So, I've been able to spend the last few days in the thumb of Michigan with my family. I love the city but its always nice to get away and get back to the country for a few days. One downfall to that is I don't have a gym membership here, and I'm in the process of cleaning out my old bedroom so this week there is no room in the basement where I normally exercise. That left me a little disappointed and forced me to get creative if I planned on fitting in any exercise while I was home. I worked out with a couple friends doing cardio Wednesday night, but that left me to figure out something for Thursday. (Open gym at the high school was an option but basketball is definitely not my forte). I've been experimenting to find different types of workouts that I like so I decided to take it to the elementary school playground Thursday night and see what I could do.
I took my amateur photographer with me (my 7-year old sister, Faith) just to have some fun .
This may have not been my hardest workout I've ever done, but it definitely works the body and gets you moving. Any physical activity, thats the goal!
Here are just a few ideas for some exercises to do on playground equipment:
So the moves this crazy girl was maneuvering definitely weren't part of the workout (even though I wouldn't mind playing like that myself sometime).
But I managed to make it down and back three times, taking a little bit of a rest in between. Let me just say, monkey bars were definitely easier back in elementary school when I was half my current weight!
More Bars...(Pull-ups, Leg Lifts, Knees to Chest)
When I was in elementary school, I never knew what these darn bars were for. Of course, we always found a use for them; climbing, hanging, creating random tricks (that most likely were a tad bit dangerous).
They were perfect for adding a few exercises into my workout Thursday though! I realize these bars are a completely random piece of equipment, but monkey bars or any other hanging apparatus will do just fine.
-Pull ups-I was happy to do just one and hold it there long enough for the picture
If pull-ups aren't your thing here is a modified version that you can do on a bar that's lower to the ground.
-Leg Lifts/Knee to Chest - I also challenged myself with a core workout. Either of these movements can be done in repetition or as a hold.
All that bar work definitely hurt the hands a little bit after not doing anything of the nature for quite some time. Just a suggestion: take gloves if you plan on playing around with bar work.
"Box Jump" with Stairs
I used a set of stairs for this next exercise. I jumped onto the platform, ran up and down the stairs, and jumped down. I did 3 sets of 10. If your local playground doesn't have this set up I would still try to incorporate both stairs and a "box jump" into the workout, great leg workout and cardio!
This exercise could be pretty simple to incorporate into a playground workout, just find a step or a bench that is an appropriate level, or just do them in the grass! I did 3 sets of 20 on this exercise. You can either do them with your legs straight as shown or bent at more of a 90 degree angle.
This exercise I had to play with a little bit in order to get my body in the right position to feel it working my core. I was leaning more on my tailbone rather than actually sitting in the swing. I did 3 sets of 10 for this as well.
The last strength exercise I did utilized another set of stairs. This time I would step up on the stair with my right foot leading and left foot to follow then step down in the same order. I did this at a quick pace. Once I stepped up 20 times with my right foot I switched to my left making the pattern left-right-left-right and performed this 20 times. This was done for 3 sets.
Ending with a jog
Once I had done some strength training I decided that I would take advantage of the school's beautiful walking track and go for a jog. Not too much, I only did a lap but it was a good way to end.
I thoroughly enjoyed my night at the playground and can't wait to go again (or even a different park for variety) to see what other types of exercises and movement I can accomplish.
That being said, have you ever done a workout in a park or playground?
What exercises did/would you do and how did/would you utilize the equipment?