Playground Workouts

Stay strong this summer with this fun yet effective strength-training workout using only outside playground equipment

You’ve got a strength-training workout scheduled on your training plan—but who wants to be stuck inside the gym on a sunny summer’s day? Next time you’re tempted to skip the gym because the weather’s just too nice NOT to take advantage of, head to the nearest park or schoolyard and try this fun yet effective strength-training workout using only outside playground equipment. Now you truly have no excuse not to stay strong this summer.

Playground Strength-Training Workout
Warm up with an easy five-minute run or some dynamic movements, such as leg swings, squats, lunges and arm circles.

Do each exercise for eight repetitions in consecutive order then repeat from the beginning for a total of three sets.

Bench Squats – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out in front of a park bench. Lean forward as you push your butt back behind and squat down to sit, keeping your knees in line with your toes. Touch your butt down briefly on the bench before pushing back up through your heels and glutes to a standing position, then repeat.

Chin-up, pull-up, or monkey bars – If you can do a chin-up (elbows bent out in front of you and your palms facing toward you on the bar) or pull-up (elbows bent out to your sides and your palms facing away from you on the bar), awesome; if not, try swinging across the monkey bars and back twice to count for one set.

Log or tire jumps – Time to get that heart rate up! Jump laterally with both feet back and forth over an obstacle that sits at about shin-height, or run through tires if they’re available. Jump for one minute to complete a set.

Elevated push-up on bench – Place your hands on the top of a park bench and move your feet back behind you so your body is on an angle. Lower your chest to the top of the bench and push back up for one rep.

Single-leg squat on swing – Stand in front of a swing, facing away from it. Bring your foot back behind you and place the top of it on the swing. Find your balance and slowly lower into a squat position with your other leg, using your supported foot to keep you steady. Push back up to start for one rep. Do eight reps for each leg.    

Leg lowers on bench – Lie down on a park bench with your hands grasping either side of the bench for support at your sides or overhead behind you. Engage your abs and slowly raise your legs so they’re at a 90 degree angle to the rest of your body, then slowly lower them back down for one rep. 



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