5 Ways to Get a Full Body Workout at the Playground
Parents can spend a good 10 – 12 years of their lives supervising their kiddos at the park, playground, on a backyard swing set and at various sports fields across the ‘hood. You can choose to spend that time yapping with your friends and eating your kids’ cheez doodles, or you can use it wisely. For many of us, that is time we used to spend on our own physical activity. Here I am, to give you a full body workout while you are waiting on the sidelines or near a park bench. These are often the only way I get in workouts on the weekends with my kids. Happy kids. Fit parents. It’s a win-win.
1. Pull up shoulder shrugs: Build your back and lats by hanging from the monkey bars with your thumbs under the bar and the back of your fingers facing you. Holding your core tight, gently roll your shoulders back to bring your scapulae down towards your waist. Slowly release and repeat 5 times. Build upon this and get used to the position so you can progress into a pull up.
2. Jump rope: Depending on your fitness, skip or jump rope for 20 seconds. Do this between each strengthening exercise. The goal is to build on this 10 seconds at a time, so you can progress to 60 second cardio breaks between exercises. Or, if you are already a jump rope pro, watch your kids games as you jump from the sidelines.
3. Lunge: Stand with your feet parallel, hip width apart. Take a big step and bend your knees so the front knee is at a 90 degree angle over your front foot. Remember to keep your core tight and your shoulders in line with your hips. Return to starting position and repeat with the other leg. Do sets of 10 with each leg and add more reps as they get easier.
4. Push and dip: Use a park bench to do 10 push ups, start with the backrest of the bench. If that is too easy, use the seat, which is lower. When you master that, move to the ground. Use the seat of the bench to do modified chair dips.
5. Copycat: Did you ever notice that from the time they were born, your kids were never still unless they were asleep? All of that energy and movement slows down as we age. Play with your kids. Do exactly what they do. It will be the best workout of your life and more fun than you can imagine.