and core exercises. Cardio drills can easily be created on slides as well.

Benches:

A park bench is useful to perform a variety of strength exercises as well as cardio drills. Some examples include; push-ups, dips, sit-ups, step-ups, hop ups, and leap overs. When your exercises are complete, take a seat to rest and recover!

Trees:

Use a tree stump to create cardio and strength drills. It’s a creative way to condition your body with what nature provides!

Walls or Ledges

Any surface you can climb, step, or get a good grip on is fair game. Training on objects that serve a training purpose can be great items for creative exercises.

THE PLAYGROUND WORKOUT

A playground workout can be performed in any style to accomplish your fitness goals. Meaning, it can be composed mostly of strength exercises, cardio drills, or a combination of both, and performed in circuits, interval burst, or timed segments. The options are endless!

I’ve created a workout that gets you out of the gym and onto the playground. I call it ‘The Swing Workout’! It is truly one of my favorite routines that I perform often and love. The exercises will strengthen, condition, and tone your entire body and also give your metabolism a boost.

This routine (Part A) focuses on a playground favorite – the SWING! It’s the perfect setting to perform suspension exercises without having to have your own equipment. Exercises performed on a suspension trainer require a unique type of balance, stability, and core strength making them more challenging than standard floor exercises.

So get ready for a total body workout challenge that will take your training to a whole new level!

THE SWING WORKOUT

FUNCTIONAL TOTAL BODY STRENGTH

(Part A of a two part series)

playground-workout-warm-up

playground-workout-swing-circuit

Check out the video to see how these exercises are performed.

Please ‘share’ & ‘like’ with others to enjoy in the workout fun!

INTENSITY

If these exercises become too easy for you, adjust your body position to a different angle, perform the exercises unilaterally (1 leg or 1 arm), or create a progression that is more challenging for you! There are plenty more bodyweight exercises that can make this workout even more challenging! 

There’s no limit to what you can try and create yourself!

FREQUENCY

Perform ‘The Swing workout’ 2 days a week on non-consecutive days. Spend a few workout sessions perfecting this routine. Once you feel comfortable with ‘The Swing’ workout (Part A), try the second playground workout, ‘The Monkey Bar’ (Part B) next week! You’ll need to take some time to learn the exercises and become fluid with the workout.

Ideally, perform these 2 playground workouts during the week by alternating between Part A and Part B. That way, the workouts change to add variety to the muscles worked and it prevents boredom from doing the same routine.  Eventually, you will know the workouts so well that you can start to mix and match exercises from both routines to create your own! The possibilities are endless and the fun is ready for you!

SWEAT & PLAY

There should be no excuses for not working out and staying fit! Parks are free and at your convenience! All you need is the knowledge of what to do, how to do it, and motivation to challenge your body in a creative yet effective way! 

So the next time you really want to kick up your workout, take it to a park to swing like a monkey, be playful, and bring out the inner kid in you!

Fun in Fitness,

Maria

http://www.groovysweat.com

http://www.groovysweatstore.com

http://www.youtube.com/groovysweat

P.S. To make this workout easier for you to remember, I’ve also created a picture printable card for you to take to the park on your next workout! Enjoy!

playground-workout-swing-circuit-card

Maria Sollon
Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work.

http://www.groovysweat.com
http://www.groovysweatstore.com (purchasable workout videos)
http://www.youtube.com/groovysweat (workout clips)

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