Fitness Fix

Mixing playgrounds with workouts
Summer 2013: Playground Workout
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Jun

It’s summertime and you are probably spending time at the park with your kids. What if you could get a workout at the park, using the playground equipment? You can follow this workout to burn calories and have fun at the same time. As always, make sure you have your doctor’s permission to exercise before performing any fitness routine.

Warm Up

It is important to warm up before exercising. The key to warming up is to get the blood flowing to your muscles. Spend five minutes doing a light jog around the playground; add in some jumping jacks, alternating front kicks with toe touches, squats with an overhead reach, and arm circles with heel taps.

Alternating Step-Ups

Using a step on the playground, step up with your right foot, then left, step down. Repeat, alternating the lead foot. Do this for one minute. If you are ready to take it up a level, use a bench instead of a step.

Push-Ups

You can customize this exercise to whatever level suits you best. For level one, stand behind a bench and place your hands on the back of it. Keep your abs tight and elbows at your side while doing push-ups. Do 10 repetitions, rest, repeat two times. If you want to take it up to level two, use the seat of the bench instead of the back. To take it to a level three—high intensity—you would put your feet on the bench seat and hands on the ground while doing the push-up.

Lunge on Slide

Stand facing away from the end of a slide and place your left foot on the slide. Bend your right knee. Try to get your right thigh almost parallel to the ground; make sure your knee is not coming forward past your toe. Return to standing position. Do 15 repetitions on that leg, and then switch to the other side.

Triceps Dips

Face away from a bench, place hands on the seat about shoulder width apart, extend your legs in front of you, keeping a slight bend in your knees. Lower your bottom towards the ground while bending your elbows and slowly push back up. Do 10 repetitions, rest, and repeat.

Swinging Plank

Place feet in the seat of a swing and hands on the ground. Stretch out into a plank position—nice and straight with hands directly under your shoulders. Slowly draw your knees toward your chest and return to plank. Do 10 repetitions, rest, and repeat.

Stretch

After your workout, make sure you stretch out well. Hold each of your stretches about 20–30 seconds, and do not bounce the movement.

While doing your workout, do keep in mind that the playground is for children. Just be respectful of others playing and adjust the equipment you are using to where the throng of children are not playing at the moment!

Glynis Nelson
About author:

Glynis Nelson is the owner of Go Momma Fitness Springfield, which provides fitness classes for moms, such as Momilates, Stroller Moves, and HIIT It. She holds prenatal and postnatal exercise certifications and is certified in group fitness by American Council on Exercise. Glynis resides in Springfield with her husband and four children.

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