REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
Oh the memories of being a kid! In this unconventional workout, that’s exactly what I want you to do. The park we loved so much as kids is a gold mine for great workouts. There are infinite workout possibilities at your local park. And do you know what? It’s free. You can even bring your kids. They’ll love you for it. Don’t have kids? No one ever said you had to have a kid to go to the local park. You’ll have fun either way!
It’s been so beautiful here in El Paso. All week, there hasn’t been a cloud in the sky. The weather has been in the mid 60’s. It’s the kind of weather that makes you want to get outside. My 4-year-old and I decided to walk to the park. I was feeling energetic, so I even threw on some ankle weights. He gets tired still on long walks, so he rides in the stroller. It’s nice becaus it gives us a place to pack our water, healthy snacks, and any workout gear I might decide to bring. It’s also great because the stroller kicks adds resistance for my walk. Helps activate a little more leg and core muscles. The walk was great, but I really want to take you through my park workout.
The picture above is of a slide. As with each piece of park equipment pictured here, there are so many possible excercises you could use this for. I did leg lifts and reverse back extensions. For the leg lifts, I laid on my back at the top with my feet hanging down the slide (hold onto the ladder, sides or whatever’s available to you). I also laid on my stomach in this same way and did reverse back extensions. For reverse back extensions, you lay at the top of the slide with your feet hanging down. Find something to hold onto, and squeeze your glutes to lift your legs as high as you can. It’s good to work back and abs together. Working opposite muscle groups together helps maintain muscle balance.
Every park is different. You have to get creative with what’s available to you. The park I was at for this workout had this fun spider web thing. I just climbed up over and back down the other side. This is a great example of functional fitness and works your whole body. When climbing around on things like this, be sure to maintain 3 points of contact and take your time.
Climb like a kid!
These tunnel hoops are another thing that aren’t necessarily common at parks. My original plan was to climb through, but the holes are a little small. Instead, I climbed on top and maneuvered my way across. This works your core because you really have to balance. It also activates your glutes and arms as you lunge from one hoop to the next hanging on to the ropes and pulling yourself along.
I stood on the red bar on this thing and held the ropes so I was basically inverted. In between each set of ropes I did a row. Kind of like a reverse push-up. With your body in a straight line from head to toe, leaning back at about a 45′ angle, pull on the ropes using your back muscles. Keep your body straight. So at the top, your elbows are bent, and your body is straight. My complete routine here was maneuvering my body, inverted along this bar, holding the ropes to hold myself up and pull myself along. Between each set of ropes I did a row/reverse push-up before moving along.
Monkey bars are something you could really get creative with. I just did the classic monkey bars. It’s great for back and core. You do have to be careful because they do put a lot of strain on your elbow and shoulder joints.
Alright, so here’s the workout I did (I wore ankle weights, but they’re not necessary):
12 Leg lifts on the slide
12 reverse back extensions on the slide
Climb up and over the spider web and back
Climb over the crazy tunnel hoops and back
Maneuver across the inverted ropes, with row/reverse push-ups in between, and back
Monkey bars across and back
*Repeat 3-4 circuits, little to no breaks*
Obviously, every park is different. The purpose in posting this workout is to inspire you to look at your own park differently. It’s a fun way to change up your workout routine.