A workout routine you can do at the playground

It’s so important for parents to not just supervise their children at play, but to actually play with their kids. Going to the playground to entertain your child doesn’t have to involve parents sitting on phones while the little ones do their thing; parents can get involved, too. 

At the playground, there are endless opportunities for utilizing play equipment for your workout: pull up bars, money bars, step ups on the rock wall surrounding the park, rock wall climbing, walking up the slide backwards, etc. Even pushing your kid on the swing is a good horizontal push (similar to a push up), and if you were to push with just one arm, it creates tension in the core. 

Equinox Group Fitness Manager, Mark Hendricks, shows us how to maximize your time at the playground.

Imagine these are monkey bars at the playground. Set your timer and hop up, gripping the bar. Depress your scapula (shoulder blades) without bending at the elbows, activating upper back muscles. You time how long you can hang and try to increase that length of time week by week. 

Benefits: This is a total body exercise, works grip strength and heavily working the upper back. 

On most playgrounds they have a lower bar for kids to hang from. Grip the bar overhead and lift your bum off the ground, extending legs forward, feet on ground. Depress scapula and bend elbows, pulling chest toward the bar. Lower down and repeat. 

Part of the reason why women don’t like to do pull-ups is because it can be very challenging to lift all of your bodyweight. If the parent hangs from the lower bar with their feet on the ground, you’re more able to do a pull-up without actually loading your body with all of your lower body’s weight.

Benefits: Total body exercise, with focus on upper back and biceps. 

This is bringing in the play aspect with your kids. Endless possibilities here where you channel your inner animal and attempt to mimic their movement as organically as possible. Bear crawl, leap frog, etc.

This also brings in the aspect of playing with your kids. Partner 1 goes into straight arm/bend arm plank. Partner 2 hops laterally over partner 1 and assumes the same plank. Partner 1 then follows that same pattern. 

Benefits: Total body exercise also affecting our bodies metabolically. 

To begin the jump, swing both arms forcefully forward in unison, and blocks—or stops—them slightly higher than the shoulders, with a slight yet firm bend at the elbow. Both feet must leave the ground at the same time so that a full extension of the ankles, knees, and hips—also called triple extension—must be achieved in order to use all potential energy from these joints.

Just as the person is about to land, the feet should be as far in front of the body as possible without causing them to lose balance and take a backward step after landing. To get the feet to move forward, the arms whip back to the hips. This helps kick the feet out in front. On landing, the person should try to absorb the impact by bending at the knees and hips.

Benefits: Total body exercise focusing on fast twitch muscle fiber and improving explosive force. Highly metabolic. 

Playgrounds have lots of raised steps so you want to find one that’s secure. We’re going to use these steps here. Stand behind the step and jump, both feet leaving the floor at the same time, on top and then back off. Execute a burpee, hoping down into a plank, push-up, hop to stand and repeat.

Benefits: Total body exercise, with focus on lower body explosive force and chest.\

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