I have three kids so we spend an extraordinary amount of time at the park and if you’re in the same boat, exercises you can do at the playground can really maximize your multitasking for the day. After all, who wants to work out once the kids are in bed? That’s time for reading magazines and catching up on your favorite TV series. Your kids might not want you playing their games, but you can certainly use the equipment for these exercises you can do at the playground. You’ll get fit and the kids will have some fun – there’s nothing better than that!
1. Pull Ups
Remember how hard it was to go from one end of the monkey bars to the other when you were a kid? It takes an incredible amount of arm strength, which makes those bars ideal for exercises you can do at the playground. Grab hold of one, palms facing out, and bend your knees with your feet behind you. Pull yourself up and lower yourself down several times. You’ll feel the burn – it’s working the muscles in your arms and your core.
The steps are a great tool for working your entire lower half. Simply stand in front of the steps of the playground and step up and down, alternating your legs as you go. The great thing about this move is that it also counts as cardio, which means you get your heart pumping and burn calories at the same time that you’re strengthening your muscles. Use caution so you don’t slip and fall, but otherwise have fun!
3. Triceps Dips
This is a great move for working the underneath part of your arms to prevent that awful sagging that gravity imparts on us with age. To do the move, stand with your back to the bench and lower your body until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Place your palms flat on the bench behind you. Slowly lower and raise your body by pushing up and down with your arms.
Ignore the weird looks and try push-ups on the bench while you’re at it. Push-ups are a great way to work your arms and shoulders, but they also give your core a great workout. In case you don’t know the technique, start with your hands and knees resting on the bench. Lower and raise your body using your arms. Once you get stronger, you can lift your knees and do push-ups while on your hands and toes with your legs straight out behind you.
5. Decline Sit-Ups
Traditional sit-ups are a great for working and toning your midsection. Declined sit-ups enhance the benefits and the playground is the perfect place to get them done. Lie on the end of the slide with your feet up and your head at the bottom. Do sit-ups as you normally do. The extra gravity on your core gives it an extra workout. Just don’t do so many that the kids don’t get a chance to slide.
The fireman’s pole is super fun for kids to race down, but you can work a huge portion of the muscles in your body by climbing up it rather than riding it to the bottom. Use both your arms and your legs to pull yourself from the bottom to the top of the pole. Go as high as you can before sliding back down.
7. Knee Tucks
This is a great exercise for your arms and your core. Grab one of the monkey bars and hang there with your feet slightly off the ground. Bend your knees and bring them to your chest, then lower. Repeat until you can’t hang on anymore. You’ll know which muscles you’re working because they’ll be sore for days.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Once you get the go-ahead, try out this little routine while your kids run around like crazy. When you get home, you’ll all be ready for a rest. Which exercise will you try first?