Try not to run over any kids, but playgrounds can be an effective workout space.
We’ve mostly all spent our fair share of time on the playground. Yet once we hit our teens, they just weren’t as fun anymore, right? Well that’s because we weren’t using them to their fullest ability. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy working out at the gym or can’t afford the expensive membership fees, there are lots of other options for staying in shape.
Not only is it free, but it’s a great excuse to get away from your desk and get outside! Some of the strongest olympic athletes only use bodyweight training, so don’t be one of those people who hides behind the idea that without hitting the weights, you won’t see any gains. It’s simply not true.
Obviously you don’t want to seem creepy, so working out early in the morning or later in the evening when the playground isn’t packed with kids and parents is smartest.
Depending on your goals, here are some workout ideas:
Building Muscle and Strength
Elevated Push Ups: Put your feet up on a bench and put your hands on the ground. Do 3 sets of 10-20 reps while maintaining body control.
Monkey Bar Pull Ups: Grab the monkey bars and do 3 sets of 10-20 pull ups.
Plank Pull Ups: Find a bar that’s about 2-3 feet off of the ground. Maybe there are rings or a balance beam at your local park. Hold your body in a plank position, grab the bar or rings at your chest, lower yourself to your arms full extension and then pull yourself back towards the bar while keeping your core tight and your body straight. Do 3 sets of 8-15 reps.
Split Lunges: Go back to the bench and stand about 2 feet from it while facing the opposite direction of the bench. Put one of your feet onto the bench so it’s elevated behind you. Lower into a lunge position with your front knee just over your toes. Raise back into starting position. That’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 8 reps on each leg.
*If these exercises are too easy for you. Try wearing a backpack filled with books or buying a weight vest.
Perform all of the moves with intention, resting for 30 seconds between sets and 60 seconds between exercises.
Doing this routine three days a week, giving yourself a rest day in between each will burn extra calories and build lean muscle, which is what is often more cosmetically pleasing. Also, it will drastically improve your functional strength so you’ll be sleeping better, living with more energy, and generally happier thanks to the physical activity.